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We’re going through the last of our spring onion harvest, and I’m already planning menus for the sweet yellow and large red onions we’ll soon begin seeing in our winery gardens. One of my favorite ways to prepare them is to stew them in red wine before piling them atop a perfectly cooked steak. Although grilling season is finally upon us, I usually find myself reaching for the skillet when I prepare this Seared Strip Loin with Red Wine Braised Onions. Even when simply seasoned, the skillet-seared meat is packed with flavor, and I love how elegantly the dark fruit and spice notes of our Nickel & Nickel Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon complement the rich, caramelized onions. This all-new Single-Vineyard Cabernet is layered and luxurious, and it really shines alongside this menu, especially when you add our blue cheese-studded mashed potatoes!
Seared Strip Loin with Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes & Red Wine Braised Onions
Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
2 pounds strip loin steaks, cut 1 ½ inch thick (eight ounces per person)
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 cups sliced yellow onions, julienned
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup red wine
1 teaspoon sugar
Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes:
4 cups peeled and quartered Yukon Gold potatoes
8 tablespoons butter
1 cup half and half cream
4 tablespoons Roquefort blue cheese (or the blue of your choice!)
For the skillet steaks: Bring your loin steak(s) to room temperature for 30 minutes.
Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over each strip loin. Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add a tablespoon of grapeseed oil and swirl to evenly coat pan. Add your strip loin and sear each side on high heat for three minutes, before reducing your temperature to medium low. Cook your steaks an additional three minutes per side, until they are nicely browned. Remove from heat, top each steak with a tablespoon of butter and set them aside to rest. Allow the butter to melt fully before serving.
Note: If you prefer your steaks medium to well done, cook each steak for an extra two minutes on each side.
For the red-wine stewed onions: Heat a tablespoon of grapeseed oil and a tablespoon of butter in a heavy-bottomed stainless-steel pan over low to medium heat. Add your onions, cooking until they become soft. Season with salt, pepper and a teaspoon of sugar, then add your red wine and reduce to low heat. Continue to cook, stirring often, for about 30 minutes, or until your red wine has been reduced.
For the Yukon Gold mashed potatoes: Place your peeled potatoes into a medium pot and cover with cold water. Add a tablespoon of salt and bring water to a simmer. While your potatoes simmer, add your half and half to a small pot and slowly heat, being careful not to bring the cream to a boil. When tiny bubbles appear on the side of your pot, turn off the heat.
Allow the potatoes to simmer until they are tender. Drain into a colander and then return your potatoes to the empty pot. Add your heated half and half, blue cheese and eight tablespoons of butter, and then mash with a potato masher until smooth. Be careful not to over-mash, as the potatoes risk becoming gluey. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To Serve: Distribute your Yukon Gold mashed potatoes evenly among four plates. Slice your skillet steak into thick ½-inch slices and angle them atop or alongside your potatoes. Generously top each steak with stewed onions, garnish your potatoes with any remaining blue cheese and pair with something layered and luxurious. Our current favorite: the all-new Nickel & Nickel Kenefick Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon. Cheers!