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Marcus Samuelsson is my favorite celebrity chef. Ina Garten is a close second. Her recipes, though classic American/European staples I've made a million times, can sometimes be onerous. Marcus Samuelsson's cuisine, on the other hand, is exotic and easy! When I make one of his dishes for the first time, I can't even begin to comprehend what it will taste like. In the end, the dishes have a fresh, delicate yet flavorful quality. It's hard for me to describe, I just find his dishes super satisfying. Now that I've gotten you excited, let's make Samuelsson's Flank Steak with Potato Ragu!
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Here's what you will need (in clockwise order): red onion, parsley, rosemary, fingerling or yukon gold potatoes, 1 lime, 1 1/2 lb flank steak, diced tomatoes, chickpeas. Not shown: garlic, salt, pepper and olive oil. Interesting combination right: rosemary and lime?  potatoes and tomatoes? Actually, I guess potatoes and tomatoes go pretty well together if french fries and ketchup are any indication. But still, rosemary with stuff like limes and tomatoes? Don't be afraid, it tastes amazing! The rosemary and garlic compliment the flank steak perfectly, while the ragu's tanginess, thanks to the lime and tomatoes, contrasts the richness of the steak.

I don't have very good progress pictures so I will just jump straight to the recipe. I really think you should try this one; it's simple, savory and satisfying.

Flank Steak with Potato Ragu
minimally adapted from Samuelsson's recipe.

1.5 lbs flank steak, rubbed with salt and pepper to taste.
salt to taste
pepper to taste
3 tblspns olive oil
1 large or 2 medium garlic clove(s)
1/2 teaspoon chopped rosemary
2 cups chopped fingerling or yukon gold potatoes
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 red onion, diced
1 14 oz can chickpeas
chopped parsley to taste
1 lime

Heat 2 tblspns olive oil in a medium sauce pan on high heat. Add potatoes and salt and pepper. Stirring frequently, cook for 3 minutes. Mix in the red onions and chickpeas, then pour in the tomatoes including the juices. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 5-8 minutes or until only 1/3 of the liquid remains. Continue to cook on low heat for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the olive oil (1 tblspn), garlic and rosemary in a pan over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the steak in the pan and cook one side for 5 minutes. Flip it and cook the other side for 5 minutes for a rare (ish) steak, if you had a super thick steak like I did, if yours is thinner it will take less time. Follow your instincts!

I'm a big fan of meat thermometers. If you are picky about your steak's done-ness, refer to this handy system:  rare=120-125 degrees, medium=140-145 degrees, well done= 160+ degrees. Note that this applies only to beef. Don't go cooking your chicken to 120 degrees, blech! Now that I've unnecessarily put the concern of food poisoning in your mind, let's continue with the recipe!

When the steak is done to your liking, put it on a cutting board, top it with chopped parsley and let it rest for at least 5 minutes. This helps the juices redistribute throughout the meat so it will all be juicy! Stir the meat juices from the pan into the potato ragu.

Plate the ragu and cut the steak across the grain at a 45 degree angle into slices. Cutting it in this specific way makes it less chewy. Place the slices on top of the ragu and squirt with lime. Don't forget the lime! 

I can think of two reasons why you might not try this dish: 1) your fear of cooking the steak too little or too much, 2) your fear of cutting the steak just right. Allow me to allay these concerns. 

I had trouble cooking the steak enough. I would cut into it and it would be too bloody. So I just threw it back in the pan and cooked it for a few more minutes. Still, it was too rare for us, so I wound up cutting the slices and then searing them individually for like, a minute. That was the perfect amount. The beef was tender and juicy but not bloody. So, I would suggest erring on the side of cooking less, because you can always cook it a bit more. But if you cook it too long, it will be dry and chewy, but honestly it will still probably taste good with that garlic and rosemary on it. Also, don't worry about taking your time to make the steak perfect. The ragu can sit for a while and be fine on low heat. It will be waiting for you when you are ready for it.

Don't worry about cutting the steak! Who cares if it looks pretty, you're going to eat it anyway! If you mangle it really bad, you can just cut it into bite sized pieces and save your diners an extra step.
 


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