11 Mar 2012

Winter-grilled Ribeye Steak with Balsamic Beurre Noir and Baked Potato

We have just arrived home from our yearly journey to the Austrian Alps. This was a truly wonderful holiday with nearly two weeks of skiing with friends and family. We drove south  from our home in Lund to to the small but cosy St. Michael in the Lungau region. My family really enjoys observing my childish excitement when we go skiing. I am full of naive enthusiasm. To race down a snowy road - is it normal for a grown up to be so exuberant about playing in the snow? The picture above was taken last year, on my 35th birthday, at Obertauern - what a stunning day! 


This dish was served on our table recently. We had my wife's relatives, who live in Copenhagen, for a visit. It is not often that I venture into grilling during wintertime - but it happens. At least once a year during the darkest months I fire up the grill, put on a thick wool sweater and charge out into the cold with a spatula in one hand and a beverage in the other. It is always a little special grilling in the cold darkness. 

The idea for this dish comes from Chef John who is the man behind the delightful website - www.foodwishes.com. His site is a great treat which comes highly recommended. He does these quality videoblogs about a range of recipes and has a videolibrary that contains over 500 hundred appetising posts. He narrates his videos with his friendly voice - concluding all his posts with his signature send off - "Enjoy!" 

Beurre Noir is a type of butter sauce where you fry the butter at low tempratures until the milksolids in the butter start to take on a brownish color - pausing there would give you beurre noisette which is a frequent accompanyment to many fish dishes. But we are taking the butter further to a dark brown color without burning the butter. When we have reached this stage you add an acid i.e. lemon juice or any type of vinegar. I'll come back to that later. And we'll even tip toe around these methods to reach our destination - the balsamic beurre noir!

Winter-grilled Ribeye Steak with Balsamic Beurre Noir and Baked Potato

Preparing for making the sauce

First melt a tablespoon of butter on low heat on a pan. Fry gently until the butter starts to take on a brown color and then add a clove of sliced garlic and fry on very low heat. It is important that neither the butter nor the garlic burns. 
The sauce reducing gently
When the butter has changed color I added 250 ml of good balsamic vinegar and brought to the boil. Then I added a heaped teaspoon of tomato puré and a chopped, deseeded red chilli. All stirred together. The sauce is allowed to reduce by two thirds. Then you turn of the heat and add four tablespoons of butter and stir in the butter as it melts into the sauce. If the sauce is acidic you can add a little sugar or syrup to balance.

Tasty ribeye beef

I had bought some good Swedish beef nicely marbled - cut down into 2,5 cm thick slices. Brushed the meat with some olive oil and seasoned with salt & pepper.

On the grill

Fired up the grill. The steaks only needed a couple of minutes on each side in the scorching heat so I had to be quick in order to finish my beer!

Steak, balsamic beurre noir and a baked potato

One and half hours previously I had wrapped some large potatoes in foil and placed in a 180 degree warm oven. It's been long since I have done a classic baked potato. Unwrapped the potato, cut a cross into it and squeezed it open and added some creme fraiche, salt, pepper and chopped fresh chives.

The steak was placed on a warm plate and a couple of tablespoons of sauce poured over the meat. Sauce activist would argue that this is not enough sauce - and on occasion they have a point. But this is a bold sauce that carries a potent punch and when accompanied with the juicy meat but no more is needed, although it can be desired - each to his own!
Paired with good wine

We enjoyed some wine with the food, as is the fashion of these times! We popped the cork of this bottle, Masi Campofiorin from 2008. This is an Italian wine from the region surrounding Venice. It is composed of four grapes; Corvina, Rondinella, Molinara and Rossignola grapes. The wine has been in production for more than forty years. It has a deep cherry color in the glass. With lovely tones of balanced fruits, slight acid and mild tannins. A wine with good substance and a good aftertaste. A flavourful wine which was very appropriate with the meal. 

Bon appetit.


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