Sweet Spiced Steak

As I have said many times before, I love combining spices like cinnamon, which is seen in sweet dishes, with meat. Without lots of sugar, spices like cinnamon and cloves add a warmth that accentuate the flavor of the meat. Beef especially stands up to these sorts of spices. I did a little globe trotting with this one between the spices, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar, but they all work together. And yes, this is another balsamic vinegar recipe. One of my best friends likes to point out the fact that it's one of the ingredients I use most often, but it has nearly no calories yet provides a lot of flavor. It's a pantry staple.

Sweet Spiced Steak
Printable Recipe

1 medium onion, cut into 3/4-inch thick slices
2 cloves garlic, cracked open and peeled
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 orange, cut into wedges and juiced, rind reserved
2 whole cloves
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 lb 1/2-inch thick lean beef steak, such as boneless sirloin tip, London broil, or flank steak

1. Combine all ingredients in a gallon-sized plastic bag and massage the liquid into the meat. Place the bag in a dish to catch any dribbles that could otherwise land in your fridge and refrigerate at least 2-24 hours.
2. Once marination has finished, extract the steak from the bag and pat it dry with paper towels. Extract the onions and discard everything else in the marinade.
3. Heat a medium skillet over high heat, spray it with cooking spray, and add the onions*. The onions will take longer than the steak. Add the onions to the skillet and cook 10 minutes ahead of the steak.
4. Then, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray and add the steak. Cook for 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare. Remove the steak from the pan and allow it to rest 5 minutes, by which time the onions should be translucent and cooked through.

*Some people may have a problem cooking and eating onions after they've touched the raw meat and marinade that's had raw meat juices on it. Because the onions will be cooked all the way through and the remnant marinade boils around them, I feel this is safe. If you have a problem with this, go ahead and omit this step. You can just cut a fresh onion and saute it on the side for sort of the same effect.

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