Rib-eye with grilled grape sauce and garlic herb shoestring potatoes
"Why not?" Encouraging his team to ask that question is a technique chef Gabe Garcia uses to foster creative thinking. In this case, the question was, "Why not grill grapes?" The result: a delicious accompaniment to steak.
Executive Chef Gabe Garcia Tierra Sur at Herzog Wine Cellars
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5 lb. red seedless grapes
2 cups medium diced shallots
2 cups medium diced cipollini onion or any sweet onion
2 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
1 cup beef stock
2 tbsp. agave
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
6 (1-inch-thick) boneless rib-eye steaks
3 tbsp. coarse ground fennel seed
3 tbsp. coarse sea salt flakes
1 1/2 tbsp. coarse ground black peppercorn
1 1/2 tbsp. coarse ground green peppercorn
3 lb. russet potatoes, peeled
2 quarts peanut oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. finely chopped rosemary
1 tbsp. finely chopped thyme
1 tbsp. finely chopped sage
Kosher salt, to taste
To make grape sauce: Prepare a medium-hot fire on a grill. With a grill basket or rack, grill grapes 8 to 10 minutes or until they begin to slightly char. Place in a bowl, let cool and remove grapes from stems.
In a large saucepan, caramelize shallots and onion until tender. Add grapes and any residual juices left in the bowl. Pour in vinegar, stock and agave. Reduce until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Makes about 1 1/2 quarts. Leftover sauce can be refrigerated up to 4 days.
To make rib-eyes: Prepare a medium-hot fire on a grill. Let steaks stand at room temperature 15 to 20 minutes. Combine seasonings and rub steaks evenly with mixture. Grill steaks over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or to desired doneness. Rest steaks on a rack for 2 to 4 minutes before serving.
To make potatoes: Cut potatoes into 4-inch lengths about 1/16-by-1/16 inches (it is easiest to do this with a mandoline). Place in a large glass or plastic bowl and cover with water. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Drain potatoes, then dry thoroughly with paper towels. Check oil temperature with a candy thermometer. When oil reaches 375 degrees, fry potatoes in small batches until golden, about 3 minutes per batch. Drain potatoes on paper towels. Toss with garlic and herbs and season with salt.
To serve: Place steak on plate. Spoon sauce over steak and top with shoestring potatoes.
Photo by David Whittemore