Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23: Super Mashers with Steak and Pepper Hash

4 large starchy potatoes, such as Idaho
   Coarse salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 garlic cloves, chopped
4 scallions, chopped
1 1/3 pounds 1-inch-thick beef sirloin, trimmed and thinly sliced
   Coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and thinly sliced
2 Anaheim or poblano chilies, seeded and thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
   Several drops of hot sauce, such as Tabasco, to taste
   Juice of 1 lime
1/2 cup sour cream or reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 to 1/2 cup milk or reduced-fat milk, depending on how soft you like your mashers
1 sack (10 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Peel the taters and cut them into small chunks. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water.

Cover the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Uncover, add salt to season, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

In a small pot over medium-low heat, add about 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil - just eyeball it. Add the butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the garlic. Saute the garlic for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the scallions and remove the pan from the heat. Reserve.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Season the sliced steak with salt and pepper, then heat 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. The oil will smoke - don't freak out, just add the meat and start searing it up.

Brown the strips on all sides, hit it with some Worcestershire sauce, then push it off to one side of the pan and add the remaining tablespoons of vegetable oil to the pan. Add the peppers, chilies, and onions, season with salt and pepper, then toss them around, searing the edges, for another minute or two before combining all the meat and veggies together.

Add the thyme and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, keeping everything moving around like a stir-fry. Turn off the heat and drizzle some hot sauce and the lime juice over the steak and veggies. Adjust the seasonings.

Drain the potatoes, then return them to the hot pot to evaporate some of the water content. Add the reserved garlic and scallion mixture to the potatoes along with the sour cream and start smashing away with a masher. Add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup milk to get the potatoes to the desired consistency. Season the super mashers with salt and pepper.

Pile up one fourth of the potatoes on each plate. Top with a generous handful of Cheddar cheese. Pile up meat and veggies on top of the super mashers and serve. The heat of the meat and veggies will melt the cheese. YUMMO!


This meal is ok, but I would definitely change some things next time around. First of all, I would skip the garlic/scallion mixture in the potatoes... my husband didn't like the scallions and I didn't like the (almost) raw garlic. Second, I would not add any hot sauce, since the chilies add enough heat to the dish. My daughters had trouble eating it. Then, I might leave out the sour cream, because with the lime juice, the whole dish is already fairly sour, and there's not much to balance out the sourness. Finally, the steak was flavorful, but very tough. I might either slice it even thinner, or tenderize it beforehand. This is the master recipe, so I'll get 2 more shots at it... first with chicken, then with shrimp. We'll see if I can get it right.

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