I’ve mentioned a time or two, or twenty, that I have a reality television affliction. I blame it on cable and Tivo because before they came into my life, I happily turned the boob tube off and read books or called people. Or got off my couch and actually left my house. Ok, maybe not so much that last one. I know I need to take responsibility for my actions, and make healthier choices, so I have quietly started to break up with some of my mental junk food, deleting season passes out of Tivo.
Like falling in with the “wrong” crowd, getting hooked on reality television programming is a slippery slope. It started innocently enough for me. Wonderous treasures on Antiques Roadshow. Stir fry on Yan Can Cook. Homesteading drama on Frontier House. Power tools with The New Yankee Workshop. And happy little trees and clouds with Bob Ross. PBS was my commercial-free gateway drug into reality television.
From there, harnessing the power of cable, it was only a hop, a skip, and a jump into The Real World. And then the decline came fast and furious. Who Wants To Marry A Millionaire. The Millionaire Matchmaker. Flipping Out. Shear Genius. America’s Next Top Model. Worst Cook In America. Real Housewives (NY and NJ). RuPaul’s Drag Race. Ricky Lake’s Charm School. Celebrity Rehab. Sober House. Deadliest Catch. Iron Chef America. Ace of Cakes. Next Food Network Star. Big Brother. Survivor. The Amazing Race.
How did I go from Bob Ross painting happy little trees to contestants lip synching for their lives as RuPaul searched for the next drag superstar? How did This Old House morph into two Stetson wearing, rodeo riding, cowboys racing around the world saying things like “oh my gravy”?
For what it’s worth, I take complete responsibility for my viewing choices. It doesn’t mean I’m going to give them up cold turkey though. I’ve seen enough episodes of Celebrity Rehab to know that withdrawal is painful to the addict and those around him. Thanks to Celebrity Rehab, I also recognize that previous statement is nothing more than a justification to keep on using. Dr. Drew would be so proud.
Now, if I could just stop walking around the house singing “Don’t Be Jealous Of My Boogie”. RuPaul would definitely not be so proud.
Steak and Oh My Gravy
Adapted from Melissa d’Arabian’s French Cut Steak
BAH Note: I fell in love with this recipe when I tasted the pan sauce (gravy). It is rich and velvety thanks to the butter, and well flavored even if you don’t have any meat juices to add back into the pan.
Be careful if you substitute flank steak for the skirt steak. Flank steak is thicker and leaner and requires more time to cook but can also be very easily overcooked. If using flank steak, be sure to slice it across the grain for serving otherwise your pieces of steak will be tough and chewy and you’ll seriously consider hunting me down and taking out your disappointment on me.
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pound skirt steak, cut into two to four pieces
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 2 sweet onions, sliced
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup beef broth
Combine the spices and kosher salt in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture into the steak and let sit for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft and caramelized.
In a second large skillet, heat the remaining vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon butter over high heat. Add the steak and cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side until nicely browned. Transfer the steak to a plate, cover to keep warm, and let it rest for 10 minutes as you make the sauce.
Return the now empty skillet to high heat and deglaze the pan with the wine and vinegar, scraping up any bits from the pan. Let the liquid reduce by half then add the onions and beef broth. Cook until the liquid reduces by half, add any accumulated juices from the resting steak back into the pan, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the remaining butter, one tablespoon at a time.
Slice the steak and serve topped with the sauce.