WHAT IS POMEGRANATE AND BALSAMIC DRESSING?
It is a delicious Iranian dressing that blends both the seeds from a pomegranate fruit and aged vinegar made from Trebbiano grapes. This steak salad recipe is from the cookbook Persiana by Chef Sabrina Ghayour (Read our review here). It offers an unusual flavor profile for seared beef that is remarkably delicious. Using both pomegranate syrup--a common Middle Eastern ingredient and balsamic vinegar. We like our own Chef’s Mandala White Balsamic Vinegar . This dish is a offers an excellent balance of astringency to the fatty beef and rich flavor that isn’t cloying. Think of it like a big red wine accompanying a juice steak.
In her headnote the author writes: “This is, hands-down, one of the most popular dishes in my entire repertoire. Every time I make it, it only reminds me of one person…my cousin Laily who, whenever we eat together, pleased “Please can you make the pomegranate beef?” This dish of lovely juicy silvers of beef with the sharp yet sweet sauce drizzled over it, finished with brightly colored pomegranate seeds is a real crowd-pleaser and looks spectacular.
SUGGESTIONS WHEN MAKING SEARED BEEF WITH POMEGRANATE & BALSAMIC DRESSING
- Olive Oil – Which one?
All olive oils are not created equal, not even close. And even ones from the same geographic region can have drastically different flavors that range from insipid to death by ghost pepper chile hot (talking about you fresh from the harvest Picual). Make sure to choose an extra virgin olive oil that is strong enough to hold its own against the other flavors in this recipe.
- When are Pomegranates Available?
In the northern hemisphere they are available October through February and are grown in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. In the U.S.A. almost all of the production is from California. South of the equator, most of the production is in Chile from March through May.
- Let Your Steak Rest!
Most people cook their steak, yank it out of the oven, then chop chop, munch munch and in your belly it goes. This is a mistake! Let the steak rest for about half the cooking time. Then gently warm it up for a few minutes before serving. Texture as the meat relaxes will be noticeably more pleasing to your palette.
- How much dressing per serving of lettuce?
Remember, you are making a dressing that needs to add flavor to a significantly greater mass of food. The classic ratio of vinegar to olive oil in professional kitchens is 3 (EVOO) to 1 (vinegar). But this is a rough number and can vary somewhat depending on the ingredients used. And little tricks like rubbing half of a raw garlic clove all over the inside of your empty salad bowl can impact how much dressing you need to imbue flavor (not in the ingredients for this recipe). In terms of how much dressing per bowl of lettuce, this is subject to personal preference. But most people use too much. The amount ranges from about 2 tablespoons (30 ml) to 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of dressing per 2 cups of roughage.
WHAT PAIRS WELL WITH POMEGRANATE AND BALSAMIC DRESSING?
This recipe has a meaty flavor with tart notes. In terms of tasty beverages, wine is a bit tricky here. A sparkling wine or Riesling could work. I wanted to recommend a classic Persian beer, but everything of note seems to be made across the border in Armenia. Author Enrique Porter has a great article on this. In it he says “At a good Moscow traktir, if you sit down and order a cheese sandwich, you get a cheese sandwich and a shot of ice-cold vodka. Iran, by contrast, has little on the surface to recommend it as a boozer’s paradise, other than a city in the southeast with the seductive name Shiraz. If you sit down and order a cheese sandwich and a shot of vodka in Tehran, you get a cheese sandwich and a savage beating.” To read more click here! (written by Chef Stef)