Tag Archives: steak

Steak and Blue Cheese Hand Pies


A hand pie, I will have you know, is when you put fillings in little circles of pie crust, fold it over, and then bake it like a turnover.  In Michigan, we call these pasties (that’s pronounced PAHS-ties, as opposed to PAYS-ties, and you are all filthy if you thought the other thing).

Oh wait. First I want to address the fact that neither Sue nor I have written a blog post since July.  Well, we have the following to say for ourselves: we were busy, and apologize for the long delay. I CAN say that we cooked many interesting things while we’ve been away, including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with potato chips on it, a Christmas yule log, crab jambalaya WITH CRABS THAT I MYSELF CAUGHT FROM THE OCEAN, KILLED* AND CLEANED, a turducken and a devil’s food cake, but we didn’t blog about any of it. (Hint on the PB&J: you put the chips right on the sandwich!!!)

*I didn’t kill them, my boyfriend did. Crabs are a lot harder to kill than you’d think, and also if, say, you try to kill one and just piss it off instead, it gets verrrrry fighty.

So, hand pies/pasties, which are basically the same thing. Pasties originated in Cornwall, and arrived in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with Cornish immigrants who came for the UP copper mining.  They can be filled with savory or sweet things, though traditionally it would be beef and root vegetables.  The crust is a traditional shortcrust pastry, a basic pie crust with a 1:2 fat to flour ratio. We filled ours with some leftover jerk chicken, and made some with steak, blue cheese and caramelized onion. That’s the recipe I’ll post, because it’s going to make you cry, it’s so good. This recipe makes about 7 hand pies.


2 cups flour

1 cup cold butter, diced

3/4 cup very cold vodka

1 tsp salt

Egg wash (whisk together one egg with 2 tsp of cold water and set aside)


1 lb or so of sirloin steak, salted and peppered on both sides

1 yellow onion, diced

2 tbsp butter

1/4 cup wine, any kind will do

salt and pepper

blue cheese

Method:  In a food processor, pulse the flour, salt and butter until the mixture is grainy like sand. Drop in the cold vodka about a teaspoon at a time until the mixture JUST holds together. DO NOT OVERMIX. Remove the dough from the food processor, shape it into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This resting process is extremely important and I think has something to do with gluten but I forget, so just do it, or else watch this video.  Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees.

While the dough is resting in the fridge and the oven is pre-heating, make the filling.  In a cast iron pan on medium-high heat, melt 1 tbsp of butter and sear the steak for 2-3 minutes per side, then remove to a plate and let rest. In the same pan but heat reduced to medium, melt the remaining tbsp of butter and cook the onions until browned and even lightly charred, scraping up all the delicious beef bits.


After maybe 6 or 7 minutes, deglaze the pan with whatever wine you have and cook until the liquid is absorbed, then turn off the heat. Dice the steak into cute little bite sized pieces.


good luck not eating this before you put it in the hand pies.

After resting and preparing the filling, unwrap the dough, separate it into as many balls as you want to have hand pies (we  made 7 with this amount of dough), and on a lightly floured work surface, roll each dough ball out into a  little circle.


my boyfriend ends up doing most of the gnarly jobs. rolling out dough, killing crabs, etc.

Pile a little steak, a little onions and some blue cheese bits onto the circles, fold them over into a half moon shape, pinch the ends together with your fingers (or use the tines of a fork to crimp them) and lay them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush them with egg wash and bake them for 20-25 minutes or until browned.


egg wash SEEMS stupid and pointless, but it gets the crust all brown and delicious. a good idea would be to feed the leftover egg wash to your dog. i bet he would like it.

You can reheat these in the oven as long as they last, which will be zero days. I took these to work for lunch and I didn’t heat them up, I just kept it on my desk so when I ate it it was room temperature and the crust was crisp and fantastic and I wish I still had some of these but I don’t because we ate them all. Also, MAY I SUGGEST eating the steak ones with a little dollop of raspberry jam. Good GOD they’re delicious.

– Cat



Filed under Appetizers, Baked Goods, Meat, Recipes

Steak Salad with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette

i ate this, immediately after photographing it.

Cooking for just yourself is one of life’s REAL pleasures.  You get to cook exactly what you feel like eating, no one judges you if you open a bottle of wine as soon as you start cooking, you can listen to the same album over and over and no one says “sorry, no more Florence + the Machine, it’s been 438 times in a row”, you can cook with no pants on if you feel like it.  You can eat as slowly as you want and no one starts cleaning up while you’re still eating (Susie Dubeck, you know what I’m saying).  It’s glorious.  This recipe is a perfect example of what I make when I’m alone and can pick whatever I want: meat and vegetables.  And wine.

Apparently, and I’ve just become aware of this, some people look at being alone for dinner and think: fantastic!  I don’t have to cook!  I’m ordering a pizza immediately.  But I like the ritual of cooking dinner.  It slows me down.  Cooking and eating are physical acts, they require that I focus on movements and tangible things.  I look at a computer screen all day and live in my head, like we all do, and I like to cut and stir and move food around with my hands every day.  I find it brings a fitting opposition to the rest of my life.

I would also like to note that I made up this dressing recipe.  It’s delicious.

Steak Salad with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette


Steaks – I used a NY strip, which I ate approximately 1/3 of.  Cook as many steaks as you’ll need for the people you’re serving.  Salt and pepper the steaks on both sides, and let them come to room temperature 30 minutes before you want to cook them.

1 onion, sliced

1 package white mushrooms, sliced

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

crumbled goat cheese – I used goat cheese with peppadew peppers, because they had it, and it sounded AWESOME



1 package cherry tomatoes

3-4 cloves of garlic, peeled but kept whole

4 tbsp olive oil, 2 for drizzling over the tomatoes while they cook, two for putting in the dressing itself

2 tbsp red wine vinegar, or apple cider, or white

1 tbsp dijon mustard

2 tsp sugar

salt and pepper


Turn your oven on broil, and put the tomatoes, garlic, 2 tbsp olive oil and salt and pepper in some kind of metal pan (I used an 8 inch metal cake pan, because I sure as shit don’t use it to bake cakes).  Put the pan on a low rack in the oven, so the tomatoes cook quickly but don’t burn from being RIGHT under the broiler.  Shake the pan around every few minutes, cooking until the tomatoes are all split open and browned, and there’s a bit of bubbly juice in the pan, probably 15-20 minutes.  Remove the pan and set it aside to cool while you cook the steak.

garlic and tomatoes roasting together don't smell bad, i can tell you that right now.

Put a cast iron or metal (NOT nonstick) pan on high heat, and heat it up for a few minutes, until you can flick water into the pan and it sizzles violently.  Assuming you’re using a relatively thick steak like a NY strip, sit the steak in the pan and let it stay there for 3 minutes without moving it.  After 3 minutes, flip the thing and cook another 2-3 minutes, which will yield you a rare steak.  If you want to cook it more, do 4 minutes a side.  If you want it cooked more than that, read someone else’s blog.  Remove the steak to a plate, tent with foil and let it sit there while you fix everything else.

In the same pan, toss in the 1 tbsp butter and 1 tbsp olive oil, and then put in the onions and mushrooms.  Turn the heat down to medium.  Cook until the onions are soft and translucent and the mushrooms are nicely browned, probably 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.

when mushrooms are cooked NOT in liquid, they get nice and browned. SCIENCE. or something.

While that is happening, put your tomato/garlic mixture in a food processor with all the other dressing ingredients- the vinegar, mustard, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper.  Puree until smooth.  Take a minute to admire how pretty it is.

it's really that color. i didn't change it in photoshop. promise!

When the onions and mushrooms are ready, slice the steak against the grain.  Make a big pile of spinach on a plate, top that with onions and mushrooms, crumble some goat cheese over it, lay some steak on top of that, and drizzle the lot with dressing.  You could serve it with some crusty bread, but what would be the point?  Bread just takes up stomach room you could save for dessert.  Or wine!

– Cat


Filed under Meat, Recipes, Salad, Vegetables

Steak and Greens

i like a rare steak. what of it.

I love my grill.  I love it so much that sometimes, late at night, I walk out onto my balcony and give it a supportive little pat, because I want it to know I appreciate it.

But that shiny, beautiful jerk likes to overcook my steaks.  It won’t overcook chicken, sausage, pork, or even shrimp.  It saves its brattiness for really good steaks.  Which is why, for better or worse, I cook my steaks in a pan on the stove.  Please don’t tell my dad.

I have an easier time controlling the temperature of the steaks in a pan on the stove.  I use a big, stainless steel skillet, which gets really hot, and then I can melt a little bacon grease before I put the steaks in.  Additionally, there’s all kinds of brownish-beefish bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, which are crying out to be made into a sauce, or to perform my absolute favorite cooking miracle: COOKING ALL THE ELEMENTS OF YOUR MEAL IN THE SAME PAN.  Yeah, this whole dinner occurs in one pan.

Steak and Greens

2 steaks, any kind will do.  I used sirloin this time, but my favorite choice is ribeye.  Whatever you like is fine.

salt and pepper

a little bacon fat, if you have it

1 bunch Swiss chard, ribbed and roughly chopped*

2 shallots, minced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp dijon mustard

3-4 tbsp brown sugar

red pepper flakes, if you like

a few tablespoons of water

crusty bread and butter

Method: Remove the steaks from the fridge 30 minutes or so before you want to cook them.  Season them liberally with salt and pepper.  In a large pan (large enough to cook two steaks at the same time, keeping them at least 2 inches apart from each other and the sides of the pan – if you don’t have a pan that big, cook them one at a time) on high heat, melt a little bacon grease and wait for the pan to get really, really hot.  When it’s hot enough, pop in the steaks, they should sizzle, a lot.  Depending on the thickness of the beef, it might take 2-4 minutes per side for medium rare.  Err on the side of bloody, that’s what I say.

see how they're not crowded in the pan? don't crowd them!

A minute or two before your steaks are cooked to your desired doneness, remove them to a plate and cover with foil.  Don’t cut them or mess with them or anything, just leave them alone for awhile.  In the meantime, turn the heat down to medium, toss the garlic, shallots, vinegar, mustard, sugar and water into the pan and let it cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring it around so the browned bits of beef are all deglazed.


Finally, put all the chard into the pan and move it around with tongs, letting it wilt.  I do this whole process for maybe 6 minutes or so, 3 minutes with the heat still on, 3 minutes with the heat turned off.  When that’s done, you can slice your steaks (against the grain!!!) and serve over the greens, with crusty bread to sop up the beef drippings/greens dressing.

* Swiss chard is kind of a pain in the ass.  It’s a really sandy vegetable, so you have to wash it carefully, and it requires that you cut out almost all of the center ribs in the 5000 leaves of chard the bunch you buy will certainly include.  So to cut out the rib, rinse each leaf well, lay it out flat, and cut out the rib with a knife.  When they’ve all been de-ribbed, roll them up in bunches and cut them up.

pain in the ass vegetable. but it is among the most nutritionally dense vegetables on the planet. also: they look like dinosaur plants.

– Cat


Filed under BBQ, Meat, Recipes, Sides, Vegetables

Momofuku ribeyes, boyfriend style

So Dom wanted to make me dinner. Or rather- I dropped extremely unsubtle hints about him making me dinner until he agreed. Dom does a hilarious and adorable thing when attempting to cook, which is, look around panicked at all the ingredients out on the counter having no idea where to start. He doesn’t know what to chop first or cook first (or, when cooking for himself, which to open first, the box or the jar). Learning how to time correctly in cooking is, in my opinion, the hardest part of it, so rather than let him freak out trying to cook me dinner, I suggested we cook dinner together. Here’s what we made:

Momofuku Pan-Roasted Steak

2-2.5 lb bone in ribeye (I made 2 1.5 lb ribeyes, because I like steak, and because so does Dom)
fresh ground pepper

4 tbsp butter
3 cloves of garlic
1-2 shallots
a sprig of thyme

Coat the steaks liberally with salt and pepper, and let them come to room temperature while you’re doing whatever else. In the meantime, put your oven on at 400 degrees, and let the biggest cast iron (or general oven safe) pan you have get reaaaaaaally hot on the stove.

When the steaks are room temperature, the oven is at temperature and the pan is smoking, put the steak in the pan, and probably open a window and turn on the fan above your stove. Let the steak sit without moving for 2 minutes, then flip and let the other side cook for 2 minutes. The Momofuku recipe has you sear the side of the steak on the fatty edge, but I didn’t do that.

Then, put the whole thing, pan and all, in the hot oven. The recipe says leave it in the oven for 8 minutes, and don’t you dare touch it while it’s in there. I would say more like 4-4.5 minutes and don’t you dare touch it, but I like a medium-rare steak. If you like a medium-well steak, you could go 8 minutes. I did as the recipe said and left it for 8 minutes, and the steaks were more done than I like them.

After however many minutes you decide, take the whole thing out and put it over low heat on the stove, putting in the pan the 4 tbsp of butter, the shallots, garlic and thyme. Now, for the next, and most important step, baste the hell out of the steak with all that melted butter and deliciousness. This was a job I gave to Dom, because the thing weighs like 40 lb. Basically, you hold the pan at a 45 degree angle, letting the butter pool at one side of the pan, then you spoon it over the steaks, moving everything around a bit. You do this for 3-5 minutes, I’d say, depending on how done you like your steaks. For medium rare, like I like it, I would go maybe 3-4 minutes.

Then put the steaks on a plate to rest, for 10 minutes. I cannot, for the love of God, stress how important it is to let your meat rest. I know you’re hungry, but trust me. You WANT to wait. If you don’t wait for them to rest, you may as well have had cheeseburgers instead.

While the steaks are resting, keep the juices/butter/garlic bubbling in the pan, you can cook it down and spoon it over the steaks when you’re ready to serve them. I say you CAN cook it down, but I mean you MUST, because if you don’t you’re a total nut.

Now listen. I had every intention of taking pretty pre-eating steak pictures, but I didn’t, and remembered halfway through eating to take a picture, because Dom reminded me.

please disregard the fact that it is half eaten

This steak was REALLY good.  It was tender, with a nice crust on the outside, flavorful and well, beefy.  I’ve eaten a fair bit of steak in my life, and cooked a fair bit of steak myself as well, and I know for a fact that the two most important things in the process are 1. don’t move it around once it’s on the heat and 2. LET IT REST.  This episode of steak cooking also taught me that undercooking steak is the right choice, especially because you let it rest, which allows for some extra cooking time.  But really- why I never thought of basting a steak with melted butter while it was cooking is a complete mystery.  Also, something I thought of that would likely be totally delicious is adding a slug or two of good red wine in with the melted butter.  I made some pretty middle of the road but tasty sides with it, garlic mashed potatoes (again, not shy with the butter and cream) and green beans, which I dressed with caramelized onions, and a quick vinaigrette of apple cider vinegar, brown mustard and honey.

There was, by the way, no leftover steak.


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Filed under Meat, Recipes