For the past few days we've been working hard to restore our house to its former glory, wriggling around the crawl space and ducking around the attic, sawing, scraping, painting. But we still had time to hit the farmer's market in town for our supply of greens, cheeses, fish, and, on this occasion, some amazing grass-fed beef--blade steaks. The blade steak is not the tenderest of cuts, but it has so much flavor. To cook, slow-braise in beer, garlic, thick tomato sauce, and herbs. And remember the root veg. For acidity I've used my neighbor's twenty-something-hour tomato sauce. He simmers his tomatoes for that long, adding more every few hours. The result is a thick, deep flavored sauce, akin to rich tomato paste. But any tomato sauce will do for this recipe.
• 2 (about 20oz each) blade steaks • 1 bottle of beer • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped • 2 sprigs thyme • a small bunch of parsley • 1 cup tomato sauce • varieties of veggies - fingerling potatoes, baby carrots, sliced onions • salt + ground black pepper
In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of oil and sear the steaks on both sides. Season with salt and pepper. Put all the ingredients including the steaks in a large cast iron pot. Add water (or stock) until just covered. Simmer on a back burner on low heat for at least 4 hours. Reserve the meat and vegetables and reduce the liquid by half (~15-20 minutes) then whisk in 1 tablespoon of butter mixed with 1 tablespoon of flour. Transfer each serving of meat and veggies to a shallow bowl, pour sauce overtop. Enjoy with crusty bread.