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Playing Meat and Potatoes Meal


For the Gnocchi:
  • 1 3/4 to 2 pounds (2 large) starchy potatoes, such as Russet
  • A couple of pinches of fine sea salt
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • About 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
For the Steak:
  • For the Steak:
  • 1 1/2 to 2 pounds flank steak or top round (sometimes labeled London Broil), 1-inch thick
  • Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
  • About 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus some for drizzling
  • Small lemon wedges
  • A handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Fine sea salt, for sprinkling
For the Escarole:
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 large or 2 medium heads escarole, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
For the Brown Butter and Black Pepper Gnocchi:
  • Salt
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds gnocchi, homemade or store-bought
  • 6 to 8 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • About 1 round teaspoon coarse black pepper


Serves: 4-6


For the Gnocchi:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and boil potatoes in their skins to tender, 40-45 minutes. Turn off heat, remove potatoes and reserve water. Cool potatoes a few minutes until just cool enough to touch but still hot.

Quarter potatoes and scrape away skins with sharp paring knife. Mill the potatoes into a crumbly mash with fork tines or run them through a ricer onto a work surface. Make a well in the potatoes and let cool completely. Season with fine sea salt and nutmeg, and spread flour around the potatoes. Add egg to the well and begin to mix into potatoes. Once incorporated fully, gently kneed potato dough for a few minutes then cut into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a 1-inch dowel then cut gnocchi with a small sharp knife. Press gnocchi with the tines of a fork to create ridges.

Return reserved water to a boil. Drop gnocchi and cook until they float. Remove with a slotted spoon and toss simply with brown butter and cheese, pesto or red sauce of choice.

Gnocchi freezes well: Toss uncooked gnocchi with a drizzle of oil and arrange in a single layer, so they lie flat in freezer-safe plastic food storage bag.

For the Red Wine and Garlic Marinated Sliced Steak

Pat meat dry and season with kosher salt and liberal amount of coarse black pepper. Whisk together wine, garlic, rosemary and EVOO then add to large, 2-gallon plastic food storage bag. Add meat and seal bag, pushing out most of the air. Set meat flat and rub with your hands to distribute the marinade evenly. Refrigerate several hours.

Bring meat to room temperature. Preheat broiler and set an oven rack one notch up from the center. Shake off excess marinade, place beef on a broiler pan and broil 5 minutes on each side for rare, 12 minutes total for pink center or medium. Let meat rest 5-10 minutes then thinly slice against the grain.

Dress each portion of sliced steak with a little lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt combined with parsley and a drizzle of EVOO.

For the Escarole

In a large skillet, heat EVOO over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and cook to soften, 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Wilt escarole into pan, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add stock and lemon zest, simmer gently 10-15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain away excess liquid.

For the Brown Butter and Black Pepper Gnocchi

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and cook gnocchi until they float. Reserve 1/2 cup starchy cooking water before draining.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Add pepper and stir until butter is light brown and fragrant. Add drained gnocchi, a few handfuls of cheese and a splash of cooking water. Toss to combine, adjust seasonings and serve.