Stupid…..stupid…stupid..stupid. This is what I was saying on Friday night. We were going to have weekend company and I thought I would try something new for dinner. Nooooooo!!! You are NEVER supposed to do that! What happens if it doesn’t turn out? What happens if it is overcooked?
Now a normal person would not go into hysterics if dinner is ruined but I think we all know by now I’m not normal! Let me rewind and play back the whole scene for you……
Some friends were coming for the weekend and planning on being here around dinnertime. (Honestly, it doesn’t matter what time you plan on coming to our house…I’ll find a meal to serve you before you get your luggage out of the car.)
The weather was cooler and we weren’t 100% sure when they’d get here so I thought it would be a good reason to enjoy a “simple” soup and sandwich dinner. (Plus, August is National Sandwich Month and I wanted to celebrate!)
Baked potato soup and a beef sandwich sounded great and it was a fun little play on a “steak and potato” dinner.
Problem number 1: I can’t do simple. I try and I try but before I know it, I go crazy and start pulling cookbooks off the shelf and from under the bed. (I have a lot of cooking reading material under my bed….I think whoever cleans my house after I’m gone will find this amusing and maybe a little disturbing.)
Problem number 2: I don’t think I’ve ever made a steak sandwich. I mean, I’ve probably had things like a cheesesteak or roast beef but I’m not sure if I’ve ever made either from scratch. If I have, I don’t do it enough to make it perfect every time.
Problem number 3: I didn’t follow the recipe directions. This wouldn’t normally be a problem if it is something I am used to but for some reason I decided to go rogue!
Problem number 4: I didn’t hear the timer….because I went outside and got distracted. (This was probably the one that set me over the edge.
I made a recipe for Red Wine Braised Flank Steak. It was simple in the fact that you seared the steak and some veggies and then braised it in the oven with a lot of wine. Easy, right? When it was done, it is fork shredded like pulled pork and you put it on a sandwich. I couldn’t possibly screw this up!
I came in the house and it smelled done…burnt…you know…whatever. Luckily when I pulled it out of the oven, only the ends had some well-done spots on them. I tasted it and the flavor was outstanding so I was thrilled.
In my excitement of achieving a nice shreddable piece of meat, I just kept shredding and didn’t let the meat rest….AT ALL!!! (Meat needs to rest so the juices are redistributed evenly.)
I got done and tasted the steak again….um…this is a little dry. Nooo. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. (This is where we started the blog.) What am I going to do?
My first thought was to pretend I never made anything and ask our friends if they wanted to go out to eat. I knew that was a cop-out and it wouldn’t work because our house smelled delicious. My next thought was to have my husband run to the store for more meat. Nope. There just wasn’t time. I needed to find a sauce to save my dinner!
When in doubt, you have to go to the best. I went to the Martha Stewart’s website and found a recipe for Red Wine Sauce (click here for the link). It was uncomplicated and it would match the flavor of the meat. (I had about a cup of wine left so I was lucky…this is where not being a drinker pays off!)
According to the recipe All I had to do is reduce about a cup of wine and add butter. This was too easy to be true. It turned out to be good…..Actually, it wasn’t just good….the flavor really matched.
With my shredded meat already in a sauce pot, I poured my extra wine sauce over the meat and placed the pot lid on. It sat on our warmer pad for about 20 minutes until our guests got here. (The warmer isn’t hot but keeps food at safe temperatures like the warm setting on a crockpot.)
When it was time to assemble my sandwiches, the meat was perfect. It had all of the incredible flavor but it was not dry! Hooray!!!
So, there are three lessons for us to learn today since I don’t technically have a recipe to share. First, don’t try a new recipe unless you are prepared to deal with the consequences. Second, don’t toss out an overcooked roast…sauce it down so no one knows your dirty little secret. Finally, company is supposed to be enjoyable. Don’t put so much pressure on yourself that you incapable of having fun.