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Black Vinegar-Glazed Porterhouse Steaks atop a Spelt, Corn, and Green Pea Ragout

  • For the Black Vinegar Glaze:
    • 2 1/3 cups balsamic vinegar
    • ½ cup brown sugar
    • ¼ cup pitted fresh cherries
    • 2 tablespoons black currants
    • 4 porterhouse steaks, about 16 ounces each of Omaha Steaks
  • For the Ragout:
    • 1 cup spelt
    • 1 ¾ cups chicken stock
    • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
    • 2 teaspoons ground coriander seeds
    • 2 teaspoons ground fennel seeds
    • 1 cup sliced (1/2 inch thick) smoked bacon
    • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
    • 3 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 ½ red bell peppers, seeded and diced
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas
    • 1 ½ cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 3 ears)
    • 1 bunch scallions, sliced
    • ½ tablespoon sugar
    • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper

  1. Spelt is a wheatlike grain that was grown extensively in ancient times - it is even mentioned in the New Testament. It is higher in protein and more disease resistant than wheat, and has a higher vitamin and mineral content, which explains its recent increase in popularity. In addition, it's an ideal alternative for those who have a dietary or metabolic intolerance of wheat. As this recipe proves, spelt makes a fine ragout that also provides an interesting topic of conversation!
  2. Balsamic vinegar is a traditional match with soft fruit (it's often served over strawberries in Italy), and this unusual fruit glaze works marvelously with the flavors of the beef.
  3. Combine all the ingredients for the glaze in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the mixture by half. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, and puree until smooth. Strain the glaze through a fine-mesh sieve into a glass dish large enough to hold the steaks. Place the porterhouse steaks in the dish, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour but preferably up to 3 hours. Turn the steaks over at least once.
  4. To prepare the ragout, combine the spelt and stock in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, lower the heat to medium, and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed and the spelt is tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Place the cumin, coriander, and fennel in a small, dry skillet and toast over low heat for about 1 minute, or until fragrant. Set aside.
  6. Fry the bacon in a large, heavy sauté pan over medium-high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Reserve.
  7. Return the sauté pan to the heat, add the shallot and garlic, and sauté over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the bell peppers and sauté 1 minute longer. Stir in the cooked spelt, peas, and corn, and sauté the mixture for 3 minutes. Stir in the toasted cumin, coriander, and fennel. Stir in the scallions, sugar, and vinegar, and sauté for 5 minutes, until all the flavors have blended.
  8. Prepare the grill (or, alternatively, the steaks can be broiled).
  9. Remove the steaks from the glaze and season with salt and pepper. (Reserve the glaze to brush on the steaks immediately before serving, if you wish.) Place the steaks on the hot grill and cook for about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare or about 8 minutes per side for medium. Brush the steaks with a little of the glaze after you have removed them from the grill.
  10. Place the steaks in the center of each serving plate, spoon the ragout around the steaks, and serve immediately.

Serves: 4

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