"If i came up with a list of five meals for men and I didn't include a steak, it wouldn't make sense. People would be like, 'What's up?'" Keller tells me.
He's got a point, and not just because everybody thinks of steak as the ultimate guy food. Seared cow meat and burly red wine really do have some incantational power to stitch a weary male soul together again, reassuring a man that he's living right and all's well in the universe. Anyone can learn to grill a porterhouse, but Keller recommends the classic French bistro steak – an intensely flavored cut known as the bavette or, to any good American butcher, the "outside skirt."
The Complete Recipe: Skirt Steak With Red Wine Jus and Caramelized Shallots
• 10 oz "Outside skirt" steak, a.k.a. bavette
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 1 tbsp canola oil
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
• 1 tsp minced thyme
For the Red Wine Jus
• 2 cups red wine
• 1/4 cup diced yellow onions
• 1/4 cup carrots, peeled and sliced
• 1/4 cup sliced leeks, white and light-green parts only
• 1/4 cup sliced shallots
• 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
• 1 thyme sprig
• 2 parsley sprigs
• 1 bay leaf
• 6 black peppercorns
• 1 garlic clove, smashed
• 1 cup veal stock (MJ alternative: 1 tbsp Williams-Sonoma veal demi-glace)
Combine all ingredients for the red-wine jus, except the veal stock, in a saucepan. Simmer until the wine reduces almost to a glaze. Add the stock and simmer another 15 minutes. (Alternative: Add the veal demi-glace and 2 tbsp water, then stir. No need to simmer further.) Strain through a fine-mesh strainer. The jus should have the consistency of a thin sauce. Reduce further if needed. Set aside.
Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Add the canola oil to a large skillet over high heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the steak.
After about 2 minutes, or when the steak is nicely seared and browned, turn it over and set the butter on top. Once the butter begins to melt, baste the steak.
After about 7 minutes total cooking time, transfer the meat to a warm place (a cutting board is fine) and let rest for at least 10 minutes – this is key, as it allows moisture to redistribute evenly.
While the meat rests, add sliced shallots to the skillet and cook for 2 minutes, or until soft.
Add thyme, reduce heat, and cook gently until shallots are completely softened and golden brown.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes to caramelize. Stir juices from the steak into the shallots.
Spoon about 2 tbsp of jus onto a plate; top with the steak (sliced or whole) and then the shallots.