Before this recipe, I had never tried fennel before. And why would I? It’s always been described as having a liquorice flavor, and frankly, that sounds like something the devil made to me. But when I was creating new oyster recipes for the magazine and I came across the theory that seafood could be smothered in a fennel butter, I decided to give it a try.
The point of this post is really the goat cheese sauce, as I’m sure you know how to make brown rice. See, I really like brown rice — well, I like rice of all sorts — but my husband requires a sauce on it to find it edible. So I like to experiment with sauce that aren’t too terribly unhealthy. This sauce, made mostly of goat cheese, chicken broth, and white wine, is an excellent companion for brown rice, as well as the chicken and steamed snow peas I served along with it.
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter
4 ounces goat cheese
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the white wine and whisk to combine. Continue to whisk as you add the goat cheese, one ounce at a time. As the goat cheese melts, drizzle in the chicken broth until the sauce reaches the consistency you desire (you might not need to use the full cup). Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately over rice.
Flank steak — often marked as “London Broil” — is often one of the cheapest cuts of meat available, especially when you catch it on sale. Typically, directions for cooking it call for grilling or broiling it for a few minutes on each side, and then cutting it against the grain and serving it as-is.
I’m not really sure what’s wrong with me, but I’ve never thought this method of preparation was particularly good. Therefore, I thought maybe I could treat it like a roast and throw it in the crockpot all day.
So I did, and it turned out well. But once it was done, the liquid the steak had cooked it was too soup to serve as any sort of sauce over the side of pasta I was planning. Hmm — what to do?
I decided to treat it kind of like a gravy, adding liquid to a pan and letting it reduce to create a concentrated tomato sauce flavor. I started with just a canned of diced tomatoes and let it cook down until it was almost caramelized. Then I slowly began adding the liquid from the slow cooker and letting it boil down. Add liquid, boil ’til reduced, repeat. It created a delicious tomato “gravy” to put over the pasta and sauce.
Flank Steak with Easy Tomato “Gravy”
2 pound flank steak, often labeled as “London Broil”
1 cup red wine
2 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, smashed
A drizzle of olive oil
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Combine all but one can diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours, until the meat is tender and falling apart.
Remove the meat from the Crock Pot to a plate and set aside. Add one 14.5-ounce can of tomatoes to a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook until the liquid has evaporated. Add the liquid from the slow cooker a half cup to 3-4 cup at a time and let it boil, stirring occasionally. When the liquid has reduced, add more, until all the liquid has been used. It should be a sauce-like consistency. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.