Reed Hearon, chef/owner of Rose Pistola,
isn't joking when he uses the term ``terrorized'' to describe his steak.
The marinade is loaded with seasonings that, on first glance, seem excessive:
1/3 cup dried red chile flakes, 1/4 cup black pepper, and 1 whole cup of
rosemary. But this form of excess produces an amazing flavor.
The steak is ``terrorized'' a second time by using high heat to produce a smoky
char. Then when nearly done, Hearon removes the steak from the heat for about 10
minutes before returning it to the grill for the final cooking. That, too, makes
a big difference because it allows the heat to distribute evenly throughout the
steak, creating a uniformly pink center.
The steak emerges from the fire crusty outside and juicy inside. It's then
topped with a compound butter and served with a refreshing watercress salad.
Hearon has many tricks up his sleeve, which is why Rose Pistola is one of the
best Italian restaurants in the Bay Area for both food and ambience. The open
kitchen is equipped with four fireplaces for grilling, roasting and braising
dishes. The tile floor, stylish lights, and black and white photographs on the
wall makes this a grand stage for the Ligurian-inspired Italian food.
Italian Terrorized Steaks
1 C. fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
1/2 C. chopped fresh marjoram
1/2 C. garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/3 C. dried red pepper flakes
1/4 C. salt
1/4 C. ground black pepper
1 1/2 C. olive oil
6 New York steaks
1 1/2 t. fresh lemon juice
pinch of salt
1/4 C. extra-virgin olive oil
6 T. Compound Butter (recipe follows)
1 to 2 bunches watercress (enough for 6 small salads)
6 lemon wedges for garnishing
Combine the rosemary, marjoram, garlic, dried red pepper, salt and 1/4 cup
pepper in a medium bowl. Stir in olive oil. Place steaks in a pan large enough
to hold them in a single layer and pour over marinade, turning several times so
steaks are well coated. Marinate in refrigerator for at least 2 hours or
overnight. Whisk lemon juice and salt together in a small bowl to dissolve.
Gradually whisk in olive oil. Set aside. Preheat grill over hot coals. Rub off
excess marinade from steaks. Season lightly with fresh pepper.
Cook until almost to desired doneness, about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.
Transfer to a platter and let stand for 10 to 20 minutes. Return steaks to grill
and finish cooking, about 1 to 2 minutes more. (Alternatively, steaks can be
cooked indoors on a grill pan, skillet or broiler using same resting time.)
Transfer steaks to plates. Top each with a pat of Compound Butter. Drizzle
dressing over watercress; toss to coat. Place salad alongside the steaks. Serve
with lemon wedges.
Leftover butter can be stored in the freezer and used tossed on hot noodles, as
a topping on grilled or sautéed meats, or spread on bread before toasting in the
oven or grilling.
3 canned anchovy fillets, drained
2 small garlic cloves
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/2 C. unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 bunch chives, minced
Use a mortar and pestle to pound together the anchovy, garlic, lemon zest, salt
and pepper. When smooth, transfer to a small bowl and stir in the softened
butter and chives. Form into a log and refrigerate or freeze until firm.
Yields 1/2 cup.