Intro: Sirloin With Cowboy Mac-n-Cheese
Welcome one and all!!
Want to elevate your steak meals to the next level??!!!?! Try a slow-cooker...
This recipe will lock in all the flavors, moisture and goodness while keeping the steaks nice and tender. It's easy, satisfying and a great taste of the Southwest!
This slow-cooker / crock pot meal can be prepared and eaten in about 2 hours! This particular meal is one that you would not want to set-and-forget and has just enough breaks after starting to have a nice glass of wine while waiting... This'll serve at least four hungry mouths (This is being prepared for 3). You'll want to pay attention to the times and / or temperatures in order to make sure the steak is cooked the way you want and the pasta gets done with the correct texture and doneness.
Step 1: Ingredients
For this meal you'll want to gather and prepare:
1.5lb (.7kg) of sirloin beef that is about 2" thick (thickness is important here!)
3/4 cup of sharp cheddar cheese
8oz (226g) of processed cheese loaf (I used Velveeta block in this recipe)
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chili (I used Ro-Tel brand original)*
*If not into spicy heat, grab the "mild" versions
3 Tablespoons (Approx) of roughly chopped cilantro
1.5 cups of beef broth
2 cups of rotini pasta (or your favorite)
3 cloves of chopped garlic
Step 2: Preparations!
Open and DRY your sirloin on a cutting board or other prepared surface, then apply a GENEROUS amount of salt and pepper to all sides. This coating of salt and pepper will provide a nice crusty sear.
While the steak is sitting, gather the cheeses, tomato / chili, the broth, the garlic and cilantro.
- The cheddar is best shredded and then placed in a small bowl for later, the cheese block should be cut in to 1/2 inch cubes and then you can store in the bowl with the shredded cheddar.
- Roughly chop as much garnish cilantro as you want, but about 3 tablespoons worth is enough to garnish 3 plates (see what I did there?)
- The can of diced tomato and chili can sit in the can until the step requires it.
Remember that steak that's resting over there? Yes? Good... because now you'll need to preheat a skillet with a light coating of olive oil and get it HOT. Why hot? When you place the steaks on the skillet, you want them to sear and not really cook. Plus it gives you an opportunity to buy a cast iron skillet with grill lines to make it gorgeous!
SEAR FOR NO MORE THAN 1 MIN PER SIDE!!!
Then you should put those steaks right into the cooker...
Step 3: Cook the Steak... Nice and Slow...
Those nice seared steaks are now ready to be placed into your favorite slow-cooker. This is the step where you want to pour the broth, chopped garlic and the diced tomato / chili.
Plug that cooker in, get that baby heating on HIGH. Don't forget your lid!
If you have a kitchen thermometer, this is where you can get very precise and technical.
Cook for roughly 1 - 2 hours (depending on finish you want) until the internal temperature is the correct doneness:
Rare: 130°F (54°C)
Medium Rare: 135°F (57°C)
Medium: 145°F (63°C)
Medium Well: 155°F (68°C)
Well: 160°F (71°C)
This example is going to be cooked to Medium Rare / Medium with a goal temperature of 140°F.
Step 4: WINE and WAIT
For those of legal drinking age, this is a great opportunity to enjoy an adult beverage and pat yourself on the back! The second hardest part is over; the hardest part will be figuring out where all the food went after its done!
Step 5: Remove Steak and Add Pasta of Choice
Once the steak is cooked to the desired level, you should remove it to rest. It would be best to wrap it in foil until the pasta is done!
Now is the time to add the pasta! The pasta will cook in the broth / steak juice now for approximately 15-20 minutes and then TURN OFF the cooker**. It will be VERY IMPORTANT to cook this pasta with the lid closed and when the time is up, adjust longer if needed in case your cooker is different. You do not want spongy or soggy pasta!
**The pasta will continue to cook a little, and will leave enough residual heat for the next step
Step 6: Say... CHEESE!
After the (approximate) 15-20 minutes of pasta cooking is complete, add the cheeses to the mix. Stir this mixture until the cheese is melted thoroughly. The cheese and pasta will continue to cook in the residual heat for approximately 5 minutes. **Monitor the pasta! - if it is getting too done, this is the time to remove it from the heat and you may need to put into a serving bowl.
Step 7: Prepare the Steak for Plating
Now you'll want to use the sharpest carving knife you have. Unwrap the steaks from the foil and place them on a good cutting board.
Slice into 1/2" slices, and be sure to cut against the grain.
Step 8: Plate and RULE THE WORLD... or Just Dinner.
Here's the best step. The part where you want to get this great smelling dish in your family's hungry bellies!
To plate, as a serving suggestion, you should put the mac-n-cheese on a bed of spinach. You could place the pasta in a bowl... either way, you'll want to use those beautifully cooked steak slices as a topper.
Garnish with the cilantro, and a little more salt and pepper to taste.
Don't forget your wine!!!
First Prize in the
Slow Cooker Challenge