Flank Steak over Corn-Kernel Polenta

The brown glaze left in the pan after sautéeing the steak is the base for a highly concentrated sauce. A cup of white wine and a half cup of brandy deglaze the pan and then cook down to a mere quarter cup. If you taste the sauce on its own, you may find it too strong, but drizzled over the steak, it's divine.



Recipe from


5 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 cups fresh (cut from about 3 ears) or frozen corn kernels
1 1/3 cups coarse or medium cornmeal
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 1/2 pounds flank steak
1/4 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup brandy or bourbon


1. In a medium saucepan, bring the water, 1 3/4 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme to a boil. Stir in the corn and cook until tender, 5 minutes for fresh, 1 minute for frozen. Add the cornmeal in a slow stream, whisking. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until very thick, about 20 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the butter.

2. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over moderate heat. Sprinkle the steak with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Add the meat to the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Turn and cook to your taste, about 5 minutes longer for medium rare, depending on the thickness. Remove.

3. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the remaining 1/4 teaspoon thyme, the wine, and the brandy and stir to dislodge any brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan. Boil until reduced to approximately 1/4 cup, 3 to 4 minutes. Slice the steak across the grain and on the diagonal. Serve the steak over a bed of corn polenta, with the sauce drizzled over all.

Wine Recommendation: Cabernet sauvignon goes well with red meat, which tames the tannic wine. One from Napa Valley is just the ticket here.


Quick From Scratch One-Dish Meals

January 1997
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