Contrary to popular belief, it isn't at all necessary to defrost a steak before you cook it. I realize there is a texture difference between the rock-hard and room temperature varieties, but some of us are too damn spontaneous to think about what they're going to eat come dinnertime. This recipe is perfect for those of us who can't plan to save their lives and yet still have a one and a half pound london broil taking up space in the freezer. All three of us. Still. Here goes.

What you'll need:

  • A steak. A big one. Between 16 and 24 ounces should work fine, and the leaner the better. Think sirloin.
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped. Or leeks, if you'd rather.
  • 6 oz mushrooms - this is one of the few recipies I can think of where canned is better. Well, faster.
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 huge clove of garlic, or a few smaller ones
  • Red wine. That glass you're about to drink should do it.
  • Olive oil
  • A chunk of butter (define chunk as you will)
  • 1-2 baguettes. You'll prolly need one and a half, know
  • A brick of cheddar. Good, sharp cheddar.

And a metric fuckload of seasonings:

  • Black pepper
  • White pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • Garlic power powder (GARLIC POWERS...ACTIVATE!!!)
  • Basil



Fire up the broiler first, let it get good and hot. Also, put some olive oil in a pan and heat that over lowish heat while you prepare the steak. Oh, and preheat your oven to 150 while you're at it.

Take your huge hunk of frozen meat out of the freezer. Run it under lukewarm water (lukewarm! Don't boil the thing!) enough to shock thaw the outer sides of it - you want it to be wet enough for your spices to stick to. If it starts to even think about turning gray, you've overdone it.

Rub both sides of the steak with both kinds of pepper, the salt, the garlic powder and the juice from that lemon. Don't be stingy - you want every inch of both sides of that steak to be dripping with spices and lemon juice. Throw it under the broiler and forget it's there. Remember - the thing's frozen solid, it's gonna take a while to cook.

While that's going at it, add the onions to the pan and raise the heat to medium. Toss 'em around a bit, coat 'em in oil. When they start going translucent, add the mushrooms, the garlic, the basil, the hunk of butter and, if you so desire, the spinach. Once the butter's melted, turn the heat up a notch more, let it all mingle for a bit. Just as the butter starts to brown (ideally just before, but good luck figuring out when that'll happen) add the red wine, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Let it cook.

Check on your steak. At this point if you were to cut it open you'd realize that the outside looked very done and that the inside was still frozen solid, so don't bother. Just make sure the damn thing hasn't caught on fire yet.

Once the wine has been absorbed (for the most part) into the other veggies, take the entire contents of the pan, dump it on top of the steak and put it back under the broiler.

Now. Take your baguette and cut it in half twice so you end up with four large pieces of bread, enough for two big sammiches. Put sliced cheddar on the bread and chuck it in the oven, directly on the rack. This is not the time to worry about how clean your oven is, just do it. You want to leave them in there for about five minutes, just long enough to melt the cheese into the bread. When the cheese has melted slightly, kill the heat and leave the bread in the oven - it'll keep warm but (hopefully) won't burn.

This is where things get tricky. The thing about steak, frozen or otherwise, is that it's almost always done before you think it is, but that there's no way to tell without a meat thermometer (which I'm going to assume you don't have; I sure as hell don't) or a spot check.

We're gonna go for the second. You're making sammiches and you want it on the rare side to keep it moist. Cut the steak in half and check the middle. If it's red, you need another five minutes. if it's pink, it's done. If it's grey, it's overdone, but still edible. If it's black, it's on fire.

When it's done, pull the entire mess out of the broiler and put it on a cutting board. Let it rest for five to ten minutes, then slice the steak thinly, on the diagonal from the grain, with a sharp serrated knife. Pile the steak and fixins onto the cheese bread and serve.

Depending on, well, on how much you love steak, this will feed from two to four people, and feed them well. Only took you a half hour, too.

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