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Credit: Catherine Roscoe Barr

Don't skip out on getting fresh rosemary and sage for this steak and potatoes meal, they're worth the extra expense

Rich, syrupy balsamic reduction is a decadent marinade for steak and the perfect topping for potatoes

I tend to get pretty excited when I make a fabulous meal – there’s something about that twinkle in my dinner-mates’ eyes that tells me I’ve really nailed it. This was one of those meals.

You can never really go wrong with steak and potatoes but one of my favourite new finds took this meal to another level.

Nonna Pia’s balsamic reduction is a local product out of Whistler that is super delicious and really versatile. One-up your usual bread dip by using balsamic reduction instead of vinegar, use it to marinate meats or drizzle over vegetables, or serve with ice cream and fruit for dessert. They have four different flavours (classic, rosemary, strawberry/fig, and lemon/ginger) which are available at various retailers

We first tried Nonna Pia’s at our best friends’ place in Whistler and I’m pretty sure I put a dent in their supply over the course of a weekend and ate nearly a whole loaf of bread just to have something to dip in the balsamic reduction.

Is there anything better than freshly baked bread dunked in balsamic and olive oil, accompanied by a glass of red wine?! Heaven.

I used the butternut squash and potato recipe from the Nonna Pia’s website for one of the sides, recycled an old favourite – stir-fry zucchini – for the other side, and thought up my own marinade for the meat.

When making dinner, I try to cut as many corners as possible. I never peel potatoes, it seems like way too much effort, and I usually buy organic so I feel better about eating the skins. The recipe for the potatoes calls for peeling them but I skipped that step.

I also have an extreme aversion to doing dishes so I like to throw everything into one pot when possible. The recipe for the potatoes calls for cooking the squash and potatoes in separate pots but I cooked them together, adding the squash towards the end of the potato's cooking time. I'm sure they're less swirly and impressive-looking than they're supposed to be but my way required washing one less pot.

To elevate this meal even further, get a really special wine like Laughing Stock’s Portfolio. I like to enjoy a glass on its own while I prepare dinner, and perhaps another glass after dinner while someone else tidies up!

Wondering what to do with your leftover rosemary and sage? Try making the following:

Nonna Pia’s Butternut Sage Swirled Potatoes with Classic Reduction 

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Ingredients

This recipe serves 5

  • 2 lbs whole russet or Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup hot milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped sage (reserve a few whole leaves for garnish)
  • Nonna Pia’s classic reduction

Instructions

  1. Cover potatoes with cold, salted water and simmer for 45 minutes (I chopped them into quarters to reduce the cooking time to about 20 minutes).
  2. In a separate pot, boil squash for 8 minutes or until soft. Drain, puree and warm hold (I cooked the squash with the potatoes, adding when there was about 8 minutes left).
  3. In a small pot over medium-low heat, add butter and sage, stirring constantly, until butter begins to brown.
  4. Once potatoes are cooked, drain and peel (I skipped peeling the potatoes). 
  5. In same pot over medium low heat mash the potatoes, add butter, hot milk and salt and pepper to taste; mash until smooth and fluffy. Swirl in the butternut squash, be careful not to over mix (I mashed the squash and potatoes together and mixed in bunt butter and sage).
  6. Place in serving dish, pour burnt butter and sage over top and drizzle with Nonna Pia’s Classic Reduction.
  7. Garnish with whole sage leaves.

Stir-fry Zucchini

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For instructions on how to make stir-fry zucchini, go to my Spectacular Side Dishes post

Rosemary Balsamic Steak

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Ingredients

  • 3 rib eye steaks
  • 3 tbsp Nonna Pia’s classic reduction
  • 3 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp butter

Instructions

  1. Rub each steak all over with one third of balsamic reduction, rosemary and sea salt. 
  2. Marinate for 1 to 24 hours.
  3. Heat vegetable oil in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. Add butter, swirling to coat pan, and immediately add steaks.
  5. Cook for about 2.5 minutes per side for medium-rare.
  6. Remove to covered dish and let sit for 2 minutes, to let juices redistribute, before serving.

profile-image.jpgCatherine Roscoe Barr, BSc Neuroscience, is a Vancouver-based writer, editor, and fitness professional. Before settling on the west coast she lived in Sydney, Toronto, Oregon, Montana, and practically everywhere in Alberta. She can be found jogging with her adorable dog, dining with her fabulous husband or voraciously reading anywhere comfy.