Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Coookbook Countdown #94 -- Ham Steaks and Red Eye Gravy

My friend Louise hosted Cookbook Wednesday for years, but  she is not feeling so well, so it is suspended for now.

And while I am not taking up the weekly commitment, (with a Mr. Linky, etc)  I do have  many  cookbooks to 'count down' and I am going to do it on Wednesdays and think of how great Louise's blog is and hope she is up to par soon!

This is cookbook number 94!
You can see them all so far if you click here.

From Maine’s hearty Joe Booker Stew to pineapple-packed
Hawaiian Fried Rice, this collection of recipes brings bold local flavors and tried-and-true cooking techniques home—no matter where that may be. Home cooks will discover little-known specialties and revamped classics in each of the four chapters: New England and the Mid-Atlantic, Appalachia and the South, The Midwest and Great Plains, Texas and the West. Colorful local history and anecdotes from Cook’s Country’s tasty travels bring the recipes to life, and illustrated maps and a list of test kitchen–approved hot spots show you where you can try the inspiring original dishes today. Step-by-step photography illustrates key techniques, and full-color photos for every recipe showcase the beauty of the collection. From tailgate staples like Southern Football Sandwiches and Wisconsin Grilled Brats and Beer to old-school sweets like Hollywood’s Tick Tock Orange Sticky Rolls and New York’s Bee Sting Cake, Cook’s Country Eats Local puts an array of flavorful, diverse American dishes within reach—no road trip needed.

From Cook's Country EATS LOCAL
I made  Ham Steak with Red-Eye Gravy.
Region:  Appalachia and the South.

While it's true, you don't find Red-Eyed Gravy on many menus out west, I'm not sure why, as it was really good.
I used to think it was 'red' as in color, but no,  'red-eye' is for the coffee you put in the gravy.
Now I feel like a stupid westerner, because that makes so much sense:  red-eye, sleepy, etc.
I do love this cookbook---I love anything Cook's Country or America's Test Kitchen puts out --and I love regional cooking.

The Handyman was a fan of Ham Steaks (his fav anytime) and Red-Eyed Gravy! 

We ate  outside, so I have spotchy patches of sunlight peaking into the patio.

From the cookbook:
When we took this southern classic for a spin here in the test kitchen, we found that most gravy made from coffee was inedible—when coffee boils, it becomes extremely bitter. To get the flavor without the bitterness, we use instant espresso powder. Maple syrup balances the coffee, and sautéed onion adds depth to the gravy, while finishing it with butter gives a silky texture. For the ham, we went with bone-in steaks, but found them so lean that they needed a boost; bacon did the trick, adding smoky, porky flavor and rendering enough flavorful fat to brown the ham steaks in.

Ham Steak with Red-Eyed Gravy

Ham Steak:
1  1/2 lb bone-in ham steak
2 slices of bacon

Pat the ham dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Cook bacon in 12-inch skillet over med. heat until crisp, about  5 minutes.  remove bacon from skillet, leaving behind fat and reserve for another use.  Add ham to skillet with bacon fat and cook until well browned on first side. Flip ham on cook on 2nd side  until lightly browned. Transfer ham to platter and tent loosely with foil.

Red-Eyed Gravy:
2 T finely chopped onion
1 t all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 T maple syrup
3 T butter, cut into 3 pieces and chilled
2 t instant espresso powder

Add onion to now empty skillet and cook until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute.  Stir in flour and cook for 15 seconds. Whisk in broth and maple syrup, scraping up any browned bits of ham. Bring to a simmer and cook until mixture is reduced to 3/4 cup and slightly thickened,  5-7 minutes.
Off heat, whisk in butter and espresso powder.  Season with pepper to taste. 
Carve ham into 4 equal portions and pour red-eye gravy over them.
Serve with short order home fries.

And thank you again Larry Storm!  You didn't know when I said "challenge accepted" that it would take me years to do it tho, right?

This was a good breakfast!


bermudaonion said...

Carl likes that too but I'll skip the gravy, thank you very much!

Katherine P said...

Red Eye gravy is something you see on menus at breakfast places here (Alabama) quite a bit though I'm not sure I've ever really had it. My food tastes aren't particularly Southern since I don't like gravy or cornbread. My husband blames my New Yorker grandfather and says I'm a genetic Yankee! This cookbook looks like one I'd really enjoy! I've had great luck with Cooks Country and like that they're a little simpler than Cooks Illustrated tends to be.

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