Dinner Rush! Paprika Steaks with Maple-Worcestershire Shallots

Polar vortexes, bubbles freezing in mid-air, snow falling by the tens of inches – it’s all too much! Calm down, 2014! A year kicking off with such atmospheric tenacity certainly merits a bit of indulgence. Make it a steak night, why don’t ya?

Few pleasures in life quell the inner carnivore’s urges like a steakhouse dinner – thick slabs of flame-broiled beef accompanied by “creamed” this and “Frenched” that – if only it weren’t for those pesky New Year’s resolutions! Eat healthier; save time; spend less money; blah blah blah. Lucky for us all, we can have our steak and eat it too.

These paprika-dusted steaks get a punch-up from smoky, spicy paprika while staying nice and lean (and reasonably priced) thanks to common butcher cuts like flank, strip, skirt, hanger or London broil. And sure, caramelized onions are great, but this is Dinner Rush! – there’s not time! Naturally sweeter shallots cook down quickly and supercharge the deep flavors of caramelization thanks to Worcestershire and some trusty ‘ol maple syrup.

Now please, for the love of Pete, stay inside until spring. People are throwing boiling hot water into the air to watch it vaporize (and burning themselves in the process.) It’s madness out there.

Paprika Steaks with Maple-Worcestershire Shallots

For the shallots:
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons thyme leaves, chopped
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 shot bourbon whiskey, optional
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
Salt and ground black pepper

For the steaks:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 (4-ounce) lean steaks, such as flank, hanger, skirt or London broil
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
Salt and ground black pepper

Place a medium sauté pan over medium heat with the olive oil. Add the shallots and thyme and then cover the pan. Cook the shallots with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until tender and wilted, 5 minutes. Remove the lid from the pan and add the syrup, Worcestershire, and bourbon (if using) to the pan. Continue cooking the shallots, stirring occasionally, until the liquids have reduced and caramelized, 8 to 9 minutes. Add the garlic and some salt and pepper to the pan and cook until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Adjust the seasoning as needed and reserve warm.

While the shallots are cooking, prepare the steaks. Place a large sauté pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat with the oil. Dust the steaks on all sides with the paprika and some salt and pepper and sear them in the pan, turning once, until cooked to your liking (4 to 5 minutes per side for medium). Remove the cooked steaks to a plate and let rest for several minutes before serving.

Serve the steaks slathered with the shallots.

Patrick W. Decker’s life revolves around food. Always has, probably always will. As a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and past member of the culinary teams for Food Network stars Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, Marc Forgione and Bobby Deen, he now works on digital production for FoodNetwork.com, CookingChannelTV.com and Food.com in NYC by day and develops recipes at his home in New York’s Hudson Valley by night. You can see what he’s up to by following him on  Twitter  &  Instagram  at @patrickwdecker or visiting his website at  patrickwdecker.com .

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