Flank Steak with Crispy Polenta and Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

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Flank Steak with Crispy Polenta and Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette

provided by Gallo of Sonoma winery
Once the polenta is made (which, for convenience, can be done a day or two ahead of time) this dish is a simple one to put together. Simply sauté the polenta pieces and grill the flank steak, place them on the plate. Spoon on the luscious roasted shallot vinaigrette, and you have a quick and very satisfying plate of food. A mound of sautéed mushrooms is a perfect accompaniment (for something lighter, asparagus or haricots verts). Crispy potatoes are a splendid substitute for the polenta.

4 shallots, peeled
1 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
Salt and pepper
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1/4 cup butter
2 cups cooked polenta, hot
4 4-ounce pieces flank steak
10 sprigs thyme

To prepare the vinaigrette:
Place the shallots and 3/4 cup of the olive oil in a small ovenproof pan and cover tightly. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the shallots are soft. Let the shallots cool in the olive oil, and then remove, reserving the oil. Julienne the shallots and put them in a bowl. Add the balsamic vinegar and
slowly whisk in the reserved olive oil. Add the chopped chives
and season to taste with the salt and pepper.

To prepare the polenta:
Cook the garlic in 3 tablespoons of butter for 1 minute. Fold into the polenta and season to taste with salt and pepper. Spread the polenta into a 1/2-inch-thick layer on a small sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut the polenta into four 3-inch discs and sauté in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a hot, nonstick pan for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and crispy. Blot on paper towels.

To prepare the steak:
Season the steak with salt and pepper and rub with 1/4 cup olive oil. Remove the thyme leaves from the stems and rub them onto the beef. Grill for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, or until medium-rare. Place a piece of the polenta in the center of each plate and top with a piece of the steak. Spoon the Roasted Shallot Vinaigrette over the steak and around the plates and top with freshly ground black pepper. Serves 4.

Pairs well with Cabernet Sauvignon.

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