Steak with Kale, Farro, and Bleu Cheese

I don't eat much red meat, but when I crave beef, I crave a steak. The three keys to a steak are letting it come up to room temperature, salting it well in advance, and using a high heat to get a crisp crust. The bleu cheese is an excellent foil to the earthiness of the kale and farro. If you don't like bleu cheese, try any sharp-tasting cheese such as Pecorino, Provolone Piccante, or Ricotta Salata.

Note that cooking the steak this way will give it a crisp and deep brown crust, but will smoke profusely and definitely set off every smoke alarm you have. Using a high smoke point oil such as peanut or grapeseed is essential. And open all of the windows you can doesn't hurt.

Yields 2 servings.

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1½ pound boneless ribeye steak, preferably grass-fed
  • ½ cup farro
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided (2+2)
  • 2 anchovy filets
  • 6 scallions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound kale, any variety
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil such as grapeseed
  • Stilton cheese for topping
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Remove the steak from the refrigerator two hours before you want to cook it. Season both sides liberally with salt and pepper. Rub into the meat and let sit.
  2. In a pot, bring a few cups of water and a big pinch of salt to a boil. Add the farro and bay leaves. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes. Taste for doneness and cook up to 10 minutes more, depending on your preference — I prefer it to be al dente, about 25 to 28 minutes. Drain the farro and set aside.
  3. Slice the scallions and garlic; set aside. Stem the kale and slice into half-inch ribbons. Rise and dry very well. Roughly chop the anchovies.
  4. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the anchovies and scallions and sauté until the scallions just begin to color, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes then cook a couple minutes more until the garlic just begins to color.
  5. Add as much kale as will fit in the pan followed by a tablespoon of water. Cover and cook until it has wilted. Toss to incorporate onions and garlic. Continue adding more kale until it all the kale is cooked. Only add more water if the pan is totally dry.
  6. Mix the farro into the kale and set aside.
  7. Heat a pan over high (or just shy of high if you're using an electric stove) heat with the neutral oil. Once the oil is rippling and begins to smoke, add the steak. Cook 2 to 6 minutes per side, depending on your desired doneness. Remove from pan and loosely cover with foil for about 5 minutes.
  8. Slice the steak on the bias against the grain and serve over the kale and farro. Top with shards of bleu cheese and enjoy immediately.