I don’t know about you, but I can really get tired of the basic steak and potatoes dinner. So, guess what? Substitute those plain ol’ taters for some deliciously rich and buttery yuca root. For those of you who have had the misfortune of never eating yucca, I’m sorry you’ve been missing out! Yuca is root, a sort of “cousin” to the potato. But, unlike potato, the flavor is pretty much amazing; it is rich, buttery, creamy, and just pure heaven! You can do just about anything with them; they are as versatile as potatoes. One of my favorite things to do with them is make little yucca cakes and serve them with steak, for a new twist on steak and potatoes. This dish is so simple, yet full of flavor, which is what I love about it. The three components: protein, starch and sauce, really work together to enhance each of their flavors.
The rib eye is already super tender and full of flavor. Wanting to preserve its natural deliciousness, I simply seasoned it with salt and pepper-cumin. Some of you may be asking yourselves right now, “What the heck is pepper-cumin? Pepper? Or cumin?” Well, my answer to you is, both! In Brazil, pimenta-cuminho (pepper-cumin) is a staple seasoning. We rarely use plain black pepper when seasoning food, especially meats. We toast both black pepper and cumin seeds and grate them together until fine. I will be posting a video soon showing you how to make your own pepper-cumin. And trust me, your black pepper shaker better be shaking in it’s boots right now because once you go pepper-cumin you will never go back! After seasoning my steak, I grilled the steak to medium-rare and sliced each of them into strips.
In my list of things I love from Brazil, pimenta malagueta ( malagueta pepper) and cachaça (Brazilian rum) are defiantly in the top 5! So, I thought to myself, why not combine these two to make an outrageously good sauce! Let me tell you, the result of this match was purely amazing! I got my malagueta pepper from a Brazilian store in Kirkland, WA which is just outside of Seattle. The malaguta peppers come in a little bottle with a bunch of little red peppers in a preserve. I used only one pepper because malagueta is pretty powerful and even though I can handle powerful, I really wanted the flavor to stand out more than the heat. I chopped the pepper and combined it in a mixing bowl with the cachaça. I then added the heavy whipping cream and beat it until it was nice and thick!
Serving: Makes 10
2 rib-eye steaks
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 medium-sized yuca roots, peeled and cut into cubes
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
½ cup of vegetable oil
1 malagueta pepper
1 tsp cachaça
Pepper-Cumin (or substitute equal parts of black pepper and ground cumin)
Season steaks with salt and pepper-cumin. Grill until steaks are medium-rare and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice each steak into ten slices . Boil yuca roots until translucent and tender. In a bowl, combine cooked yuca roots, cheese, 1 1/3 cups of heavy whipping cream, and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Pour oil in a frying pan and heat over medium-high heat. Shape yuca mixture into ten ½’’ discs and fry over medium-high heat until golden on both sides. Finely chop malagueta pepper and in a mixing bowl combine it with the cachaça and remaining cream. Beat mixture until thick. To assemble, place yuca cake on plate, top off with cachaça-malagueta sauce and top with two strips of steak.