Steak 'n' Stout

Serves 2

Few meat dishes are as easy to make and so completely satisfying. While the steak sears in your grill pan or on the barbecue, the stout-brown sugar marinade reduces over mounds of onions into a caramelized glaze. The onions can be sautéed ahead of time. Served together, it is a sublime treat.

6 ounces stout or dark beer
2 tablespoons firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, peeled and split
1 bay leaf
1 to 1 1/4 pounds hanger, skirt, or flat iron steak
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
2 large yellow onions, peeled and thinly sliced crosswise
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

  1. Combine the stout, brown sugar, vinegar, garlic and bay leaf in a resealable plastic bag; add the steak and let it marinate while cooking the onions, about 1/2 hour.
  2. In the meantime, melt the butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes, stirring often. (This first part of the onion preparation may be done ahead of time.)
  3. Heat a cast-iron grill pan over high heat for at least 5 minutes. When very hot, remove the steak from the marinade, blot dry and cook it for 6 to 7 minutes on the first side. Turn and cook the second side for 5 to 6 minutes for medium-rare.
  4. While the steak is cooking, pour 1/2 cup of the marinade onto the onions, turn the heat to high and boil until the liquid evaporates, stirring often, 6 to 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and keep warm.
  5. Once the steak is done, transfer it to a slicing board, season with salt and pepper and let it rest for 3 to 5 minutes to let the juices be reabsorbed. Thinly slice across the grain and serve with the onions on top or as a bed under the meat slices.