1/2 tsp olive oil or peanut oil
2 boneless strip steaks, 8 oz each
1/2 cup Madeira or dry Marsala
1/2 cup dry red wine
2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp fennel seeds
1 1/2 Tbsp tomato paste diluted in 1.5 tablespoons water
1/2 serrano or jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
(or 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes)
salt, freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp minced fresh basil
Heat oil in a large, heavy, well-seasoned skillet (if
you do not have a well-seasoned skillet, use a nonstick skillet) over
medium heat. When
the oil is very hot but not smoking, arrange the steaks in the pan.
Cook the steaks until seared brown, reducing the heat if necessary so
that the oil will not burn, about 3 minutes. Turn over the steaks and
cook to the desired doneness 2 to 3 minutes longer for rare, 4 minutes
longer for medium. Transfer the steaks to a carving board.
Pour the fat from the pan and discard. Add the Madeira
and red wine and increase the heat to high. Scrape the bottom of the
pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the browned bits. Boil the wine for
about 30 seconds. Add the garlic and fennel seeds and cook, stirring,
for 30 seconds.
Reduce the heat to medium-low and stir in the diluted tomato paste and
the serrano pepper. Cook until the sauce is the consistency of thick
cream and reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 4 minutes. Remove from the
Using a sharp knife, slice the steaks into thin
slices, season lightly with salt and pepper. Pour the steak juices,
if any, into the sauce. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of sauce onto each
of warmed plates. Divide the steak slices equally and arrange in a fan
over the sauce Sprinkle
the basil on top and serve at once.