Pan-Broiled Steaks with Marsala and Chili Pepper




  1. Choose a skillet that can subsequently accomodate all the steaks in a single layer. Put in just enough olive oil, tilting the pan in several directions, to coat the bottom well. Turn the heat on to high. When the oil is hot enough that a slight haze forms over it, carefully slip in the steaks (boiling oil splashing on you is a Bad Thing™). Cook them to taste, preferably rare, approximately 3 minutes on one side and 2 on the other (again, the warning about boiling oil applies during the flipping operation). When done, turn off the heat, transfer the steaks to a warm platter, and sprinkle with salt and a few grindings of pepper.
  2. Turn the heat on to medium-high under the skillet, and put in the Marsala and the red wine. Let the wines bubble for about half a minute, while scraping the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any cooking residues stuck to the bottom and sides.
  3. Add the garlic, cook just long enough to stir 2 or 3 times, add the fennel seeds, stir for a few seconds, then add the diluted tomato paste and chopped chili pepper to taste. Turn the heat down to medium and cook, stirring frequently, for a minute or so, until a dense, syrupy sauce is formed.
  4. Return the steaks to the pan for no longer than it takes to turn them 2 or 3 times in the sauce. Transfer the steaks and their sauce to a warm serving platter, top with the chopped parsley, and serve at once.

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