Allana's Sirloin with Herbed Balsamic Dressing & Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

5 May, 2014

Allana's Sirloin with Herbed Balsamic Dressing & Roasted Sweet Potato Fries

I love a good, juicy steak. If I were speaking to my eleven year-old self, I’d remind her how important it is to finish her plate of meat (because it is, after all, a good source of protein). Now, as a twenty-six year-old, I care less about the protein and more about my taste buds exploding with one bite of a medium-rare grilled steak.

Sadly, it’s not exactly prime grilling season in Chicago these days, so I’ve taken to experimenting in the kitchen. How could I achieve that same char-grilled, roasted, smoky flavor of meat without the coals of an outdoor gas grill? I figured it must be in the use of a grill pan and a very tasty sauce. So, for this recipe, I combined two of my favorite ingredients: balsamic vinegar and Gourmet Garden herbs to create a

To tell you I like balsamic vinegar is an understatement. I put it on absolutely everything – the syrups on strawberries, the aged good stuff in pasta sauces, drizzled on bruschetta, spooned with mayo & I even throw a few dashes in my tomato martinis! The only downside about balsamic vinegar is that … well … it’s vinegar. Not exactly a thick liquid to spoon on top of meat. And, on it’s own, it’s pretty bitter. I knew right away that a combination of the Gourmet Garden herbs would cut through the acidity to form one delectable sauce.

In a small bowl, I poured about ½ cup of vinegar and then squeezed a few tablespoons of Gourmet Garden Italian herbs, chili pepper, garlic and oregano and whisked away. Thankfully, the sauce thickened the same way it would have if you added fresh herbs to balsamic vinegar. For me, that’s what’s great about these herbs – all the flavor of a fresh herb garden with the convenience and ease that a home cook appreciates. While the meat was resting, I was able to whip up the sauce in seconds. Since I had extra, I drizzled the remaining sauce on my roasted sweet potato fries because of course, (herbed) balsamic vinegar tastes good on ANY-thing.

This quick, simple steak meal came together in just under 30 minutes and thankfully, the grill pan provided all the smokiness and flavor I had been hoping to achieve in the kitchen. The herbs acted as not only a thickening agent but as a flavor booster to my ever-favorite vinegar. Quick, hearty and unique, this sirloin with herbed dressing was a total and complete success.


  • One 1 1/2 pound sirloin steak (about 1 ¼ inches thick)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tube Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs
  • ¼ tube Gourmet Garden Chili Pepper
  • ½ tube Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic
  • Gourmet Garden Oregano to taste
  • 2 sweet potatoes

For the steak:

Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Season the steaks liberally with kosher salt and pepper on both sides. Grill the steaks over moderately high heat for about 12 minutes, turning once, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 130 degrees for medium-rare meat. Let the steak rest for 5 minutes then slice against the grain and serve.

For the sauce:

In a small bowl, add the vinegar and herbs together and whisk thoroughly until well-combined. Season to taste with salt, pepper and more herbs and then spoon on top of meat.

For the fries:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into thin wedges. Aim to cut them into similar shapes so they cook evenly. Put the sweet potatoes in a bowl into a large bowl and toss with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and ensure all slices are coated generously. Spread the potatoes on a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. Halfway through, rotate and toss on the baking sheet to ensure even roasting. If at 30 minutes they’re not crispy enough for you, continue cooking in 7 minutes intervals. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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