Steak for Thanksgiving
We're going non-traditional this year with grilled rib eye; nice, fat, corn-fed, dry-aged, 1lb. steaks per person, grilled over mesquite. What do you suggest for side dishes? Only requirement is that they pair well with a big red wine. Thanks!
First off: what's steak without potatoes?
Baked potatoes are easy and can be left to their own designs, but they're fairly uninteresting - although smearing them with butter, kosher salt, and cracked black pepper and then wrapping them in foil to bake sure helps.
Smashed red potatoes with herbs and a dash of citrus zest are great; smashed gold potatoes with gobs of butter and cracked black pepper are also great; and you can't go wrong with whipped Idahoes.
Oven fries are good, too, roasted golden brown and covered in salt and herbs, but that might be difficult for a large group.
A bit of a southwest twist never hurt corn. Saute some red onion and garlic on medium-ish heat until they start to soften, add in some chopped red bell pepper, throw the corn in once the pepper starts to cook through, and then pull it after a couple minutes. Toss it all in a big bowl with some salt & pepper, lime juice, a bit of cumin, and some chopped fresh cilantro.
Another southwest suggestion: rather than traditional candied yams, make a hash of these with red onion, red bell pepper, some chili powder (I prefer chipotle or ancho for the smoky flavor, but guajillo is good too), cumin, and coriander, and salt and pepper.
I see no reason to mess with tradition here - slow cooked with some bacon works well.
As long as you've got the grill lit up, no reason not to toss some asparagus on. It's easy and fast to cook, and you can gussy it up with some lemon juice and fresh grated Parmesan.
Something bold with a strong vinaigrette is probably a good idea. I'd look for pears and red onion with red wine vinegar if you lean southwest on the above sides, or if you want something that's a bit sweeter, head for balsamic with walnuts and feta.
Hope some of that helps -- most of it is stuff I make on a regular basis and I can vouch for pairing it with steak. :D
Big traditionalist - you can make a great potato gratin ahead. Jacques Pepin has a great recipe for one using chicken stock, no cream, and lots of onions. It actually tastes better re-heated. To me, a great steak needs good creamed spinach, using fresh chopped spinach, shallots, fresh nutmeg, white pepper, real butter and real cream. A fabulous single "bite" is rib eye steak with a dollop of creamed spinach. Goes great with cabernet sauvignon or another robust red wine.