This Thanksgiving I finally acknowledged that it doesn’t make any sense to prepare a turkey for three people who dislike turkey. We were fortunate enough to have a friend give us an elk steak which inspired me to make this pomegranate sage steak — a simple yet super flavorful protein for our holiday meal. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a photo of the finished product (Ella dove into it before I could get a picture!) but I promise, it’s visually appealing.
Although I’ve followed plant-based eating patterns for most of my life, I have noticed that including small amounts of specifically chosen animal products helps me feel optimal. Depending on the month, I’ll include 2-3 servings of about 4 ounces of red meat (usually elk) into my diet. Elk is without question my favorite meat, it’s mild in flavor, is very low in saturated fat, and has a higher protein content than chicken or beef. Although it’s certainly harder to source than beef, it can be found in some niche markets and in higher-end restaurants. Or if you live in an area where elk live, you can befriend a hunter. If you ever have the opportunity, I highly recommend trying it, especially if you’re like me and are not particularly fond of the flavor of meat. For this recipe, a beef or bison sirloin steak will work just as well as the elk did, so don’t fret too much about finding elk.
I think this steak pairs perfectly with the Winter Salad, which I also served on Thanksgiving. Coincidentally it also calls for pomegranate juice, so you can utilize that ingredient in both dishes. If you have leftover pomegranate reduction from the salad dressing, you can use 1/4 cup of that in place of the 1 cup of juice called for in the recipe below. Depending on the thickness of your reduction, you may have to add a little water or cook it down a little further to get your desired glaze consistency.
- 1 pound sirloin elk steak (about 1 inch thick. Beef, bison or other game steak are acceptable substitutes)
- Pepper, coarsely ground
- Salt, coarse ground
- 1 Tablespoon minced shallot
- 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
- 1½ teaspoons avocado oil
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 3 teaspoons (packed) brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- Mince sage and shallot.
- Sprinkle steak very generously with coarsely ground pepper. If desired also sprinkle with salt.
- Heat 1½ teaspoons avocado oil (or olive oil) in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak and cook to desired doneness, (about 5 minutes per side for medium-rare, about 8 minutes per side for medium-well).
- Transfer steak to platter, cover to retain heat and let rest while making the sauce.
- Reduce heat to medium.
- Add shallots to skillet and sautée for 1-2 minutes.
- Add sage, pomegranate juice, brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar to skillet; boil until reduced to ¼ cup glaze, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.
- Season glaze to taste with salt and pepper.
- Slice steak thinly on the bias (across the muscle fibers)
- Drizzle glaze generously over the steak and serve.
*Not all calories are equal.