What To Keep In Mind When Choosing Side Dishes For Steak

traditional steak dinner
traditional steak dinner - Veselovaelena/Getty Images

Pairing the flavors of a carefully cooked steak with a thoughtfully prepared side dish takes the classic steak dinner to an entirely new level. The gold standard of meat and potatoes is a traditional mainstay, however, there are many considerations to be made when selecting the right side dish to complement your steak. One must first consider the cut of steak you're eating and its degree of leanness. Generally speaking, red meat has a flavor that can be described as "earthy." This richness is determined by the marbling and fat, as well as how the steak is cooked, its level of doneness, seasonings added, and other accoutrement used in preparation.

Keeping this in mind, side dishes with a higher level of acidity will effectively cut through the steak's richness with contrasting and complementary flavor. You can also choose a side dish that will emphasize the umami flavors to parallel the savoriness. When thinking of starches and grains like pasta or rice, which are excellent for soaking up a steak's flavor, note that adding fresh herbs to those sides can play well with your steak seasoning. Vegetables that can be oven-roasted are a great method for keeping your stovetop free while they caramelize in the oven to form a sweeter flavor to complement your cooked steak.

Read more: Your Guide To The Different Cuts Of Steak

Selecting Satisfying Steak Side Dishes

steak dinner
steak dinner - Sameer Neamah Mahdi/Shutterstock

Looking at dishes with especially acidic notes, among the varied and unique best side dishes for steak, many would make an excellent accompaniment to the savory fattiness of a lovely cut of red meat. Lemon garlic green beans are a perfect example of a dish with the right level of acidity and vegetables to balance out both the flavor and nutrients of the steak. A bowl of balsamic roasted Brussels sprouts contains wonderful acidity from the vinegar and sweetness from the sprouts being roasted in the oven. For a clever take, try pairing your steak with a cucumber kimchi salad and let the interplay of flavor, temperature, and spice make your palate sing.

There are so many ways to amp up the umami in your dishes. Try easy fondant potatoes, also known as "melting potatoes," which are basted in chicken broth, butter, and herbs. For a potato side with notes of acidity, try these Greek lemon potatoes. Going a bit more "green" with your sides, you can also try a healthy green rice rich in spiciness or even a chilled asparagus vichyssoise. The options are endless and depend on your personal tastes. Keeping acidity and umami in mind is a great jumping-off point for creating superb side dishes for your steak.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.