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A truly extraordinary piece of steak deserves to be well complemented—and no, we don’t mean telling it what a lovely piece of beef it is. We mean pairing it with a mouthwatering side dish—something that’s delicious in its own right but won’t distract from the flavor of the beef itself; something that will highlight the quality of the beef and allow the steak to remain the star of the show.
So what are the best steak complements? Of course, it all comes down to taste and personal preference. If you’ve ever been to a steakhouse before then you know what the tried-and-true options are: Asparagus. Grilled mushrooms. Baked potato. Onion rings. Creamed spinach. We’re not saying that you’ll find all of these on the menu at every steakhouse, but we’re willing to bet you’ll find them most of the time.
They’re the conventional choices, and they’re conventional for a reason: They taste really good, and, for whatever reason, they’ve come to be particularly closely associated with steak. But of course, there are some off-the-beaten-path options, as well—some slightly more unusual steak complements.
We did a quick and informal survey of steakhouse menus, and were surprised to find a number of steakhouses—even some fairly fancy and high-end ones—that recommend mac and cheese with a steak. This strikes us as a perfect balance of a fairly high-class ingredient with a more middlebrow (but definitely delicious) option.
Grilled tomatoes used to be common steak sides; that’s gone a bit out of fashion, but it remains a dynamic duo.
A trendier option is to pair steak with a side of kale salad, or perhaps just some roast kale chips—perhaps to help the steak eater feel like the meal is more “balanced” and not quite as hearty!
So what’s the right answer here? You probably know where we stand: It’s totally up to you. What matters to us is that you find the perfect steak complement for you and make it a part of your Ritual. Pick a pairing you’re passionate about—and then indulge.