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story.lead_photo.caption Pan-Seared Sirloin With Pinto Bean and Arugula Salad Photo by Kelly Brant

I learned two things from preparing this meal — pinto beans and arugula are delicious together and my digital thermometer may be defective.

Steak doneness is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer steak that is bright red inside while others want their meat grayish brown all the way through. Most of us fall somewhere in between.

Knowing when you've reached your preference is often the most challenging part of cooking a steak.

I've found this is best achieved using what is often called the finger test — relax your hand and open your palm and then take your index finger from your other hand and feel the fleshy area at the base of your thumb. This is what a raw to rare steak feels like with you press it with a fingertip.

Now, bring your forefinger and thumb together on the same hand and using your other hand, feel the fleshy mound at the base of your thumb. This is what a medium-rare steak feels like. Repeat the process using your remaining fingers until you reach your pinkie. You'll notice with each finger, the flesh gets firmer. The firmer the flesh the more well done the steak.

It isn't fail-proof, but it works for me.

America's Test Kitchen uses a temperature scale 115-120 degrees for rare; 120-125 degrees for medium-rare; 130-135 for medium; 140-145 for medium-well; and 150-155 for well-done. Temps are before resting the meat for 5 minutes.

For this recipe I followed ATK's guidelines and cooked the meat to an internal temperature of 120 degrees on my thermometer and then let it rest for 5 minutes.

It was most definitely not medium-rare. The meat had barely a trace of pink, however, it was still tender and flavorful, so all was not lost.

As for the salad, it was a delightful combination of peppery arugula, smoky chipotle and creamy pinto beans. It made a delicious accompaniment for iron-skillet seared steak.

Pan-Seared Sirloin With Pinto Bean and Arugula Salad

2 (15-ounce) cans pinto beans, rinsed

¼ cup chopped red onion

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 to 2 chipotle peppers in adobo, minced

Salt and ground black pepper

1½ pounds boneless beef top sirloin, 1 to 1½ inches thick, trimmed of all visible fat

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

5 cups baby arugula

In a large bowl, combine the beans, onion, cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, chipotle, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper. Mix well. Set aside.

Pat steak dry with paper towels. Season to taste on both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat the 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat until just smoking. Add steak and cook until well seared on first side, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook to desired doneness, adjusting heat as necessary. Remove steak to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.

Add arugula to bean mixture and toss to combine.

Slice steak thinly across the grain. Serve with bean-arugula salad.

Makes about 6 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 360 calories, 28 g protein, 21 g fat, 16 g carbohydrate (2 g sugar), 75 mg cholesterol, 280 mg sodium and 5 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 1.

Recipe adapted from The Complete Diabetes Cookbook from America's Test Kitchen

Food on 07/10/2019

Print Headline: Bean, arugula salad goes well with steak

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