When we talk about a great steak dinner we're really talking about the big picture of what's on your plate. The steak is front and center, but the sides are what makes it feel special. In fact, when it comes to steak dinners, a really good side can steal the show. In this series on Steakhouse Sides we're sharing recipes for the scene stealers so make sure you leave ample room on the plate!
Buttery, brown sugar- and bourbon-glazed carrots are what you pair with your steak dinner when you're going for something fast and fancy. The bourbon and brown sugar bring out the natural sweetness of the carrots, but a bright tumble of parsley at the end prevents it from veering too far in that direction. A helping of this vibrant root vegetable dish next your pan-seared steak instantly makes the meal feel special.
The Bourbon and Brown Sugar Upgrade
In an upgrade from basic glazed carrots, this recipe ups the ante big time with a splash of bourbon (in place of traditional orange juice) to bring an added layer of warm smokiness to the plate. The swap makes this side bold enough to pair with a hearty cut of meat. While you're at it, mix up a classic Old Fashion cocktail as well.
Now, you won't actually taste the distinct flavor of the bourbon or its burning bite. Instead, its toasty aroma and sweetness is highlighted by the brown sugar, with a subtle, smoky aftertaste.
Read more: How To Make Glazed Carrots
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
2 pounds carrots, peeled and sliced on a diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick discs
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Coarsely chopped fresh parsley leaves, for serving (optional)
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a wide, high-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots start to soften, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside.
Add the bourbon into the pan and cook for about 30 seconds. Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook until the glaze begins to thicken, 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the reserved carrots and stir to coat with the glaze. Continue cooking until the carrots are tender and the glaze is thickened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley if using and serve immediately.
- Make ahead: The carrots can be peeled and sliced up to 1 day ahead. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator.
- Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.