A nice steak is like the lead actor in a theatrical production — they usually have the loudest voice, the most memorable lines, and are typically the center of attention. But you don’t go to a play just for the lead; you need a strong supporting cast that highlights the lead’s strengths and masks their weaknesses.
Side dishes are the supporting cast of the culinary world, a cast that some could argue is just as important as the steak at the center of the plate. With a strong and varied assortment of vegetables and starches, that steak is nothing more than a one-act, one-person show, albeit a juicy and delicious one.
Just like in different genres of plays, you’ll need to adjust your supporting cast of side dishes based on the style and overall goal of the dish you’re preparing. You wouldn’t want a comedic role popping up in a drama the same way you wouldn’t want a summer side dish not meshing with your prime rib at Christmas.
Here’s a list of side dishes split up by season we prepared so you never have that problem again.
Spring: From The Kitchen To The Grill
Choosing side dishes in the spring can be quite the difficult task solely due to the ever-changing weather. There will be days where you can fire up the grill, but the next will leave you retreating back to the stove or oven to cook your favorite cut of steak. Availability of produce can also become an issue as grocery stores transition from winter to spring vegetables.
With that being said, here are a few of our favorite side dishes to go with your steak in the spring — no matter if you’re cooking on the grill or in the kitchen.
A Spring Salad
It’s never a bad idea to start things off with a spring salad. There are so many different types of salads out there, which will give you the chance to mix and match ingredients based on availability. Plus, adding a healthy vegetable to a meal anchored by a steak isn’t the worst way to start things off.
Creamy Chive Potatoes
Potatoes are always a good option simply because they’re always available. There are also hundreds of ways to prepare potatoes to meet any need, at least in food sense. This creamy chive mashed potato recipe will go nicely with a well-prepared steak no matter how you cook it.
Roasted Root Vegetables
Similar to the potato’s year-round availability, many root vegetables can be purchased at the grocery store throughout the year. This makes them an ideal choice for a roasted dish. You can follow a recipe like this, or mix and match based on what you can find or enjoy.
Summer: It’s Grilling Time
Barring any rain or other unforeseen circumstances, you will cooking all of your steaks on the grill during the summer months. Fresh vegetables will be bountiful by this time of the year, so you’ll most likely end up focusing on side dishes like corn, potatoes, as well as the tried and true staple of many of cookouts, macaroni and cheese.
Street Style Corn
If you’re looking for ways to add a new sense of life and flavor to your traditional corn on the cob, why not make Mexican street style corn? This recipe adds a whole new level of flavors to any meal.
Nothing goes with a juicy T-bone steak quite like a perfectly baked potato. The baked potato is like a blank canvas that gives you endless opportunities. If you’ve never tried brushing olive oil and sprinkling salt on the skin of the potato, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Macaroni And Cheese
Then we have the versatile macaroni and cheese that will please everyone at the table, no matter the age. This recipe calls for the macaroni and cheese to be baked, but there’s no wrong way to make this longtime family favorite.
Fall: Back To The Kitchen
Much like spring, fall can be quite a difficult time of year to plan your steak cooking experience. Rapid changes in weather and temperature can really put a damper on your grilling time, so you’ll probably be spending the later parts of the season cooking over a stove or in an oven. The sides, however, are much easier to plan. Here are a few of our favorites.
Butternut Squash Soup
Now is the time to start working the rust off of your soup making skills ahead of winter, so this butternut squash soup recipe is a good way to get your feet wet before the start of the big show. Maybe even work on perfecting the recipe before you unveil it at Thanksgiving or Christmas.
Brussels sprouts might be a little bitter in taste but don’t let the taste scare you away. These tightly bound green vegetables pack quite a nutritional punch and mix quite well with a sliced seared steak. Here’s a great recipe that will put good use to those pounds of brussels sprouts you have in the fridge.
Hasselback Sweet Potatoes
Hasselback sweet potatoes are a fun way to add some new life to an autumn meal. By combining the tastes and textures of sweet potato fries and baked potatoes without a lot of guilt. This recipe is fairly easy to make, so try it out whenever you’re planning your next steak night this fall.
Winter: What To Go With Your Prime Rib
Those great steaks cooked over the coals of your grill will be nothing but a distant memory by the time winter rolls around, but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook a good steak or other cuts of beef while it’s cold outside. In fact, winter is the best time to cook one of our favorite dishes — Prime Rib. All of the following recipes serve as the supporting cast for the king of beef.
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Prime Rib doesn’t reach its full potential without a little help from mashed potatoes, and this garlic mashed potato recipe will do nothing but help our case. With a smooth and creamy texture, these spuds will only compliment the complex flavor of that standing rib roast that’s been cooking all day.
Roasted asparagus is another signature side item to serve along with your prime rib this winter. It’s a classic member of the team and shouldn’t be forgotten. This understated recipe will help keep your meal together.
It also wouldn’t hurt to add a little bit of sweetness to your spread. These glazed carrots will help offset the savory flavors of the prime rib and help lighten the palate, but don’t worry, they won’t take too much away from the flavorful beef. This recipe also could be a way to get your kids to enjoy carrots for a change.
Now you’re prepared for just about any type of steak dinner, no matter the time of year.