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Start your day the robust way by serving steak for breakfast

By Wolfgang Puck, Tribune Content Agency on

I recently learned that, from the earliest days of the U.S. space program, astronauts were served a breakfast of steak and eggs before blasting off on their mission. That made sense to me. Combining a sensible portion of meat with some eggs and a few vegetables gives you a protein-rich, energy-packed start to your day. No wonder the great boxer Muhammad Ali ate a similar meal on the morning of a big fight.

In fact, steak and eggs has long been an American diner favorite. You'll see it most reliably on the menus of truck stops, where hardworking, long-distance drivers refuel themselves while also refueling their vehicles. In recent days, the old-fashioned favorite has gained new respect among a particular group of health enthusiasts, as the combination can also fulfill the requirements of a paleo diet.

So I'd like to share one of my favorite ways to prepare steak and eggs. I originally made this breakfast steak with scrambled eggs and red bell pepper relish as a variation on traditional roast beef hash a one that requires less work and is far easier to prepare, as the steak is cooked whole and then sliced just before serving.

Like a hash, the recipe makes a relatively small piece of meat go a long way, as each portion includes just 3 ounces (about 90 g) of beef. S for maximum flavor and tenderness, why not splurge a little and use a really good USDA Prime or Choice grade? For the juiciest results, I always take care not to cook the steak beyond medium-rare doneness -- 130 F to 135 F (54 C to 57 C) -- and leave it to rest, covered with foil, for a few minutes before slicing, to allow time for the meat fibers to reabsorb the bubbling-hot juices.

To complement the steak, I prepare a simple scramble of eggs combined with some sauteed onion, bell peppers and potatoes. As with the steak, the key to success with the eggs is not to overcook them: Rather than the dry, rubbery curds of egg you often find served in some hurried diners, I like to take a little extra time and pay some extra attention to stir the egg mixture over medium heat and dish them up when they're cooked through but still creamy.

The crowning touch of the recipe is its red bell pepper relish. A simple yet incredibly delicious combination of bell pepper, onion, fresh herbs, vinegar and olive oil, it's quickly put together at the start of the recipe's preparation, then set aside to spoon over the sliced steak just before serving. Because we eat with our eyes before food ever enters our mouth, it adds an extra touch of mouthwatering beauty to a very satisfying first meal of the day.



Serves 4

1 medium yellow onion, minced

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, deveined, and cut into 1/4-inch (6-mm) dice


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