Boeuf au Pistou, Ratatouille and Cous Cous

4 lbs beef sirloin
fat trimmed and cut into steaks
fresh ground
2 large eggplants
cut in 1 inch cubes
Table salt
Ground black pepper
2 large zucchini
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
2 medium tomatoes
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
2 Tbsp fresh basil
1 Tbsp fresh thyme
2 cups couscous
2 tbsp butter or olive oil (optional)
2 cups water or broth
1 bunch mint
picked and chopped *optional
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
4 cups fresh basil
finely shredded
1/2 cup parsley
1 t kosher salt
3 cloves garlic
peeled and crushed
1/2 cup Gruyère (or Parmesan)
freshly grated
3/4 cup olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
*Also great with skirt, hanger or flank steak.
For the Steak
Get the grill (or cast iron skillet) really, really hot. Grill beef on each side for about 5 minutes or until the meat has a slight give when you touch it. Let rest for at least 5 minutes in a warm place. Slice the way you like it!
For the Ratatouille
Place eggplant in large colander set over large bowl; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons salt and toss to distribute salt evenly. Let eggplant stand at least 1 hour. Rinse eggplant well under running water to remove salt. Spread in even layer on paper towels to dry.
Adjust one oven rack to upper-middle position and second rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 500 degrees. Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment. Toss eggplant, zucchini, and 2 tablespoons oil together in large bowl, then divide evenly between prepared baking sheets, spreading in single layer on each. Sprinkle with salt and roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until well-browned and tender, 30 to 40 minutes, rotating baking sheets from top to bottom halfway through roasting time. Set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion; reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and cook until they release their juices and begin to break down, about 3 minutes. Add roasted eggplant and zucchini, stirring gently but thoroughly to combine, and cook until just heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, basil, and thyme.
For the Couscous
Preheat an oven to 400F. Spread couscous on a pan and toast until lightly golden brown, stirring every few minutes (15 - 20 minutes total). Remove from oven and set aside.
Bring butter and water (or broth) to a boil. Add couscous and cook for a few minutes in the liquid. (it makes for a softer less grainy couscous). Take off heat and cover with lid. Let sit for 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and add fresh herbs and or toasted almonds!
For the Pistou
Place half of the ingredients in a food processor and blend. When the purée is smooth, pour it into a bowl. Purée the rest of the ingredients and add them to the first batch. Stir in the cheese. Add more oil if necessary.