1½ pounds fresh tuna, cut into 6 steaks about 1 inch thick
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2 garlic cloves, smashed to a paste
½ teaspoon coriander seeds, lightly toasted and ground
½ teaspoon fennel seeds, lightly toasted and ground
2 teaspoons coarsely crushed black peppercorns
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 shallots, finely diced
½ cup red wine
2½ cups chicken broth
2 pounds yellow-fleshed potatoes, like Yukon Gold or German Butterball, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
8 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1. Season tuna steaks with salt. Sprinkle with garlic, coriander, fennel and black pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Rub to coat evenly with spices on both sides. Let marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes (or refrigerate for up to four hours and bring to room temperature before cooking).
2. Make the red wine sauce: Melt butter over medium-high heat and add shallots. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about two minutes. Add wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add chicken broth and reduce until 1 cup sauce remains, about 10 minutes. Season with salt, set aside and keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, make potatoes: Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add potatoes, garlic and 2 teaspoons salt, and cook at a brisk simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and garlic, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid. Mash potatoes and garlic, then thin to desired consistency with reserved cooking liquid. Check seasoning. Beat in olive oil.
4. Set a wide cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat (or use two smaller pans). When hot, lay in steaks and sear for two minutes, until nicely browned. Flip and cook one minute more for rare, two minutes for medium-rare. Arrange tuna on a platter or individual plates. Spoon wine sauce over each steak.
David Tanis, The New York Times