I know, I know…where the hell have I been?! Honestly, I’ve been busy and had a lot going on, BUT there’s really not much excuse for being away for over a year…sorry. It won’t happen again! It’s not fair to you guys. Anyway, enough with the mushy stuff…let’s get to what you really came here for.
The word itself makes the mouth water and the heart flutter. There is just something about a good cut of beef that makes you feel warm and toasty inside…kind of like a good Irish whiskey 😉
Ok, so let’s get to it. First things first…buy a good cut of beef. Don’t settle for the cheapest, thinnest sirloin at the grocery store. Sirloins are fine, if that’s what you like, but they really don’t have the flavor of a better cut of beef. Some people like NY Strip, some people go big and get the Filet Mignon. Personally, my crème de la crème is the deliciously marbled Ribeye. The fat that is marbled throughout this cut adds a ton of flavor to the taste of the beef, itself.
So, now we’ve gotten the right cut…here’s one of the big questions: How do I season/marinate it?
I used to use a few different things to season my steaks, but the problem was that the seasoning, though delicious, always overpowered the taste of the beef. A hamburger can have strong seasoning; it’s cheap, ground beef. You don’t buy a steak to taste just seasoning…it’s a waste of money. So what do we use?!
I’ve found the perfect combination and it’s only 3 things…
- Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
- Fresh-cracked pepper (I use a blend of black, red, green and white peppercorns in my grinder)
- Lea & Perrin’s Worcestershire Sauce
These three ingredients, when combined, are like summoning Captain Planet. It’s an explosion of flavor and accentuates the flavor of the beef and makes it the best steak you’ve ever had.
Now that you’ve gotten your steak and seasonings, let’s talk method. There is a lot of controversy and discussion on how a steak should be prepared; from at what temperature it should be put on the heat to how long it should be left to marinate to using a grill or a pan. Personally, the grill or a cast iron skillet are the only ways to cook a steak. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. We need to season the steaks first.
So, first you want to take your steaks out of the fridge and put them either in a large Tupperware container with a lid or on a large plate or tray. Then, use a fork to poke holes into the top surface of the steaks, only letting the prongs of the fork sink in about halfway…you don’t want the holes to go all the way through to the bottom of the steak.
Once you’ve done this, sift the Lawry’s onto the top, bottom and sides of the steak; be generous and make a light crust with the salt, it doesn’t make the steak salty-tasting unless you just go nuts with it. Rub the salt into the meat as best you can. Now, crack the pepper blend onto all sides of the steak and rub that into the meat as well. Turn the steak so that the side that you poked holes into is facing upward and pour some of the Lea & Perrin’s sauce onto the steak.
Now that the steaks are seasoned, put the plate/tray into the microwave to keep it out of the open air (but obviously don’t turn the microwave on). If you’re using a Tupperware container, just put the lid on it and leave the container sitting on the counter top.
Allowing the steaks to marinate at room temperature lets the steaks relax and absorb all of that flavor of the marinade. Think of it this way: steak is a muscle of the cow. If a person walks outside without a coat when it’s cold (as a steak in the refrigerator) their muscles tense up and are not relaxed at all, making them tough and hard. Allowing the steak to relax at room temperature means that it will absorb the marinade and be juicy and flavorful when it comes time to cook it. Now for the fun part.
Alright, now that you’ve let the steak marinate for a few hours (I usually do mine up before work and fire up the grill when I get home…no more than 8 hours) it’s time for the dirty work (but arguably more important than the seasoning itself).
NOTE: The US Government warns against leaving meat etc out of a refrigerator for more than 2 hours. For a steak, the bacteria that is on the outside of the steak and is cooked off, however, you may want to marinate it in the fridge and take it out an hour before it’s time to grill.
A lot of the best chefs in the world say that if you flip a steak more than once, you’ve ruined it. I have never understood this; I just don’t understand. From a scientific standpoint, let’s think about burgers on the grill. When you put them on the flame, shut the lid and walk away to grab a beer or the cheese and come back…what’s happened? There is a puddle of juices at the top of each burger. That’s flavor! Lots of it! So what happens now? Nothing to do but flip the burgers and there goes all that glorious flavor, into the flames, never to be savored and enjoyed. Let’s apply this same thing to our steaks.
Get your grill or skillet nice and hot to medium-high heat (using a nice knob of butter if using a skillet).
- Place the steaks on the back of the grill, where it’s hottest, and sear them hard for about 60 seconds. Flip the steaks and sear the other side so that the juices and flavors are trapped inside the meat.
- Now, pull the steaks forward on the grill to around the middle area and let them cook with the lid closed for about 45-60 seconds then flip them. Keep repeating this every 45-60 seconds until they reach the desired temperature. To determine this, use your tongs to press on the steak (this takes practice). If it’s really “mushy” and tender, it’s probably still rare. Slightly less tender, medium rare/medium and so on.
- Pull the steaks off the grill when they are ALMOST done and take them inside.
- Here’s the most important thing: let them rest. I know you will want to dig in immediately because who wouldn’t? But let the steaks rest on a butcher block or just on the plate. This allows the steaks to re-absorb the juices that have released during cooking and hydrated the meat. If you cut into the meat immediately, all that flavor and juice that you’ve worked to hard to save on the grill, is now on the plate instead of in the meat.
Once you’ve let the meat rest for about 5 minutes or so, dig into that bad boy. Serve with whatever you like; garlic mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus or just eat the damned steak!
BONUS: Grilled onion
Slice a large sweet onion and put the petals into an aluminum foil boat that you’ve made. Sift some of that Lawry’s salt onto the onion petals and top with 2 knobs of Irish butter (Kerrigold). Crimp the top of the aluminum to allow a little bit of steam to leave out of the top and place it directly on the grill before you put the steaks on. Give them about 15-20 minutes or so to cook.
Now, I don’t want to brag, but I’ve had plenty of people eat steak prepared by me and they swear this will stand up to Ruth Chris’ steaks…and those are upwards of $100. Mine? The price of a good ribeye…$13.99/lb?
Give this a shot and let me know what you think about it. Is this the best steak you’ve ever had or do you use seasonings that you like better? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you all for sticking with me throughout my inconsistency and enjoy your food!