STEAK! How to Make the Best You’ve Ever Had

STEAK! How to Make the Best You’ve Ever Had

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 ūüėČ


The Cut

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 cr√®me de la cr√®me 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.


The Seasoning

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.



The Method

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.


The Heat

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 Thank you all for sticking with me throughout my inconsistency and enjoy your food!

Sl√°inte mhaith!


A Valentine’s Day (and Everyday) Reminder

A Valentine’s Day (and Everyday) Reminder

Hi all. I know it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted. Life…am I right?

I just wanted to post a thought here because we’re constantly reminded, but fail to really see the signs and it hit me like a semi-truck a little while ago.

I had run into Hwy 55 to order my lunch and then run next door to Lowe’s Foods to get everything I needed to make dinner for my wife for Valentine’s Day and some roses as well. I got the pork chops from the butcher (special cut), grabbed the green onions, apples, and potatoes from produce. I grabbed the hard cider from the beer isle and then the stone ground mustard. That’s right…she wanted Irish Pork Chops with Champ potatoes (one of her favorites). I grabbed some roses and paid the cashier.

Anyway, I went back to pick up my lunch and I hear the waitress talking to the cook about the elderly woman that just left. The waitress said, “I really just want to cry now. That was so sad.” I listened as she said that the elderly woman, we’ll call her Emma, was sitting in a booth, eating her lunch alone. As Emma stood up to leave, she spoke to the waitress and expressed sadness that she had no one to cook for her for Valentine’s Day anymore. It turns out, her husband had just died 6 months ago.

The waitress said, “I’m sure our cook would cook for you!” to which Emma replied, “I wonder if he really would if I asked.” Emma then just walked out he door and left. The cook said, “I would have cooked for her, of course I would have!” but Emma was long gone.

I heard this and started to tear up, thinking about spending my Valentine’s Day without my wife; not just alone like some friends I have who have not found someone with whom to spend their lives, but without my other half; without my soul mate, who had passed away and left me alone to live out the rest of my days.

I can’t imagine how that feels and I hope I never have to find out, but I had wished that I had been there a few moments earlier to offer to cook dinner for Emma in addition to my wife. I would have loved to have heard about her life and her life with her husband if it comforted her to talk about him. All I know is, that this was a life-lesson hitting me in the face and screaming, “Even if very few people read your blog, post this and remind them to remember what’s most important in life.”

Family. Family is the most important thing in life. Remember, today and every day, to not only love and appreciate those you love, but to show them how you feel. Life is fickle and human beings are fragile. A blink of an eye and it could all be gone. Life is too short not to spend it showing those for whom you care so much, just how much you love and care about them whether it be through food, drink, conversation, poetry, or something completely different.

Love your family and show them how much they mean on Valentine’s Day and every day for we will be gone far sooner than we realize.


Hurricane Matthew Relief – Donations

Hi all. I don’t know why I didn’t think to do this before, but as you know, a couple of weeks ago Hurricane Matthew made its way up the east coast. It caused a LOT of damage and flooding to southeastern North Carolina, specifically Robeson County and surrounding areas including Pembroke, Lumberton, Goldsboro, and Fayettville.

For those who don’t know, Robeson County is the poorest county in NC. The people there didn’t have much to begin with and they most certainly don’t have flood insurance to replace what they’ve lost. My wife and I took down 2 truckloads and 1 5×8 trailer load of clothing, food, water, toiletries, diapers, formula, books, shoes, coats, and anything else that we could gather from our local community to the distribution centers in Lumberton to aid these people who need help. And they need whatever they can get.

In an effort to help as much as we could, not only did we get those donations of necessities, but we also raised $1,000 through PayPal by contacting our employers and community to help in any way they could.

This post is to ask that if anyone reads this that can help these people, please do so. Below is the name and address of the organization to which we gave the monetary donations and the clothing etc. I am also leaving links to two other non-profits in addition so you can choose to whom you would like to aid. Feel free to comment below if you helped out!! Thank you all so very much for reading and caring!


Robeson County Church and Community Center

600 W 5th St., Lumberton, NC 28358


Robeson County Emergency Management – PayPal fund


City of Lumberton Disaster Relief Fund – GoFundMe (be advised, GoFundMe takes a portion of the donations)






Thank you to all who helped us gather so much to help the people of Robeson County!


New Ink!

Hi everyone! I just wanted to post a quick update with my new tattoo! It was kind of a spur-of-the-moment thing. We went up to the western part of the state to see my in-laws for the weekend a couple of weeks ago and Albert Martinez just happened to be working at Ace of Spades Tattoo and Piercing in Asheville, NC. Albert has been travelling around, living the life, and tattooing at different shops around the country. He’s known for his amazing shading and line work, and I told him what ideas I’ve had floating around in my head and sketched up a custom design “blueprint” and then put it on my left forearm.

The tattoo is a Celtic tree of life, which has much meaning in Celtic culture and history, with a Trinity Knot being the base of the roots. There is so much detail in this tattoo (that unfortunately may not show yet in these pictures as it is still healing) in the trunk and limbs; it twists and turns with time as this tree is old and has withstood the test of time and continues thriving.


I looked at the above “blueprint” and thought it looked great, but I was worried that it was a little too generic. I don’t want a tattoo that is a fad or that other people have. But I know Albert and I trust him when he says it will look amazing and so much better than the sketch shows.



I’d say he was right ūüôā

After the redness of my skin fades from the starburst effect around the trunk and the lines heal of the scabbing etc. it will be amazing.

Luck and life to all!


I’m Such a Slacker – Catching Up

I’m Such a Slacker – Catching Up

Yeah, yeah…I know, I know…where the hell have I been, right? I’ve had a lot going on lately, as I’m sure everyone does, but my work schedule has changed as well. I am now working 12-hour days Mon-Fri so by the time I get off work, I don’t feel like cooking very often and I haven’t gotten the drive to post about the meals we’ve made since my last post. However, tonight is the night that the drive returned after an easier day at work.

Spicy Shrimp and Cheddar Grits


So this Blue Apron meal was a spin-off of a classic Southern dish, and one of my favorites, Shrimp N Grits. My wife and I agreed, though, that although this looked pretty, it did not taste as good as the real thing. The shrimp was cooked in a tomato paste sauce with some spices and the grits were cooked with cheddar cheese and sweet corn. I liked the corn in the grits a lot, but my wife was not impressed. Basically, we’d rather have the shrimp sauteed with onion, green bell peppers, chilis, creole seasoning, and bacon.



Spicy Hoisin Chicken with Rice and Asian Cucumber Salad

This one was one of the best meals I’ve gotten from Blue Apron. It was great to make sticky white rice the way it’s supposed to be made along with some delicious, spicy, Asian-style chicken and a fresh salad.


The salad was made with cucumbers, scallions, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, salt, and pepper.img_20160912_133919919_hdr

The hoisin chicken was made with sesame oil, chicken, ginger, garlic, salt, pepper, hoisin sauce, scallions, bok choy, and sambal oelek chili paste.img_20160912_133853960_hdr

All together now:



Barbecue Sloppy Joe with Green Bean Saladimg_20160913_205717317

This one was browned ground beef and garlic, all cooked and simmered in barbecue sauce, on a grilled bun. The green bean salad was dressed with diced shallot, apple cider vinegar, diced tomatoes, and whole grain mustard.


Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted, all. I’ll try to make sure it isn’t a regular thing :p


Irish Pork Chops with Champ Potatoes

Irish Pork Chops with Champ Potatoes

Ok, now just so you know…being Irish and caring a LOT about how well my food is presented and tastes while trying to make sure that it’s done correctly…this is one of my FAVORITE dishes (to eat and to cook). Make these for your next gathering or family meal and you’ll be sure to impress.


Kerrigold Irish Butter (unsalted)

4 pork chops (or bacon chops if you’re lucky enough to be near an Irish butcher)

2 cooking apples – peeled and diced (I use Fuji apples, but if you like more tartness, you can try Granny Smith)

3 cloves of fresh garlic – minced

2/3 cup hard cider (I love using Magner’s Irish Dry Cider if I can find it, but any will do)

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp whole grain mustard (I use Lakeshore Whole Grain Mustard with Irish Whiskey)

1 1/2 tsp sugar

Fresh Thyme

Fresh Tarragon

Salt and Pepper

Russet potatoes – peeled and cubed

Heavy Cream or milk (the heavy cream will be a little more rich)

Scallions (green onions) – finely chopped

For the Chops:

  1. In a cast iron skillet, melt a pat of the butter once the skillet is hot (on about 6 or 7 for an electric stove top). Clean and dry the chops with paper towels then season them with salt and pepper on both sides. Brown the chops in the butter until almost done; still a little pink in the middle. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. Leave the pork drippings, or fond, in the pan and melt another pat of butter. Put the diced apples in the melted butter and cook until the apples release their juices and the juice starts to brown.
  3. Put in the minced garlic and sugar and cook for about 60 seconds until the garlic is aromatic.
  4. Stir in the hard cider, apple cider vinegar, mustard, thyme, tarragon, and salt and pepper. Let this boil for a few minutes until it thickens up into a saucy consistency. Stir occasionally.
  5. Put the chops back into the sauce to finish cooking. This allows the chops to take on more of the flavor and warms them back up at the same time. Cover the chops with the sauce and apples to get the most flavor into your chops.


For the Champ Potatoes:

  1. Put your milk or cream into a pot with the finely chopped scallions. Bring to a boil, slowly, and then turn down the heat to simmer for about 4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit while the potatoes cook.
  2. Fill a pot with salted water and put the cubed potatoes in and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes until they can be pricked through with a fork to show that they are soft.
  3. Mash the potatoes and stir in the warm milk/cream and scallion mixture. Stir in butter and salt/pepper to taste and serve with a pat of butter on top. Garnish with some of the green scallions.



A Few Meals to Catch Up

Hi everyone. It seems like I’ve done a few of these “sorry I’ve been a slack-ass” posts lately, doesn’t it? So, to catch up since I’ve been lazy about posting anything, here are a few of the meals I’ve done lately.

Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce


So my wife and I decided to try to start eating healthier and being more active and although spaghetti isn’t the healthiest thing in the world, changing the BIGGEST no-no, the pasta, definitely doesn’t do anything but help one’s cause. So here, I made a homemade Italian-style meat sauce and served it in spaghetti squash halves.

So, first thing’s first. Cut the spaghetti squash in half, scoop out the seeds with a spoon, drizzle the cut sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Put them cut-side-down on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 50 minutes. Pull them out of the oven and use a fork to shred the insides of the squash, simply pulling the fork down the center and it will come out in strands like spaghetti noodles. Scoop some of the “noodles” out and either discard or save for something else and fill with whatever sauce you’d like. Top with shredded cheese and bake until the cheese is browned and bubbly.

To make my sauce, I diced a red onion and minced 3 cloves of fresh garlic and sauteed them in a pot with hot olive oil for about 60 seconds. Once they were a bit softer and aromatic, I put in a can of tomato sauce, a can of diced tomatoes with basil and olive oil, 1 lb of ground beef, salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley. I stirred the mixture well and let the sauce simmer for about 2-3 hours. This was the final result:



Grilled Yellowfin Tuna Steak with Grilled Yellow Squash and Tomato, Cucumber, and Onion Salad


To marinate the tuna steak, put the following into a gallon-size Ziploc bag: 2 cloves of fresh minced garlic, soy sauce, lime juice, salt, pepper, fresh or dried thyme. Mix the marinade well and put the tuna steaks in the bag, pushing out all of the air and zipping it closed and covering the tuna steaks completely with the marinade. Let sit for at least 30 minutes and grill for about 2 minutes per side, leaving the center rare (as tuna is supposed to be served).

For the salad, just dice half an onion, 2 tomatoes, and 1 cucumber. Toss in a bowl with olive oil, Italian dressing (creamy if you have it), salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and thyme.

For the squash, simply slice the squash however you’d like so that it’s easy to grill, put in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.


Blue Apron: Thai Chili Chicken with Tinkerbell Peppers Over Rice


This meal was delicious. Blue Apron provided just the right amount of spice for someone like my wife who doesn’t like lots of heat, while delivering tons of Thai-inspired flavor. This was one of my absolute favorite meals that I’ve gotten from Blue Apron.


Blue Apron: Empanadas and Mexican Crema with Tomato, Cucumber, and Onion Salad


I had never tasted real Mexican empanadas before this dish; the only ones I’d had were the apple ones from Taco Bell haha! So, I was pleasantly surprised when these were filled with ground beef, Mexican spices, tomato paste, fresh diced tomatoes, and scallions all cooked together. The pastry dough was so flaky and delicious when they came out of the oven and the crema cut the spice of the empanada with its dairy and lime flavors. This dish also ranks high on my list of favorite Blue Apron meals.


Well, thank you for coming back to read, all! I know I’ve been sporadic with these postings and for that I apologize. I hope I don’t make you think that I’m just not that into this blog because that’s really not the case. I just need to make sure that I make time for it because I really do enjoy writing these posts for you all to read and I hope that I’ve been able to bring some of you some joy in new recipes and delicious food from my table to yours. Until next time…