The Chronicles of Chuck
Posted 14 February 2009 - 05:02 PM
I cooked up one for Valentine's dinner. It was about a pound and a half, I sliced it in half, trimmed just a bit of fat, tied it, salted it, rested it , forgot to dry it. Sauteed it in a bit of oil and the trimmed fat. One string fell off but I got the surface of each one nice and brown. Then added a bit of butter, basted. Excellent. Portions were very large so there will be tasty leftovers. Better than grilling I think though I would try it again when it warms up.
Posted 12 May 2009 - 05:56 AM
In general, the two most valuable criteria that I look for in a successful steak is beefiness with a good crust and the chuck-eye lends itself well to to that effect. Since these steaks come with a roughly 1" thickness they're perfect for pan searing in the home kitchen. I don't have professional kitchen so I can't get a good crust on a thin steak like you can at a Ruth's, et al.
To get even a beefier flavor I do half salt/half MSG rub for up to a couple of hours beforehand. However, if you do the butter baste the effect will be more diluted than without.
I've grilled these steaks plenty of times and as enjoyable as that is, I find that I don't get the crust that I can with my skillet. I also find that grilling takes away from the beefiness, or rather, that the steak doesn't stand up to the grilling. Not like a smoked brisket in which smoking brings out the beefiness.
But these are just my subjective preferences. For instance, I prefer to use my stainless skillet over my cast iron. I've done the butter basting before too (hint, add an herb to the butter for a subtle flair, c/o Malawry) in which case the cast iron will do better due to the lack of hot spots but in the last couple of years I've been dropping the decadence (dedecadizing) in my steak preparations. Not even dollop of Hope Creamery butter like I used to.
So I typically sear to about 3 or 4 minutes a side for a nice medium rare. I've been down the rare road but this cut and its delicious fat can occasionally get difficult to chew and it took me a while to come to grips that it's OK if it's not rare.
Side note: Hope butter is life altering -- it has a high fat content like Plugra but when you taste it straight you say "so that's what fresh cream tastes like!" The wife insisted for a long time on using utility butter for things like cookies until I made them with Hope. I proved conclusively that there is no reason to use utility butter which is now referred to as emergency butter. Oh yeah, Hope is only $3.40/lb at the Co-op. Hope Creamery.