I used prime dry aged porterhouse and shell steaks from Ottomanelli's on Bleecker Street. I have tried a number of the top butchers in the city, but for a combination of quality, selection, value and service I dont think you can beat Ottomanelli's. If I am going to cook a steak, I make the trip to Bleecker.
The steaks were 2" thick and I followed the Ducasse method outlined in the NY times using the butter and garlic at the end of the cooking process. The crust and flavor were just amazing! I'd say these steaks were as good if not better than anything I've had at Lugers, Sparks, Keens, etc. However, I found that using the 10 minute per side suggestion they were a bit overcooked for my taste - really more medium than medium rare. One problem may be that I am cooking with electric (one of those Gaggenau ceramic top jobbies) and not the gas range I grew up cooking on. I have had problems overcooking on this electric range. I used two pans, one copper and one cast iron and set the burners to 4.5 (the setting range is 1-9). The cast iron skillet got too hot even at that setting and I had to back it off to about 3.5 The copper pan seemed to hold a more even heat, and was easier to control.
The other factor that may have affected my results was the fact I had let the meat sit out for well over an hour, so it was probably pretty close to true room temperature.
So here's my question, what's the best way to control temperature in a pan on an electric range like this? Other than feel, is there a thermometer than can be used to set the perfect pan temperature? I don't always have great luck using a meat thermometer on steaks and I don't like to have to pierce the steak anyway. When grilling or using the oven I find that just using the old fashioned touch "thumb" method gives me my temp. However, steaks this thick and with the sort of crust produced with the Ducasse method aren't so easy for me to judge by touch. I suppose if I just experiment enough I'll get this down, but these experiments can be expensive on dry aged prime steak! Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Edited by Felonius, 25 March 2011 - 03:49 PM.