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Steak at home


JayPeeBee
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Lots of good stuff here and I agree with most of it, but....

I'm suprised that nobody has mentioned putting some crumbled dry bay leaves in with their steak. Adds a wonderfully subtle flavor. They're best added on the top side just before beginning the basting process.

Another trick if you like garlic is to put a sprinkling of garlic granules on one or both sides. Helps the crust & is not overpowering. Plain raw garlic has a tendency to be either too strong or to burn.

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Steak of choice here lately as been the much overlooked Chuck Eye.  Vert  much like a rib eye, without the price.  In fact, when chuck roasts are on sale, they are often on sale for as low as $3.00/lb.  Makes an affordable steak meal for a family with a mess of growing kids who can eat what seems to be their weight in steak.  Don't overlook this cut of meat, please.

I grill, and I grill year round (yes, even in MN).  If it's raining to hard, lay the cast iron skilliet over a high burner, and forget about it until the kids start whining, then it's hot enough.  I don't S/P the steaks, but just toss some kosher salt (Morton's) into the skillet before I add the steaks.

Done is when my thumb says they are done.  Practice makes perfect!

I discovered the chuck eye steak a while back. Good flavor and tender as well. My kids will only eat tenderloin since they hate any fat or connective tissue in their steak. I substituted a chuck eye without letting on. They knew it was different. Not quite as tender but were impressed just the same. I have a hard time finding them. The butcher told me he only gets a few from each cut of chuck. I suspect there are a few devotes that snatch them up.

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Thick bone-in rib steaks, cooked on the grill, are what we've been enjoying most lately, and - don't shoot me - La Grille Montreal Steak Spice continues to be our favourite rub.

Cheese: milk’s leap toward immortality – C.Fadiman

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I have to recommend americasbeststeaks.com for dry-aged beef. It's owned by some friends of our daugher and her in-laws. The steaks from here are incredibly dense, beefy, and tender. They dry-age them on their ranch (which is in the middle of Kansas beef country), so they control everything. The rancher's name in Billup, I can't recall his first name. They provided the prime ribs for our daughter's wedding - over 300 guests. I can't tell you how many compliments... just awesome steaks.

Stop Family Violence

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Thick bone-in rib steaks, cooked on the grill, are what we've been enjoying most lately, and - don't shoot me - La Grille Montreal Steak Spice continues to be our favourite rub.

Too much cumin and/or coriander in Montreal Steak, for my taste.

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  • 2 years later...

I don't have any local über-options for prime meat, so I widen the gamut of possible cuts. Under ideal conditions I favor Rib-Eye, but a cut which is laced with thick bands of fat is generally passed over at my local butcher or Whole Foods. I generally consider Rib-Eye, NY-Strip, and Tenderloin. Sometimes I'll find a decently marbled tenderloin and opt for that. Sometimes I'll find that nice puck of Rib-Eye with proper marbling. Usually I end up with a good NY-Strip. I always go boneless, since the bone insulates and creates a gradient of "doneness" throughout the cut which I don't like. I trim off any excessive fat, and then let it sit on the counter for an hour or two to warm up.

I prefer hot charcoal for my grilling. The steak gets rubbed down with some canola oil, kosher salt, and black pepper - then onto the grill (with lid on). One 45º rotation for the "pretty" hash marks, one flip, and then off to rest for 5-10 minutes. I like my steak cooked until the protein has a chance to begin to constrict - none of that gelatinous center, but thoroughly red throughout (as far reaching to the surface as possible). I find it off-putting to chew steak so under-cooked that the center hasn't yet developed any texture.

Often I eat as is.

When I get fancy (for me at least) I'll make a nice Bordelaise with some Burgundy, homemade Glace De Viande, bone marrow and shallot. Serve it with a round of homefried potatoes, some sauteed mushrooms, and micro-greens tossed in the board drippings with a drop of red wine vinegar.

If I find a great deal on poorly marbled Rib-Eye/NY-Strip/Tenderloin I'll trim/cut it into cubes, and marinate it in canola oil, lemon juice, oregano, garlic (mashed to paste), salt and pepper. Then I'll grill it kebab-style with red onion and bell peppers.

"Egg whites are good for a lot of things; lemon meringue pie, angel food cake, and clogging up radiators."

- MacGyver

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Is La Répertoire de La Cuisine worth a purchase?

“Do you not find that bacon, sausage, egg, chips, black pudding, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, fried bread and a cup of tea; is a meal in itself really?” Hovis Presley.

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I don't have any local über-options for prime meat, so I widen the gamut of possible cuts. 

Same situation here. Decent, but not great, meat; for dry-aged, someone at one of the city's better restaurants is going to have to cook it for you. But I had good success with Mark Bittman's method and a sirloin recently; as it was a less-than-ideal grade (I'm not even sure it was choice), I marinated it for a couple of hours on the counter in a wine-olive oil-freshly ground pepper mix and sprinkled it with unflavored meat tenderizer. I heated my cast-iron skillet on the next-to-highest notch on my garden variety electric stove (setting 7; the next one up is High) until it was smoking. Added a liberal shake of coarse salt to the ungreased pan; seared the steak for 2 minutes, flipped it and seared for another two minutes, finished with 5 minutes in a preheated 500-degree oven. Perfectly rare/medium rare for a two-inch steak. I added a couple of pats of butter during the last minute or so in the oven.

I sliced it in thin slices across the grain and served it with pumpkin risotto and steamed sugar snap peas tossed with butter and tarragon. Good stuff!

One of my other favorite preparations is to do filets essentially the same way, minus the marinade, but during the last minute in the oven, top them with a pile of caramelized Vidalia onions and some crumbled blue cheese.

Don't ask. Eat it.

www.kayatthekeyboard.wordpress.com

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Chris,

Emergency STOP! DON'T DO THAT!

Don't do what?

What you said you were about to do:

"I have a Patio Wok, which is a propane-fueled outdoor cooker that gets to about 50K BTUs, and have my black cast iron skillet at the ready. I've heard tell that one should get the skillet red hot, but is this simply a metaphor? Hot hot should it be? How does one know when it's that hot?"

Why not do that? Because I already did that and learned what happens, and you WON'T like it, either!

I used to have a terrific black cast iron skillet. Now, this treasure, this jewel, this crown, this holy tool, was not like what is sold now. No, no, no: I am speaking of a genuine, traditional, died in the wool, US made skillet with a smooth, machined interior!

Right: To get one of these, maybe inherit (I don't encourage 'accelerated' inheritance, not even for such a skillet!) or try eBay.

Yup, I used to have one. Actually, I still have it, resting as a reminder of glories past on a wire shelf unit in the basement, complete with its years of accumulated charred food on the outside.

Then in the middle is the evidence, the main point: The CRACK.

Right: I broke it. It's not a small, superficial, cosmetic crack. Oh no: When I crack something, ruin something terrific, I usually do a complete job. This is a big crack and DOES leak any liquid in the skillet.

It's done for, kaput, a "late skillet".

Heat is powerful stuff. E.g., it was used in marble quarries to split rocks.

My outdoor propane burner was from a 'turkey cooker' and claims to have maximum power level of 140,000 BTU per hour. BTU or not, propane gets HOT, so hot that if put something cold in a cast iron skillet that hot then stand a good chance of cracking the skillet.

If by accident or whatever you have a skillet that hot, then keep it away from cold, wet things and let it cool down slowly.

When I get back to cooking steaks (after work off winter blubber), I will return to my efforts at pan sauces to make steaks taste good. Yup, I have some caramelized onions I did overnight at about 180 F, some drinkable Italian Chianti good for deglazing, garlic, several store brands of beef stock, French onion soup, and beef consomme, some good, homemade demi glace of chicken stock, some nice, gelled beef stock that drained out of 15 pounds of ground beef sauteed loosely with onions, garlic, and black pepper, whipping cream, and, in the freezer, waiting patiently, several NY strip steaks. Even with my first efforts, I thought that the pan sauce gave better flavor than any steak I ever had without a sauce.

What would be the right food and wine to go with

R. Strauss's 'Ein Heldenleben'?

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