Are You a Steak Lover? – Our Advice on How To Cook a Perfect Steak
By Lance Norris – Muze Staff Writer
I don’t remember when it was that Cooks became Rock Stars; or why, for that matter. I do remember, in the early 90’s when I was doing a morning radio show in Boston, Todd English was all too happy to get up at 5:00 in the morning and fix a meal for us every now and then. However, shortly after he got a cooking show on PBS, just like Julia Childs, he became a pompous dilatant and the world seemed to love him for it.
The last time I saw English, he came into the radio studio still drunk from the night before and refused to cook. He said we could interview him of we liked, but he wouldn’t be doing the cooking himself anymore. What I’d liked to have done is strap him to a pair on D rings on the wall with leather thongs and watch as his slowly sobered up and the D. Ts started creeping across his unnaturally pale skin, but boredom being the better part of valor, I just laughed him out of the building instead.
I’m reminded of Todd English because last night I was fed one of the most heinous steaks of my life, and I ate fraternity food for three years, so that is saying something. It was some sad little, Asian fusion, eel wrapped rib-eye number with sun chokes and brown rice. Just wrong on so many levels, so I though it might be time for a quick refresher course on how to make a great American steak.
Before you start pretending you’re on TV too and dough-popping the steak with sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, truffle butter or (in the case of Todd’s old girlfriend) $50,000 worth of trinkets from Bergdorf Goodman, pull yourself over and take a breath. We’re talking about steak here. As long as you’ve got a good cut, it is hard to go wrong.
Grab yourself a nice Sirloin or Rib-eye, these are your workhorses; nicely marbled and surrounded with fat, and well matured. A matured steak will have a darker red color and you want some fat on the steak, it gives it flavor, but watch out for a butcher than pads his bill will the fat. Any hunk of fat thicker than Kate Moss is padding.
You also need the right pan. Yes, pan. We’re not cooking on the grill because grilling isn’t cooking, it is drinking. There is nothing wrong with that, but if you want to cook a steak right, take it indoors.
Grill pans are great. They look just like frying pans, only they have raised ridges across the pan that help drain off the fat as it cooks. Just put the empty pan on the stove at a high heat and let that puppy get hot.
While you are waiting for the pan to get to ‘just the point of smoking’, sprinkle some sea salt and pepper on your cut of meat and work it in a little with your fingers. Brush both sides of the steak with olive oil and as soon as the pan is hot enough, lay the steak on griddle and enjoy the sound of the sizzle.
Let the steak grill for about a minute and a half (time is a touch thing, because you are dealing with different heats, pans and meat thickness. You will need to experiment with this over the years, but what a better thing to have to experiment with than eating steak?). Turn the steak over with tongs and let it grill for another two minutes. At this point your thinner steaks will be done. If it’s a thicker cut, turn the steak over again, placing it at a 45 degree angle to create those nice little lattice patterns across the meat. Please note that I said ‘lattice’; lettuce has no business being on the same plate as a steak.
Let it cook for a minute or two on each side again, and you are good to go.
If you really hate your heart, while you are cooking the steak drop a little butter in the pan. As soon as it melts, start spooning it over the meat, basting steak. The minutes the butter will cut off your life are well worth the flavor.
‘Wait‘, you scream. ‘How do I know when my steak is done‘? Touch it with your finger. If there is only a slight resistance it is rare, medium is firm and springy, while well-done is just a pitiful thing to do to a nice cut of beef and you’d be better off chewing on that novelty grill tool set you thought was so cleaver in the store.
Tags: Asian fusion, Bergdorf Goodman, butcher, butter, Cooking, D rings, fat, Julia Childs, Kate Moss, lattice burns, Leather Tongs, PBS, rib-eye, Sirloin, Steak, Chef Todd English, Meat, Cooking, Grilling, Cooking Advice,
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