Posts Tagged ‘steak’

The original recipe called for skirt steak, but I didn’t have any in my freezer. I did have a fat ribeye, though, so once I thawed it, I sliced it lengthwise to get two large, thin steaks which would easily suck up the marinade I was going to make. And the ribeye was nicely marbled, so it stayed juicy and tender.

 

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1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons grated ginger
2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped dry roasted unsalted peanuts
2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon chile oil
2 lbs. beef ribeye (or skirt steak or beef flap)
1/4 cup chicken stock (homemade is best)

In a bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, peanuts, scallions, sugar, lime juice and chile oil. Transfer half of it to a shallow dish.
Add the steak to the dish and turn the meat to coat it well. Cover and refrigerate the beef overnight. Refrigerate the remaining marinade.

The next day, light a grill. While it’s warming up, add the chicken stock to the reserved marinade. I like to heat it to combine it well, not letting it reach a boil,  then remove it from the heat and let it come to room temperature. This will be the dipping sauce for the beef.

Bring the steak to room temp, season with salt and pepper, and grill it over high heat until medium-rare, about 5 minutes. If it’s too cold to light a grill, or if you just want to use the oven, heat a cast iron pan, add a few drops of avocado oil, and sear the beef on both sides before placing it in a pre-heated 375-degree oven to finish cooking.

Devour the beef with the dipping sauce!

 

I rarely order beef at a restaurant, because I can usually make a better steak at home. For one thing, I use humanely raised grass-fed beef, something few restaurants offer. And I can cook it for less than a third of the price of a steakhouse. Granted, most steakhouses dry-age their beef, a time-consuming process of taking slabs of beef and keeping them in a fridge for weeks until a certain amount of moisture is sucked out of the meat, intensifying the flavor. I can do that at home in my fridge, but it takes a lot of time and effort.

There is one steak that I couldn’t match for the longest time, and that was the Capital Grille’s bone-in Kona crusted dry-aged NY strip. I would have dreams about that steak! It was time to find a way to make something that would satisfy my craving for that amazing steak at home.

Looking at a variety of coffee rub recipes on-line, I started the slow and steady process of combining ingredients in just the right proportions, tasting as I went. What I came up with really accentuated the flavor of the beef I was cooking, better than I had imagined!

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3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon ground coffee (use your favorite)
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon granulated onion
1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

 

Combine the ingredients, mixing well, and keep them in a tightly sealed container at room temperature.

When using, sprinkle liberally on both sides of the steak before cooking. I find a steak that’s cooked in a cast iron pan to be perfectly acceptable, but nothing beats the grill!

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Ideally, a thin cut like a skirt steak works best for this recipe. But I didn’t have any in my freezer. What I did have was a fat ribeye, so once I thawed it, I sliced it lengthwise to get two large, thin steaks which would easily suck up the marinade I was going to make. And the ribeye was nicely marbled, so it stayed juicy and tender.

image

 

 

1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons each finely chopped ginger, garlic, cilantro and unsalted dry roasted peanuts
2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon each of light brown sugar, lime juice and chile oil
2 lbs. beef ribeye
1/4 cup chicken stock

To make the marinade, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, peanuts, scallions, sugar, lime juice and chile oil in a bowl. Transfer half of it to a shallow dish.
Add the steak to the dish and turn to coat well with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate the remaining marinade.
The next day, light a grill. While it’s warming up, add the chicken stock to the reserved marinade. This will be the dipping sauce for the beef. (I like it at room temp.)
Take the steak out of the fridge and bring it to room temperature. Season it with salt and pepper, and grill it over high heat until medium-rare, about 5 minutes.

If it’s too cold to light a grill, heat a cast iron pan, add a few drops of avocado oil, and sear the beef on both sides before placing it in a pre-heated 375-degree oven to finish cooking.

 

Although the name may not sound entirely appetizing, the beef flap or flap steak is a thin cut of meat that comes from the bottom sirloin butt cut, and it’s delicious when properly cooked. It’s not a skirt steak or a hanger steak, though they are similar.

I bought a beef flap from my friends at Simmons Organic Farm in Middletown, RI , and didn’t really know what I’d do with the cut until I started searching through my fridge for available ingredients. There were 2 beef flaps in the package I bought, one larger, one smaller, so I put the smaller one in a Ziploc bag with an olive oil/balsamic/garlic/onion/salt/pepper marinade, and left it to chill overnight in the fridge (what I did with it is in the next blog) while I worked on the larger, 2-lb. flap.

meat butterfly

Though long and flat, if you have a sharp knife and you work carefully, you can slice the beef lengthwise and, stopping just before you cut it into 2 separate pieces, create a nicely butterflied piece of meat. Smear some tasty ingredients on the meat, then roll it up tightly and cook it.

meat cheese

2-lb. beef flap (I like grass-fed)
1/2 sweet onion, chopped (I like Vidalias)
1 clove garlic, minced
3 strips bacon, finely chopped
4 oz. container of organic spinach and kale (or whatever greens you like)
salt and pepper
8 oz. halloum-style cheese, sliced thin (provolone works, too)

meat roll 2

Take a little of the bacon fat rendered when cooking the bacon strips, and heat it in a saute pan. Add the onions and sauté until translucent. Add the garlic, and sauté for a minute. Add the chopped bacon and stir. Add the spinach and kale, and let it wilt and cook down entirely until it’s soft. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool.

Butterfly the beef flap, as described above. Take the cooled mixture from the pan and smear it all along there top of the beef evenly. Add the slices of cheese on top.

Tightly roll the beef into a log shape, carefully keeping the inside ingredients from squeezing out.

I pinned the log together with toothpicks my first time around, and it did okay. But I suggest tying the roll with butchers twine in several places so that the meat stays together and cooks more evenly.

meat roll

Place the log in the fridge, removing it about an hour before cooking to bring it back to room temperature.

Rub the outside of the log with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the log in a hot oven-proof pan and sear on all sides. Then place the pan in a pre-heated 350 degree oven and cook until the interior temperature of the meat is around 120, about 30 minutes.

cooked beef

 

A temperature of 140 is considered to be medium-rare for beef, but I like to cook it only to 120 and then let it rest, covered with a tent of foil. It will still rise in temperature for a few minutes before it starts to cool down.

Slice carefully with a sharp knife.

The original recipe called for skirt steak, but I didn’t have any in my freezer. I did have a fat rib eye, though, so once I thawed it, I sliced it lengthwise to get two large, thin steaks which would easily suck up the marinade I was going to make. And the rib eye was nicely marbled, so it stayed juicy and tender.

image

 

For the marinade:
1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce (I use La Choy to keep it gluten-free)
2 tablespoons each finely chopped ginger, garlic, cilantro and unsalted dry roasted peanuts
2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon each of light brown sugar, lime juice and chile oil

 

2 lbs. beef rib eye
1/4 cup chicken stock

In a bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, peanuts, scallions, sugar, lime juice and chile oil. Transfer half to a shallow dish.
Add the steak to the dish and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate the remaining marinade.

The next day, light a grill. While it’s warming up, add the chicken stock to the reserved marinade. Heat it in a sauce pan and then let it cool. This will be the dipping sauce for the beef. (I like it at room temp.)
Bring the steak to room temp, season with salt and pepper, and grill over high heat until medium-rare, 5 minutes.

Too cold to light a grill? Heat a cast iron pan, add a few drops of avocado oil, and sear the beef on both sides before placing it in a pre-heated 375-degree oven to finish cooking.

 

The original recipe called for skirt steak, but I didn’t have any in my freezer. I did have a fat ribeye, though, so once I thawed it, I sliced it lengthwise to get two large, thin steaks which would easily suck up the marinade I was going to make. And the ribeye was nicely marbled, so it stayed juicy and tender.

image

 

For the marinade:

1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons each finely chopped ginger, garlic, cilantro and unsalted dry roasted peanuts

2 scallions, minced

1 tablespoon each of light brown sugar, lime juice and chile oil

 

2 lbs. beef ribeye
1/4 cup chicken stock

 
In a bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, cilantro, peanuts, scallions, sugar, lime juice and chile oil. Transfer half to a shallow dish.
Add the steak to the dish and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Refrigerate the remaining marinade.
The next day, light a grill. While it’s warming up, add the chicken stock to the reserved marinade. This will be the dipping sauce for the beef. (I like it at room temp.)
Bring the steak to room temp, season with salt and pepper, and grill over high heat until medium-rare, 5 minutes. Too cold to light a grill? Heat a cast iron pan, add a few drops of avocado oil, and sear the beef on both sides before placing it in a pre-heated 375-degree oven to finish cooking.

 

Gas grills make no sense to me at all. I find little or no difference between them and the gas stove I have in my home. I can make a perfectly acceptable steak by grilling it on my stovetop cast iron griddle…or I can sear it in a pan and pop it in a hot oven. If the real reason for grilling is flavor, why wouldn’t you want something that makes a real difference?

A hardwood charcoal grill is the way to go. Besides the quality and source of your beef, wood and smoke are what makes the difference between a good steak and a great steak.

beef brisket

I know the #1 argument for going with gas over hardwood charcoal is time. “It takes too long to start a charcoal grill.” That’s a load of crap. I’ve convinced many friends over the years by showing them that it takes no more time to light a charcoal fire than it does a gas grill.

Here’s what you need: Get yourself the charcoal grill you like…the classic Weber is still an awesome choice.

Get a bag of hardwood charcoal. I’m not talking charcoal briquets, like Kingsford, that have a ton of additives in them. And definitely don’t ever use crap like Match Light. I’m talking pure hardwood charcoal, easily found in many stores.

Get a charcoal chimney. It’s a metal tube with a handle and a grate at the bottom. You crumble a couple of sheets of newspaper into the bottom, pour charcoal into the top, light it, and you have hot coals in 10 minutes without lighter fluid.

And DON’T EVER use lighter fluid! Why would you spend good money on a steak and then want to make it taste like gasoline?

The variety of wood chips available for smoking is another flavor factor when it comes to grilling with charcoal. My personal favorite is hickory, especially when I’m cooking pork or chicken. But apple, cherry, oak, mesquite: they all impart their own unique flavors. I have apple and cherry trees in my yard. So whenever they need a little pruning, I save those cut pieces of wood and use them to smoke with.

You don’t need to buy a separate smoker. Simply soak some wood chips in water for about a 1/2 hour before grilling (I’ve found that hot water speeds the process up), drain the water, and then sprinkle the moist chips on the hot coals in your grill. Throw your meat on the grill, close the lid (opening the vents, of course) and off you go.

So now in 10 minutes, you’ve got a grill ready to cook a steak with…about the same as gas.

“I don’t cook with charcoal because it’s so messy!” So what are you…a girl? You probably have one of those fake gas fireplaces in your house, too.

Because I’m using a small amount of hardwood charcoal for the average dinner, I don’t have to clean out my grill every time I use it. After a while, yes, some ashes pile up in the bottom of my grill and I have to dump them. Because they’re pure wood ashes, I dump mine into my strawberry or raspberry patch. They love the stuff.

You still have to clean a gas grill after a while, and it always runs out of propane halfway through cooking when you have guests over for dinner. So where’s the convenience in that?

Charcoal grills give you everything you could ask for: low maintenance…ease of use–no stupid propane tanks, valves and igniters…real wood flavor–not lava rocks, whatever the hell those things are…and the thrill of cooking meat over a real fire–bonding with the caveman in you, not some pussy with an umbrella drink and his shiny chrome gas grill with a thermometer that doesn’t work and burners that don’t cook evenly or get hot enough.

Time to be a man again! Ditch the gas grill. Get the hardwood charcoal. Find out what a really good steak is supposed to taste like this Memorial Day weekend.