Monday, July 6, 2009

Steak - Adorned vs. Unadorned

Had a couple of Wegman's strip steaks laying around. Tried out a new technique I read about in this month's Cook's Country to get a good crust on my steaks. Rather easy - 1/4 tsp each salt and cornstarch rubbed on each steak, then freeze for 30 minutes. This creates a dry exterior on the steak, which is very conducive for creating that awesome crust. Season with salt and pepper, grill over high heat 4-6 minutes per side, rest 5 and serve.

Verdict: Would definitely do this again, the steak came out nice and crusty on the outside and delicious and medium-rare on the inside.

Here's where I failed for the evening: tried out a recipe for blue cheese butter found in Cooks Illustrated. It's got everything I like in it: butter, blue cheese, shallots, parsley. However, in the end, the flavor was WAY to overpowering for my tastes, even with the little bit I used. Alas, not to be repeated.

It begs the question to be asked: what do you put on your steak? Discuss.


Tree said...

I found a delicious recipe for a red wine gravy that I made and LOVED. especially with an open bottle laying around.

i left out the fresh thyme and added some diced mushrooms. it was delicious!

Charli said...

I do love my steak pretty much unadorned but I have, on occasion, made a nice pan sauce with some red wine and whatever herbs strike my fancy. I had a bleu cheese butter in some restaurant years ago and remember that I liked it very much but it was nice and subtle. I think I may have to attempt it and see what happens.

Rob Timko said...

I always THINK i'm going to like bleu cheese, but just as you....quickly don't.

I do enjoy a quick cognac cream sauce with some peppercorns in it though. easy enough, when your steaks are resting, toss some shallot or onion in the same pan (if you pan seared) for a bit, then deglaze with about 1/4-1/3 cup of cognac, and then show your wife how much of a man you are (or scare her to death by almost burning the house down) by flambe'ing it.....then toss some peppercorns, cream and a little butter in.

some more pics here

I'll have to try your corn starch freezer method...I sometimes use Wondra flour before I pansear and it seems to help with a nice crust. My problem is poor ventilation in my kitchen.

ya gotta take some pictures for this here blog!!!

p.s. not sure where you guys live in NJ, but we found this awesome Russian place called Shirin Cafe in Manalapan off 9 in a strip mall...hidden gem foodie heaven on the cheap. click on menu then click on the dishes for pictures. awesomeness.

Alex said...

Tree and Charli: I like the red wine sauce, but I save that for pan-searing. I prefer pinot noir to make it, but I always for whatever reason have a spare bottle of Shiraz laying around...blech.

Rob: I like blue cheese just fine...just not on my steak, apparently. I tried the cornstarch/freeze technique for grilling, I don't know how it would come out for pan-searing. I get a no-nonsense crust this way: put my skillet in the oven and heat it to 500. Rub the steaks down with olive oil, salt and pepper, then pull the skillet from the oven, put it on high heat, then sear both side of the steak 30 seconds, then back into the oven for 2 minutes per side. Works every time.

We're in Freehold, so that's very close by. I'll definitely check it out!

Oh, I'm under strict orders about not igniting things in the kitchen - it harks back to my wife's and my very first date, where I showed up with 2nd degree burns all over my right hand because I had set my hand on fire doing a chemistry demo a few days earlier...

BonnieSue said...

I like my steak unadorned as long as it is seasoned properly.