Today was a rare Sunday for me as I didn’t have any class to teach. So my hubby and I got to sleep in and have a nice relaxing day. He was craving steak, so we decided to buy a grill finally. We ended up with a portable Weber (200 series) from Home Depot and boneless rib eye steaks from Costco.
Now if you’ve read my blog you’ll know I come from a family of meat lovers, particularly steak. Consequently I’ve grown up with some pretty high standards set out by my dad and his ridiculously hot grill. Chris and I didn’t do too shabby tonight but somehow there’s nothing quite like Dad’s steak.
I feel there are some basics to making a great steak.
* Good quality fresh meat
* Time to marinate and time to bring the meat to room temperature
* A really hot grill
Of course, having some really nice side dishes always helps. But if the steak is good it’ll speak for itself! I season steaks really simply. My steps to preparing the meat are:
1. If you cant’t find good quality meat then I recommend using a fork and poking the meat all over on both sides. This helps to tenderize tougher cuts of meat. Some people believe you should never do this as it can let the juices out while others argue it lets the marinade in. Try it and see what you think!
2. Do a dusting (single layer) of garlic salt. It’s all in the wrist. And add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle all over with olive oil. You could do this a day in advance.
3. Bring the meat to room temperature about 20-30 minutes before cooking.
The key to a really good steak is a very hot grill. We put ours (gas grill) on high and let it heat for about 15 minutes. For a 1-inch thick steak, Cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side for medium rare, 4-5 for medium. If you have to cook inside, use a cast iron stovetop grill for the marks. Pre-heat the oven to broil for at least 15 minutes. Get the grill screaming hot and grill for 30 seconds per side. Then pop it in the oven (preferably on the cast iron grill) for 2 minutes. Take it out and flip the steak. Put it back in the oven for 2 more minutes. It will be medium rare. Be sure to let it rest for about 5 minutes.
Now for the sides! My favorite vegetable side with steak is asparagus, but we chose to use up some leftover spinach, mushrooms and baguette today.
First up Creamy Garlic Mushrooms:
* Finely chop onion and garlic. Heat a large spoonful of butter and drizzle of olive oil (~tsp) in a medium pot on medium heat. Add the onion first.
* Meanwhile chop the mushrooms into quarters (smaller if your mushrooms are really big). Once the onions start to soften, add the garlic and cook another minute. Add the mushrooms and drizzle more olive oil. Stir for a few minutes. When they’ve softened and started to change color, add a half cup of dry white wine. Simmer for a couple of minutes. Add heavy cream to your liking. Simmer for another couple minutes. Season with kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
* If you’d like the sauce to be a little thicker, mix a teaspoon of corn starch with a teaspoon of water in a small bowl. Then add to the pot and let simmer a minute. This is a great appetizer with toasted bread any day!
For the Parmesan croutons you see in the photo, I used up some leftover baguette. Chop into bite size pieces. Coat with extra virgin olive oil. Dust with garlic salt and black pepper. Arrange onto a baking sheet and sprinkle Parmesan all over. Bake at 400F until toasted (~15 min).
The spinach is super quick as well. It’s optional to add some chopped onion. But basically heat some olive oil in a frying pan. Cut a large clove of peeled garlic in half. Stab it with a fork but be sure you haven’t poked all the way through. Add the spinach to the pan and stir with the garlic fork. The heat will release the garlic oil to add a subtle flavor and avoid any burnt garlic pieces!
Enjoy all of this with a nice Malbec or Zinfandel! Happy eating everyone!
PS Leftover steak is great with a fried egg on top!