Grilled Steaks ~ Perfected My Way
Send me home, where the cows roam…
I like a good steak and when I say good I mean mine. Okay, that may sound a bit presumptuous, but I’ll have you know I’ve eating at a lot of fancy steakhouses and their steaks are pretty good. What sets them apart from mine is the atmosphere and service. Now, if you still think I’m bigheaded well, let’s just say I’m also a homebody.
Growing up a farm, one that raised cattle, it should not be a surprise that we ate beef and a lot of it. Grilled steaks were one of our favorite choices, weather permitting, which was most of the time. Momma preferred cooking Delmonico style, which is lightly seasoned with salt, basted with melted butter and grilled over a lively fire. Simple, served with natural au jus is just good eating. I follow her lead and grill a steak in this manner every so often sending me back in time, if only in remembrance and serve it with au gratin potatoes in true Delmonico fashion.
Then there is the other way, one that I mentioned a while back and that is to grill a steak with a simple rub of oil, a little sprinkle of salt and pepper and serve it with my Marchand de Vin Sauce. Now, that is fine eating too, one for special guests or occasions and as I mentioned in the post, a sauce that can turn a choice cut of meat into one tasting like prime.
Now, on to today’s grilling….
Choose your cut – Ribeyes are our favorite because of the marbling of fat, perfect for grilling. Tenderloin or filet mignon is supple but lacks any fat and needs a good dose of oil massaged into it, as does the top loin or New York strip. Both of these cuts to me benefit with added seasonings. Then there is the mother of all steaks, the porterhouse. Because of its size and flavor, this one needs to be chosen carefully, cut by a trained butcher and really needs to be prime beef, after all, it is in my opinion, the top of the steak chain. T-bone steaks are a good choice too, just select one with good marbling. Then there is the top sirloin, the bottom of the steak chain but one I grill many times because of affordability and one I know I can make taste extraordinary. Again, select one with as much marbling as possible and this one will definitely need coaxing with added seasonings like below and a finishing sauce.
Prepare the steaks by removing excess fat and by that, I mean trim off any fat on the outside that’s thicker than say 1/4 of an inch. Any area that is thicker and has to remain make cuts in 2-inch intervals through the fat but not into the meat. This will keep your steak from curling. Now, pat the steaks with paper towels to remove moisture on both sides and if it is a bone-in, brush off any remaining bone particles. Rub the surface with oil, either a good vegetable oil or olive oil massaging it into the meat. Do this generously on both sides. Place steaks on a clean tray. Let the steaks set out at room temperature for about 30 minutes.
|these 2-inch beauties ready for the grill|
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons dry mustard
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1/3 cup brown sugar
Mix together well and store any unused in an airtight container.
|getting ready for the 4th|
Let's get to cooking. Prepare the grill by heating to high on direct heat either gas or charcoal to 400-450 degrees F. No need to oil the grates as the steaks are already oiled, remember?
Place on your steaks and cook covered 3 to 5 minutes each side or until a nice brown crust forms. Lower heat or move steaks away from fire and cook until desired doneness depending on the thickness of your steaks. Keep cover closed as much as possible. Use tongs to turn your steaks over, never use a fork, as there is no need to let the natural juices escape before hitting the plate.
Another way is to use an internal thermometer cooking steaks to your liking:
120°F to 125°F, (49°C to 52°C) = Rare
130°F to 140°F (55°C to 60°C) = Medium Rare
145°F to 150°F (63°C to 66°C) = Medium
I like to sprinkle my Jim Bean Steak Marinade over each steak just as I place them on the grill and again when I turn them. To me, this makes for a delicious addition to a flavorful steak. When ready, remove from the grill and let rest, uncovered for 5 minutes before serving. This allows the steak to reabsorb the favorable juices. If you must hold steaks any longer, lay foil loosely over the plate or keep them in a warming tray. Thin slices of butter, seasoned or not, is often used to finish off steaks.
The Jim Bean Steak Marinade recipe can be found here, where I also use it to glaze the Smokehouse Hamburgers and many other meats.