You’re goddamn right it’s beef; and by beef, I mean the way true ‘muricans eat it. Big, thick slabs grilled to perfection. By perfection I mean medium rare, or medium at the most. I’m talking, of course, about steak. What could be more Yankee Doodle-esque than that?
That’s right, medium rare. Those of you who like yours well done, might I suggest the soup? Please, just try it the right way once. Don’t worry, the animal is still thoroughly dead. If you still don’t like it, I guess this is why all restaurants have one of these signs:
Don’t worry, I won’t judge you regardless. I’ve already admitted to my dislikes – cilantro, broccoli, green peppers and raw tomatoes to name a few. I’m also none too fond of capers, most sushi, and raw oysters. Oyster fans really get riled up to this admission, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna pay good money to eat something that I can hock up for free. The first time I tried one, I suddenly understood why so many of my past girlfriends never liked too…never mind. I almost forgot that this is a family-friendly sports team blog, but you get my point.
Back to the bovines. OK, so steak it is, but what kind? Tenderloin rounds are kinda in a league of their own, so I’m nixing the “lady’s filet” for now. Porterhouse and T-bones are good choices and will certainly work with today’s techniques, but for day to day fine eatings that are easy to find, simple to prepare, and not toooo $$$$, I like to grab a big ol’ tray of ribeyes or New York strips. Yeah, not the cheapest option. Don’t worry though because it’s about to get worse.
Confession time. I’m not exactly a tree hugger, I’m pretty much middle of the road politically. By that I mean both sides have seem to gone out of their DAMNED minds (no, I have no intention of starting another flame war), but I’m decidedly left of center when it comes to animal cruelty. Not quite to PETAs histrionics, but I do strongly believe that if we are going to raise animals for our needs and decide their fates, the least we can do is show a little humanity and give them a decent existence during their abbreviated lives. Too many people firmly believe that we are the only species capable of harboring so-called “human” emotions. I counter that theory with this:
Detractors can go fuck thyselves.
With that in mind I try to procure humanely raised animal-based products as much as possible. I started with eggs, buying only from farms with pasture raised, vegetarian fed hens. The cost more per dozen is about the same as going large at the drive-thru, so no big sacrifice. Beef is a little harder, as the local supermarket is not putting similarly raised beef in the convenient family pack trays stacked up in huge chest fridges. Mine does have a counter to the side with “high-end” and more pricey cuts, but I didn’t see anything useful as far as the source. Some larger butcher shops carry what are called heritage breeds, and they are usually very humanely raised. They also can’t be beat as far as quality, but be ready to spend…a lot.
I guess I made my point, let’s move on.
Sometimes we have to get what is available, and the aforementioned family pack is the way to go as you can usually save a bit and if I’m cooking, I’m cooking a lot.
New York strip. It’s usually not as marbled as the ribeye, so it can be tough if not prepared right, but we’ll take care of that. Notice the USDA sticker? Choice is almost all you’ll find in the main aisle. They might have Prime, the highest grade, in the fancy case, but those are usually picked up by restaurants. Select is the bottom grade, AKA hamburger. Just look for even marbling and not too much side fat.
We could take this home and slap it on the grillgriddlefryingpanbroilereveneatitfuckingraw, but there’s a better idea. Of course you’ve heard of dry aging. Often these magical processes are pure snake oil, but this one has merit. Letting a little water evaporate helps concentrate the flavor, and the natural enzymatic action helps make shit a bit more tender. I wrap each steak in a few layers of quality paper towel (cheap shit will tear and stick), then set back in the Styrofoam tray and put in the coldest spot of your fridge, uncovered, for a few days.
Replace the paper and flip each steak once a day. Just be smart where you stash it to prevent cross contamination. In other words, don’t let this drip into your fresh kumquats, whatever the fuck those are. I’m impressed with myself that I spelled that right the first time, no squiggly underline!
Sorry, I got delayed because the dog just got fixed (a pissed-off woman HAD to come up with that term) and he was licking where his balls used to be, so I had to intervene. Come to think of it, a friend of mine just had a vasectomy, I wonder if he…naw, not likely, not with his back problems. Anyway…
Even one day makes a difference, but I go for about three. After that, unwrap and observe:
They’re a little smaller, a little crusty, and a lot drier…just like Lindsey Lohan. The airing out process actually prevented spoilage, but if it smells really funky and shit is growing on it (sorry, Lindsey), then trash it. I’ve done this many times, even over a week, with no problems, but don’t take chances. Let’s cook!
Hell yeah I’m using my grill! I paid serious cash for this bitch and I’m getting my money’s worth. Man’s gotta keep his propane pimp-hand strong and all. You know the drill – brush a little oil on the meat, ripping hot grill, start on the hot side of the grill for a few minutes, flip, brush seasoned butter on the cooked side…
Remember this? Softened butter, a little oil and lots of my fave Greek seasoning. Love this shit.
…then flip over to the cooler side of the grill and brush again. I don’t expose the seasoned butter to the high heat as it will burn and get nasty.
Now’s the time to stick it in, a thermometer I mean. Actually, I like to re-season and flip each steak at least one more time on the cooler side, adds that much more flavor, then worry about the temp. Take it to about 130-135F tops (figure it out, Canadians), then transfer to a plate.
Shit, I almost forget about the cool Technicolor photo pictures!!!11!
Tent with foil and let rest for about 15 minutes. As before, inside a cold oven helps keeps them safe and warm.
Sides? This is Amurica dammit!!!! Of course we have sides. Nothing is better than a baked tater with a really good steak. Scrub clean and thoroughly dry however many russets you want. Put them in your biggest bowl and drizzle on a some veg oil followed by a heavy dose of kosher or sea salt. Toss around until nice and coated then into the oven:
I like the toaster oven for this, set to 425F with the tubers right on the rack. Yep, I always cook to temp, about 190F this time should do it. This takes an hour or more, so plan accordingly. If pressed for time you can cheat by giving them a few minutes in the microwave as a head start, I won’t tell. I’m now more concerned about changing the foil in the bottom of my toaster oven, damn that gets nasty fast!
Gotta have something green as well, food pyramid shit and all. In this case it’s God’s own vegetable, green beans.
No grill? Fucking city people… OK, pretty much the same thing. Just use a hot cast iron frying pan on the stove, let the steaks get some nice color on one side, then flip and move the pan to a 300F oven and let it go until they hit the same temp as before. Probe thermometers are your friend.
So some people want their steak well done? Killing them will draw too much negative attention your way, so just kick them out. Of course, if they are related to your Significant Other and you still like that occasional sex stuff, then go ahead and burn the fuck outta it. If they choke, they die. Circle of life…
Thanks for reading. Oh, did you think that shit about the dog was for comic relief? I wish. Here’s a pic of the poor bastard the day we brought him home from the vet sans his babymakers:
My poor fur-baby! I can’t even begin to tell you how much he hates that collar, probably even more than Jay Cutler after an injury. Yeah, there’s plenty of emotion in that face for the doubters.
See youse all next week, when I think I’ll finally use my oven for once!
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