A beautiful cut of steak will only get you so far . . . next, it's all about mastering the Maillard reaction (a fancy way to describe the process of creating that crispy, caramelized crust on the outside of meat). Lucky for us, we have experts from Omaha Steaks to teach us the best technique for prepping and grilling steaks.
Before Summer is over, why not enjoy a piece of meat at its purest? I'm talking about a perfectly grilled steak! Grilling steak may seem like a no-brainer: you season it and throw it on the barbie, but with a little extra care you can take your steak-making skills to a whole new level. I asked Chef Mark Richardson of MKT Restaurant — Bar, the restaurant at The Four Seasons in San Francisco, to show us how it's done. Glean his technique and tips for juicy, pink medium-rare steak just in time to celebrate National Filet Mignon Day (today, Aug. 13):
- Be wise when shopping. Premium steaks come from the rib and loin section of the beef. Speak with your butcher and ask him to point you in the right direction.
- Bring the steak to room temperature. Take the steak out of the fridge 20-30 minutes before cooking.
- Remove excess moisture. Pat the steak dry with a paper towel before cooking. "Any excess moisture that's sitting on a steak will keep the steak from directly contacting the cooking surface," Chef Richardson notes.
- Season well. Season liberally with salt and fresh cracked pepper. "My favorite peppercorn is Tellicherry, which is left on the vine longer, so they develop a deep, rich flavor."
You've heard it a million times before, but it's true: the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. If you find yourself cooking for him for the first time, get it right with a simple but fantastic and unforgettable meal. Green beans, rosemary fingerling potatoes, and (most importantly) a savory rib-eye steak are easier to make than you think and well worth the payoff. With a little help from Barry Taylor at Sorted Food on Tastemade, we show you how to pull out all the stops, so you can get the sizzles going all evening long.
Watch the video to see how all three are cooked, and then get the recipes.
Only an expert like Tyler Florence would attempt to clear up all the myths surrounding such a tricky topic as steak at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen. To pepper a steak prior to cooking or not to pepper? Is a grill mark a coveted barbecue char or simply a big bad burn mark? Read on to clear up the biggest steak myths.
- Myth: you should marinate a steak. Say what? Don't you dare! A wet marinade will steam the meat and it won't give you that golden brown crust.
- Myth: you should season liberally with salt and pepper. Skip the pepper when seasoning raw steak. Pepper burns at a high heat and develops a bitter flavor. Always liberally season a raw steak with a good kosher salt, but wait to pepper the steak until after it's cooked.
Keep reading for more steak fiction, debunked.
Perhaps it was an influential trip to farm camp as a youngster, or maybe it was out of sheer stubbornness, but I've only come around to eating red meat in the past few years.
It's easy to understand a deep-seated fear of cruciferous vegetables (I still can't stomach broccoli), gloppy (or velvety, depending on your perspective) mayonnaise, or pungent hard-boiled eggs, but steak-phobia is a tougher sell.
Even the most ardent carnivores will respect one's choice to eschew animal flesh, but I'm still perplexed by my avoidance of red meat (and red meat only). Thankfully I've since learned the err of my ways and have taken to juicy steaks, tender braised short ribs, and silky carpaccio with alarming intensity.
We've got a partnership with the recipe, equipment, and product testing gurus at America's Test Kitchen. They'll be sharing some of their time-tested recipes and technical expertise with us weekly. Today, they're looking to South America for inspiration on smoky, crisp-crusted meat.
In Argentina, large 2-pound steaks are grilled low and slow over hardwood logs, not charcoal (and never over gas), which imbues them with a smokiness that is subtler and more complex that the typical “barbecue” flavor one comes to expect of grilled meat here in the States. With the piquant parsley, garlic, and olive oil sauce known as chimichurri served alongside, it’s a world favorite. We wanted to duplicate the Argentinean method with American supermarket steaks and a kettle grill.
For our choice of steak, we selected well-marbled New York strip steak for its big beefy flavor and meaty chew. To mimic a wood fire, we added unsoaked wood chunks to the perimeter of our grill fire. Setting the lid down on the grill for the first few minutes of cooking helped to quickly trap smoke flavor. To get a deep brown char on the meat without overcooking it, we used two strategies. First, we rubbed the meat with a mixture of salt and cornstarch. Salt seasons the meat and draws out moisture, as does cornstarch. Then we moved the steaks into the freezer for 30 minutes. The inside of a freezer is so dry that it often robs unprotected food of its moisture. In this instance, this was a good thing. Par-frozen steaks browned within moments of hitting the grill. Even better, these partially frozen steaks could stand about five more minutes of fire, adding up to more char and more flavor. To finish, garlicky chimichurri sauce cut through the rich, unctuous qualities of our great grilled steak.
Here's how we produced our own brand of smoky charred churrasco—even without the aid of a wood-burning Argentine grill.
Use the Right Rub
Rubbing the steaks with cornstarch and salt seasons the meat and expedites crust formation by drying the meat’s exterior; cornstarch also enhances browning.
Get two more simple tips — plus a standout Argentine steak and chimichurri recipe — when you keep reading.
There's something about the warm weather that makes me crave Mexican food. Spicy salsa, cooling guacamole, crunchy chips, and stuffed tacos. Everything is eaten with your hands and it's just so darn delicious. Recently, I gave into a craving and made these scrumptious steak tacos.
This sort of meal is great for entertaining. You simply make (or buy) the fixings and lay them out on the dining table. Then, you grill the beef and let everyone assemble their own tacos. I like this recipe because it doesn't require any marinade time. The meat is rubbed with a flavorful mixture of spices and only takes about 10 minutes to cook.
Morton's the Steakhouse has been an American fixture for more than 30 years, and there's nothing more iconic than the institution's classic porterhouse steak. We paid a visit to the Morton's kitchen, where we learned all about choosing a good steak, and the Morton's technique to ensure a tender, juicy piece of meat every single time. Bonus: we scored the recipe for their crowd-pleasing au jus, too. See what you think when you watch the video now — and keep reading for the Morton's Porterhouse recipe!
During Winter months, I feel particularly uninspired by salads. I need my starch — and my steak, too. That's what led me to create this Asian noodle salad with flank steak: it's hearty enough to keep you satisfied, even on the coldest of nights, but it's a nice departure from a warming but heavy meat-and-potatoes meal.
The star of the show is the flank steak, which can be substituted with ahi tuna or tofu if you want to avoid red meat. The key to making fantastic, umami-rich steak is to give it enough time to marinate: the beef soaks up the salty, gingery flavors, plus fibers in the meat make room for ginger, garlic, and coriander. Pair the beef with al dente rice noodles and fresh lettuce and herbs, and there's no chance of walking away from this salad hungry.