Tuesday, July 15, 2008

THE PERFECT STEAK

There are a lot of opinions on how to grill the perfect steak. I have mine too. But no matter what the thought on the matter is, it's the final product that wins the argument. So, here I will lay out my version of the perfect steak and you can decide for yourself.

First of all, we have to decode on the perfect cut. Some like the New York Striploin or the Fillet the best, but I like the Ribeye. I like this cut because of the fat content present in the rib. It makes for a jucier steak than all the others at the end of the day in my opinion. But if you're looking to grill a great steak, choose from one of these three cuts if you want something tender.



As you can see, this rib steak is well marbled. That is, it has a good amount of fat within the muscle which will disolve during cooking and add moisture to the steak. Yeah...fat is desirable sometimes!


So...there's a juicy little mama waiting for someone to come along and set her free. I think I can handle it!



First I like to make a marinade of rosemary, shallots, garlic and olive oil to soak the steak in before grilling. This combination adds flavor to the steak by infusing it with the aromatic shallots and garlic and the oils in the rosemary permeate the surface of the meat with savory perfume. The olive oil coats the steak and helps to sear the surface during grilling as well as adding flavor.


Here are the three ingredients - shallots, garlic and rosemary - minced and ready to use as a marinade.


The steak is coated in olive oil.......


....and the aromatics are sprinkled over both sides. The steak is then allowed to soak up the flavors for a few hours.



Now what I like to do is prepare a baste for when I grill the steak. This particular baste is one I like because it's simple and it adds a decent amount of flavor the the steak as it sizzles over a bed of hot coals. This is a mixture of red wine, balsamic vinegar, shallot, garlic, rosemary and olive oil. I also add sugar to the mix to assist in the caramelization process.


I just allow this baste to "come together" for an hour or two before I lite the coals. This allows a bit of time for a glass or two of wine too.


As the steak is cooking over the coals, I just baste it with the mixture and allow it to caramelize on the surface of the meat. There are many bastes you can make to add flavor to your steaks and chops and you can purchase a lot of different ones in the grocery store. Just remember that the function of a baste is to cook onto the surface whatever it is that you're cooking and that continuous basting is essential.



Here, the finished product is served with a few sauted Shitake mushrooms and a simple spinach salad. The steak is so large that nothing much else is needed to satisfy even the hungriest person on your list.


So...some would say I'm wrong, but I think this is a pretty good way to grill steaks. The ingredients may not suit the taste of every individual, but the process is what is most important. Play around a little...do some research...and above all...have fun!!!

Happy grilling!!!!!

11 comments:

mbg said...

Hi Mark!

Sounds like an AMAZING recipe ... will have to try it this weekend when some friends are over for a BBQ ... we'll let you know how "everyone" responds ... I'm certain that your recipe for the "perfect steak" will be a success ...

P.S. You should be "selling" these wonderful recipes not giving them out for free ... although I'm certain that everyone viewing your Blog is VERY GREATFUL!

Cheers!

MBG

Livingston Cooks said...

Hi Monica!

Tell Hugh to make sure the BBQ is as hot as he can get it for steaks. I like to cover the grill with foil as it heats up and this traps the heat on the grill. It also burns off all of the built up grunge that accumulates over time. When the BBQ stops smoking, it is clean and ready to char your steaks.

Have a great time!!!!!!

Expressions by MBG said...

Hi Mark!

Thank you so much for the "helpful tip" ... we'll let you know how your "perfect steak" recipe was ENJOYED ...

MBG

Anonymous said...

Any thoughts on Kobe beef vs Waygu beef? Are they really worth the $$$$?
Jacob the red meat lover

Livingston Cooks said...

Jacob:

Whether or not it's worth the cash is something only you can decide. Both are super tender, and in the hands of a skilled cook can be amazing. But then, so can Certified Angus Beef. I think you have to try them and decide for yourself.

I kind of look at it like this, however: There is nothing I have eaten that have made the sky open up and the angels sing. Food is food to me, and the skill of proper preparation is what separates something spectacular from something ordinary. In my opinion, flank steak that is braised for hours with a beautiful reduction is as good as any Kobe steak going.

That's just my opinion, so you decide for yourself. Whatever you do, Jacob, treat whatever meat you cook with respect and approach the process with a little research and skill and you will always eat well whatever you cook.

Happy cooking!

Livingston Cooks said...

Jacob:

Whether or not it's worth the cash is something only you can decide. Both are super tender, and in the hands of a skilled cook can be amazing. But then, so can Certified Angus Beef. I think you have to try them and decide for yourself.

I kind of look at it like this, however: There is nothing I have eaten that have made the sky open up and the angels sing. Food is food to me, and the skill of proper preparation is what separates something spectacular from something ordinary. In my opinion, flank steak that is braised for hours with a beautiful reduction is as good as any Kobe steak going.

That's just my opinion, so you decide for yourself. Whatever you do, Jacob, treat whatever meat you cook with respect and approach the process with a little research and skill and you will always eat well whatever you cook.

Happy cooking!

Anonymous said...

thanks I guess.
Jacob

Livingston Cooks said...

Jacob:

You asked me if Kobe and Waygu are really worth the money and I declined to give you a definite answer. I can tell you if something is good, but I can't tell you the worth of it. That is up to you. If you try these types of beef and determine they are worth the price you will have your answer.

I hope this helps.

Stella said...

Hi Mark;

I have just read your blog and I have to say that I love it! It's a combination of personal and professional experiences and flavours in your life. I will try your recipes and I will let you know how they come out, especially the perfect steak, it looks so good. Keep up with the good work and your deliciousness.

Stella

Livingston Cooks said...

Stella:

My deliciousness is apparently evident to the extent where you can sense it from so far away and through the screen of your computer. I thank you for that. "Delicious" isn't a word I have heard used to describe me since...well...ever! But I think I'll adopt it as my own. It seems to fit!

All kidding aside, I appreciate the support. Lola told me how enthused you were with my blog and that makes me feel good. I've put a lot of time into it and I sometimes wonder why. Hopefullt some people will drop in regularly just for the hell of it.

I also saw the picture of you flipping me the single digit. Very funny! Back at ya!!

I hope to see you again soon. Perhaps we can all go out for lunch or dinner sometime soon!

Take care!

Marko

Stella said...

Hi Mark

Lola tells me about your wonderful dinners and how you make something amazing out of a small quantity of ingredients. That's where the deliciousness comes from plus you seem the type of person to take your time when you are making something good, the flipping of the finger was her idea not mines :) Lola is quite the character; she's a lot of fun.
Yes I do hope to see you soon