Come hither vegetarian, this steak will change you…
Jessica came up with that title, it was none of my doing. It’s no secret that I’m a fan of steaks. However there is nothing worse than a dry one, or an inferior cut that would be much better enjoyed as another dish. Unfortunately where we live it is a real challenge to find good, super fresh cuts of beef, so every time I visit my hometown of Springfield, MO I visit a local favorite, Harter House, to pick up a little something to bring home.
On my last visit, I picked up a pair of Kobe steaks. This time, I chose a dry-aged New York Strip. At around $16.00/lb. it was a pretty good deal. I bought it hoping the seasonal weather would hold out into the work week, as I’ve been dying to barbecue since I packed the grill away last fall. Unfortunately the extended forecast left a lot to be desired, with forecasts of rain and thunderstorms nearly every day last week. With the lifespan of the steak ticking, I decided to resort to something a little different.
Note: We enjoy our steaks medium-rare, and these directions will achieve a medium-rare steak. As always if you are not comfortable with cooking a steak, instant read thermometers really help, you can also cut into the middle of the steak to see how well it is done through the cooking process. Over time you will get the hang of when your steak is or is not done to how you like it!
1. First, I allowed my steak to reach room temperature, which is optimal for cooking. If it was previously chilled or in the fridge, it’s best to leave it out on the counter still wrapped for an hour, turning it over about halfway through.
2. I then rubbed it down with garlic, lots of cracked pepper, and a pinch of salt. I put the steak in an oiled dish and threw it in the oven at 250 degrees for 10 minutes on each side. Your cooking time will really depend on the thickness of the steak, this one measured about 1.5 inches or so.
3. Once the baking is almost done, heat a pan on the stove until it is really hot. If you have a cast iron pan this is best (sadly we do not yet have one). Add a light coating of freshly ground salt to each side, place in pan, and sear for around two minutes per side. The added salt will help lock in the juices during the searing process.
Warning: This will produce A LOT of smoke. It is pretty much unavoidable and you will probably want to open windows and take the batteries out of the smoke alarm.
Clive can smell what is cooking, or he’s concerned about smoke inhalation.
4. Once that is completed, move the steak to a plate and allow it to set for a good 5-8 minutes. You will want to do this because the meat is still cooking. Doing this will ensure the meat will be tender and jucier.
If you are really good you can start cooking your side dishes while the steak is in the oven. By the time the steak is done setting your sides will be ready and hot. We fried a pound fingerling purple potatoes.
In the end, we had a nice steak with a crusty, flavorful outside and a juicy middle. I topped it with just a bit of garlic butter and it was perfect!
How do you like your steak? Vegetarian? – Have a tried and true method to prepare your favorite meat substitute?