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Jul 29, 2007 12:11 PM

Your favorite steak - and how do you prepare it at home?

We have a local butcher (a rarity, at least in the Triangle area of NC) who will cut your steaks to order while you wait. Our standard cut is rib eye, sliced 2" thick.

I use a charcoal grill (changed from gas after 20+ years). Prepare the steak by patting it dry, then brushing with olive oil. I then add kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper. Cook the steaks over the hot grill for about 5 min. per side for medium to slightly med rare.

Usually grill fresh veggies and bread along with the steaks. So much better than getting steak when dining out.

Would be interested in hearing about your favorite steak & recipe for it.

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  1. We love a good thick ribeye marinated in a combination of barbecue sauce and balsamic vinegar...sounds odd, I know, but is really excellent. We also jaccard the steaks before adding the marinade.

    1. I live in an apartment in NYC so don't have a grill. I cook all my steaks in a scorching hot cast iron skillet and finish in a 500 degree, if needed. Usually nothing more than a lot of salt and pepper on it. Occasionally after cooking the steak, and while it is resting, I saute some chopped shallots and deglaze with red wine or even stock and then add in a pat or two of butter to serve as a sauce.

      Right now, my favorite cut to cook at home is a skirt steak or hanger steak. In a steakhouse I love ribeyes but don't really cook them much at home.

      17 Replies
      1. re: ESNY

        Same here. The only halfway decent way to cook a steak in an NYC kitchen is to heat up an iron skillet in the broiler until scorching and cook the steak over that. Of course it leads to tons of smoke that will inevitably set off the fire alarms in your shoebox apartment, but that's what you get for living in NYC. After spending ten minutes fanning smoke away from the alarm, I'm too tired to make a pan sauce and usually serve with nothing more than a chimichurri.

        I wonder how many New Yorkers actually go through the trouble of making a NY Strip?

        1. re: JungMann

          Thats why the hotel shower caps always wind up in my bag after a trip.

          1. re: ESNY

            OHHHHHHH, my, what an amazing idea! Here in LA, in my large but not well ventilated kitchen, we always have the smoke alarms go off when pan searing steaks! I never thought to cover the smoke alarm! Brilliant!

            1. re: Jesdamala

              I agree, really brilliant! Now I can put the battery back in my has been dangling out for 2 years.

              1. re: prunefeet

                or just pull the battery out while cooking your steak until the smoke subsides...

            2. re: ESNY

              What do I know, I thought the shower caps were for your heads because the automatic sprinklers went off. Duh!

              1. re: othervoice

                So did I Girlfriend, so did I :-))

          2. re: ESNY

            I have a similar technique but vary the order. I season my steak then pop it in a 200 degree oven sitting up on cooling racks. It dries out the outside of the steak and creates a great crust when you sear it. I use a skillet just as hot as I can possibly get it and sear for 2-3 minutes per side. I only cook it for myself and maybe a buddie since my wife complains about smoking up the house. You can tell I've cooked steak for days afterwards.

            1. re: GrillMaster

              I tried this this other day with exquisite results.

                1. re: Aromatherapy

                  I really didn't time it at the time. What I had read was to leave it in the oven until it looked dry on the outside so I left it in until I didn't see any sheen from the moisture on top of the steak. Really all you're doing is completely drying out the very outside layer on the steak so that it doesn't steam at all when you put it in the skillet.

                  1. re: GrillMaster

                    You can get the same effect by letting it air dry in the meat drawer for a couple of days.

                    1. re: Joebob

                      The only difference would be that I spread a light marinade over the meat and then kind of dried it out. A rub on meat air dried in the fridge would accomplish the same thing though.
                      Good point!

                      1. re: GrillMaster

                        in the 200 degree oven technique, did you use olive oil with the seasoning? and before or after the oven?

            2. re: ESNY

              Same here for the skirt or butcher steaks. They are loaded with flavor, really juicy, and if you cut them the right way, not tough. I marinate mine in garlic and salt and then sear them in a cast iron pan. You only need to cook them for a very short time.

              I love them ever so much! Unfortunately, others have caught on and skirts are now about $2/lb pricier than they were less than a year ago.

              My butcher suggested what he called "butcher steak", it looks like one of those small pork tenderloins. The butcher (or you) needs to cut out a membrane that goes down the middle of the steak, but when that's removed, you have 2 steaks that look like skirts.

              I love rib eyes, but I just cannot afford to spend $10-$15 for ONE steak. It makes me think too much of Louis XVI and his wife.

              1. re: oakjoan

                I think that "butcher steak" is what's being sold as flatiron steaks. They used to slice that whole muscle across and sell the slices as "mock filet," because the meat really is very tender - the eater just had to contend with the center layer of sinew. Then someone got the bright idea of stripping out the sinew, and Voila! Four nice steaks per cow you can sell for $5-$9/lb.

                I can get these at our SoCal Kroger affiliate for $4.99/lb, up from $3.98 recently. I pick out what yucky sinew they didn't get back at the plant in St. Louis, salt and pepper it really well, let it sit on a rack over a tray for an hour or two, then drop it into my blazing-hot iron grill pan. (I usually have to cut the steak in two crosswise, since when they come out of their bag they're often up to 20" long!) Roughly 3.5-4 minutes per side gets it medium at the ends and rare in the middle. Slce crosswise and serve to grateful humans.

            3. We slather rib eyes with oyster sauce and wood grill them. With grilled onions and grilled veggies out of the garden it makes a great meal

              1 Reply
              1. re: AGM_Cape_Cod

                I love oyster sauce in chinese inspired pan fried dishes where some of the strong flavor is cut by chicken stock and/or chinese wine but I would almost be afraid to use it on a excellent grilled piece of meat, do you add anything other than the oyster sauce? Does it burn the outside of the meat? The flavor doesn't overpower the piece of meat?

              2. Dude, you couldn't have come closer to the exact preparation we did for our meal just last night. Only difference is we had one rib-eye and one NY strip between the two of us and that I prepare the salt and pepper by pounding whole peppercorns and sea salt in a granite mortar and rub it into the steaks before covering with the olive oil.

                I've also gotten pretty good at catching the doneness by pressing my finger into the meat.

                You're absolutely right; you just can't get better in a restaurant, in fact my wife refuses to order a steak in a restaurant now.

                1 Reply
                1. re: kevine

                  Once I learned to test done-ness by the jiggle left in the meat, I won't buy a steak out but always cook our own at home, so they are done to our taste, not to the vagaries of a rushed kitchen.
                  Filet mignon is our favorite. We slice our own from a loin.
                  On the cook top, with a cast iron fry pan, with butter and a bit of olive oil.
                  Start at medium heat, then a bit lower.
                  Deglaze the pan with butter and (don't laugh) water.
                  I am a meat purist and I really like the taste of beef.
                  I've done venison the same way, but I didn't grow up eating venison, so I will do venison filets with garlic and onions and some red wine.

                2. I like to, with pestal and mortar, mash up garlic and rosemary with olive oil and salt and spread on the finished product. Oh so good.

                  Also, take basil, flat leaf parsley, rosemary, thyme, garlic and marjoram in vinegar and oil. Marinate the steak over night and then do another fresh version (like a salad almost) on top when cooked.