Ultimate Steak - Whats yours?
Who doesn't love beef? Really, besides vegans, who does not dream of fatty, well marbled steak, cooked so the exterior is crispy and the interior is a devilish medium rare. It is pure paradise. My favorite steaks, first and foremost must be dry-aged.
Mastering the art of dry-aging beef takes copious amounts of time. Every aspect of the process is crucial to the success of the final product. All factors must be precisely monitored; some of these factors include temperature, size of beef, humidity, air flow, time, etc. Primal or sub-primal cuts of beef are let to sit uncovered in highly controlled refrigeration systems for about one to seven weeks where enzymatic and biochemical reactions take place. These reactions intensify the beef's flavor and also tenderize the meat. The only negative effect of dry aging beef is that you lose a lot of yield due to moisture evaporation and the necessary trimming. It's a factor of quality vs. quantity. Would you rather have a 12 oz weakly flavored steak, or a 8 oz assertive and incredibly delicious steak? For me, I would choose the latter every time.
Now back to my ultimate steak........ My favorite cut is the rib-eye, but specifically the spinalis dorsi, also known as the cap of the rib-eye. This heavily marbled piece of meat runs around the "eye" of the rib and is oleaginous and divinely beefy. If you have never tried this cut I would deeply urge you to do so. I guarantee that you will thank me.
Once you acquire the ultimate steak most people would go and grill it. I wouldn't. When a piece of fatty steak gets grilled a good percentage of the delicious fat leaves the steak and plummets down into the charcoal (This is where the charcoal flavor comes from). Since you just spent a ton of money on the perfect steak, why would you want to waste all of that fat? This is why I pan-sear my steaks in a smoldering hot pan. This develops a marvelous crust and I use the rendered fat to baste my steak. After I flip my steak I add some butter, herbs, and garlic to the pan to add some aromatic flavors. After my steak reaches about 120 degrees I remove it from the pan and let it rest for at least 5-8 minutes. I know how tempting it is to want to just dig in right away, but if you do so you will lose a ton of moisture and flavor. Let it rest!!!!
Steak is a very personal subject, as is food in general. I prefer rib-eyes, but the guy next to me might prefer strips or flat-irons. Figure out what you like best and cook it with care and I assure you it will be delicious.
NY strip, about 1.5 inches thick. Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder a half hour before cooking. Cooked medium rare over a hot grill. About 3-4 minutes per side I think. Let it rest under foil for a few minutes, slice up and serve with a green salad heavy on the onions.
Flat Iron, rubbed with special seasonings (includes garlic and rosemary) and grilled 5 to 6 minutes per side, let rest and slice THIN. Serve with a pat of fresh made butter and steak juice running all over the platter, some crusty bread for sopping up juices....grilled new potatoes and a spring greens salad, tomato chunks and homemade blue cheese dressing. Perfection to me.
A thick filet mignon, salt and peppered, cooked to medium rare, and served with garlic herb butter (heavy on the garlic). Accompanied by rosemary and garlic new potatoes and asparagus. I will accept it wrapped in bacon as well.