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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.

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  1. hanger steak. butterflied to get that sinew thing out of there then cooked on a grill or a cast iron pan. served with creamed spinach (the only correct side dish for steak) and fries or baked potato.

    2 Replies
    1. re: j8715

      can't omit the microscopic wedge of lettuce smothered with a gallon of bleu cheese dressing...
      and give me skirt instead of hanger...

      1. re: j8715

        (the only correct side dish for steak)


        maybe for you.......mine is Maine Lobster.


      2. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. NY Strip... really thick and grilled to medium rare with salt and pepper ONLY.

            1. 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.

              1. Ribeye 1 1/2" - 2" thick. Rest until room temperature.

                Get BGE up to 900+ degrees. Sear for 90 seconds on each side. Take off the steak to rest for 20 minutes. Get the egg back down to 400 degrees. Put back on the egg until medium rare. Rest for 10 minutes before serving.

                Not my own method but it's money every single time.

                2 Replies
                1. re: achtungpv

                  Wow, I didn't realize BGEs got up that high. I've not really looked into them, just read about here and stroke them lovingly when I see them in stores :) And, plus one for that thick ribeye.

                  1. re: achtungpv

                    Wow, great post. How long does it usually take for the BGE to drop down to 400 degrees??

                  2. Filet mignon marinated in homemade teriyaki sauce and pan fried Pittsburgh rare.

                    1. Ribeye, brought to room temperature with a good bit of salt & cracked pepper then grilled to rare over mesquite. Heaven.

                      1. Does grilled tongue count?

                        Most any part of the cow is okay by me; do it in a pan with a little butter to develop the Maillard, but adapt the cooking to the cut of cow being served.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: wattacetti

                          You've grilled tongue???? PLEASE tell me more.

                          1. re: c oliver

                            I guess this is more "micro-steak".

                            You take the tongue and place it in boiling water for a couple of minutes before shocking it in an ice bath. Then peel because the taste bud layer isn't particularly pleasant. Slice cross-wise, 3-4 mm or so if you're going to flash-grill the stuff.

                            Crank up heat on barbecue or start fanning coals on a konro grill equipped with a grate. Lightly sprinkle with salt, place on grill. It will char and cook quickly so watch the cooking time.

                            Since most other people I know won't eat tongue, this is more of a "me" thing and I'll stand next to the grill and grill/eat as I go. Straight as-is, with a little shichimi, ponzu, gyu tare, barbecue sauce, horseradish…

                            I have also tried doing this with the tongue sliced lengthwise (bigger individual portion), but that's a lot harder to eat because of the muscle fibre directionality. Thicker slices (>1 cm) were kinda "meh" and also a bit harder to cook.

                            You can also skewer if you don't want to do individual slices. Of course in this form it's sort-of a kebab or anticucho and not a steak

                            1. re: wattacetti

                              This sounds great! Those who "won't" eat tongue have probably not ever tasted tongue :)

                              1. re: wattacetti

                                Very Argentinean preparation. Love it.

                          2. 1 1/2 In. Heavy marbled Porter House or Cowboy Cut Rib-eye over screaming hot Wood coals....S&P

                            1. Flatiron, esp with a bit of marination (salt, pepper, olive oil, small touch of balsamic vinegar and about 6-8 hours of marinating). not as tender as a filet but more than the other cuts yet as flavour like the other cuts. I also like that they somewhat self portion into 8 ozs which when you think about it is a lot of beef and filling when not inhaled in 2 mins.

                              1. Exactly how l cooked my 1 1/2 incher tonight, just perfect.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                  even the dash of balsamic? I know a bit weird for the steak but I find it gets into the fibres and loosens the steak up a bit. not too much --> table spoon between two flatirons.