Grilled steaks- odd instructions
I was looking at a recipe for grilled steaks with chimichurri on America's Test Kitchen's web site, and they would have me coat the steaks before grilling with a mixture of cornstarch and salt. I coat them with salt and pepper, but have never ever heard of coating with cornstarch, AND they gave no explanation, at least not in the printed part and I lack the patience to watch the video.
Has anybody done this before, or even heard of it?
Coating meat with cornstarch is a common technique used in oriental cooking, but it's typically cooked in a wok and not on a grill. A light coating of corn starch would absorb the surface moisture on the steak and provide a nice crust. Other than that, I can't come up with a reason to use the coating.
ATK's Cooks County (this morning) used it in a spice mixture for grilling chicken wings. They said it aids in the skin releasing from the grill - ie, makes a non-stick coating for low-heat grilling.
The cornstarch acts as a drying agent thus aiding in the browning process and dark crust formation.
Chef Morimota on ICA explained that technique of dusting meats with corn starch for a crispier crust. I then started using it for pork cubed steaks that my local S-mart foods sells...and any type of meat that I am browning in a skillet. I usually season the protein...let it sit for a bit and then "dust" it with cornstarch and let it sit on wire racks and it does create a nice crisp crust but it is a technique that requires a lot of patience because you can not leave the skillet untendedor it will burn quickly.