Steak is not something I eat very often. But for the right occasion, nothing beats a meaty cut of beef. Because a good steak feels like an event, and because it is not cheap, I tend to choose quality and fork out the bucks. For all that money, it’s something you don’t want to screw up when you cook it.
So here is my steak primer:
- I like my steak best cooked on a charcoal grill. That fact alone will determine the type of steak I choose. I feel like the smoke and flame from the charcoal adds great flavor and creates a crisp crust and a juicy interior.
- Your steak should be 1-1/2 inches thick....at least! I tend to go for this thickness, but you can go up to 2 inches thick. Don’t get crazy and go thicker. (My steaks were about 12 oz.) And if your butcher doesn’t have thick steaks on offer, by all means ask him or her to cut you a fresh steak (or two, or three). They should be happy to do this.
- Choose a well-marbled steak. If you are eating steak then by no means should you be afraid of fat. If you are afraid of fat, go eat a salad. Otherwise, marbling. You need fat to keep that steak nice and tender. Oh and it melts in your mouth once the steak is cooked.
- Opt for a bone-in steak over a boneless, but either will work. I just like to gnaw the bone. Sooooo much flavor!
- Season simply but liberally. I like to salt my steak ahead of time, at least overnight. You can also salt it and leave it out at room temperature for 45 minutes before grilling. I use kosher salt and lots of freshly cracked black pepper. That’s it. A great steak doesn’t really need much more.
- Sear the steak to create a nice crust, and then move it to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking until it is cooked to perfection (for yourself and your guests, some like it rare, others medium, but please don’t ruin a steak by cooking it until it is “well done”). Use a meat thermometer to get a read on the temperature so you don’t over-or under-cook your steak.
- Finally, once you pull the steak off the grill, let it rest! This is your chance to finish up any sides or whatever. But it needs about 10 minutes for the meat to soak up some of those juices.
I often like my steak plain, but sometimes I love it topped with something yummy. So, if you like, serve the steak topped with any of the following:
- Sautéed shallots and mushrooms
- Crumbled blue cheese
- Herb butter
- Sautéed or grilled onions sliced and tossed with a little balsamic vinegar
Recipe: Grilled Ribeye Steak
Makes 2 to 4 servings
- 1 large bone-in ribeye steak or T-bone, at least 1-1/2 inches thick (about 1 lb)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Season the steak all over with plenty of salt. Set aside on a plate at room temperature for 45 minutes. (Or, salt the steak ahead of time and let sit overnight in the fridge, then set out at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to grilling.) Season with pepper just before grilling.
- Set up a charcoal grill for high indirect heat. Brush the grill grate with oil. Sear the steak over the hot fire until a nice char forms on the exterior, turning occasionally. Transfer to the cooler side of the grill and continue to cook, covered, until the steak registers about 125F for medium rare, about 10 minutes longer.
- Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let rest for about 8 minutes. Slice and serve at once.