By Chanie Nayman
The first step of the perfect steak dinner always starts at the market. When I was a little kid, (ok, 17 and super eager to drive,) I offered to do some food shopping. My father was skeptical. He was very concerned that a child of my innocence and inexperience would totally fail at buying the right cut of meat, but I was confident. That’s when I learned how to look for great marbling, to keep an eye out for cut and color, and to know what cut of meat to choose for which cooking application. Then- what do to with all that raw food? I learned to cook it of course!
So, when friend, colleague and Great Talent, Renee Muller, asked me to send her my standard steak recipe recently, we got to talking. She suggested sharing my basic but amazing steak guide, so everyone could learn to cook it, whether in beautiful sunny July or gross overcast December. And I have to say I was pulled in hook line and sinker!
If I’m not using my new favorite toy (my sous vide –for a later article, if Renee convinces me into another one) Here’s what I do: Season your steak generously with crushed garlic (yes I cheat and use frozen garlic cubes sometimes), coarse kosher salt and plenty of freshly crushed black pepper. If you don’t have a pepper grinder, I highly reccomend it! I buy disposable ones so I don’t have to bother refilling them; I use them all day long. (Same with salt. Disposable salt grinder all the way.) Then I add a hefty splash of soy. Now, here’s where I get a bit soy sauce snobby: check the ingredients on your soy sauce. If it says high fructose corn syrup, reconsider. Next time you are in the sauce aisle of your supermarket, look for ingredients like soy beans, wheat, water, salt… things you recognize. The brands I usually use are Kikoman or Tamari, and they are often sold at national food chains in addition to kosher grocery stores. But I digress, back to the meat! Drizzle some olive oil. I don’t want to say this, but I have to, because it does make a bit of a difference: I use a pinch of onion soup mix (msg-free of course) on there too. I add some Trader Joes BBQ Coffee Rub sometimes, that stuff is great. Turn the steak over, and repeat this whole 2 second long process. Garlic, salt, pepper, soy, olive oil, onion soup mix, coffee rub.
Then, if you have time, let your steak marinate for a few hours. Marinating helps tenderize the meat for an even better mouthfeel, but I have cooked it right after I seasoned it as well for delicious reults.
Heat up a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil, and wait until the oil is shimmering. If you have a cast iron skillet, use it, they deliver an amazing crust! Using kitchen tongs, place your meat down on the skillet. Let your steak cook until it releases from the pan on its own. When it does that, you will know you got the nice crust you are looking for on your meat, about sixty to ninety seconds. Then transfer your meat to a disposable pan (you don’t want any carryover cooking from the heat of the skillet) and place the pan in a preheated 280-320 degree oven, depending on how thick your steak is. Now, here’s the cool part: turn OFF your oven! Just let your steak sit sit in there, without even one little peek until you are ready to serve.
Perfectly even, medium rare edge to edge doneness, every time.
Now, a word about choosing the best cut of beef. My favorite in general is a minute steak split/fillet. I find that it’s the best cut for the best value. Not to be confused with fillet steak! For this method, I usually use a rib steak. boneless or bone in, as they deliver an excellent, juicy and tender product you will absolutely love.
Try my indoor steak, and let me know how much you loved it! Email me at [email protected]
Bye for now!