Cooking Steak like a Steakhouse
Today Chef Chris Shows You Exactly Where the Beef is,
and De-Mystifies Some Classic Restaurant and "Steak-House Style Recipes
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To Listen to the Steak-Cast:
Today we are going to de-mystify the restaurant style steak preparations. With a few hints and recipes you’ll be cooking like a pro. Recipes include Steak Au Poivre, Tuscan T-Bone Balsamico, and Prime Rib.
First I want to discuss selecting your steaks and meats. This is the most important step of the whole process. Most steak houses use aged beef, why aged beef??? Because after 14-21 days the meat develops an enzyme that actually tenderizes the meat. Secondly grading of the beef they classify the primal cuts of steak for us to know how well the steaks are marbeled. Now a Days Angus Beef has become a buzz word, a lot of beef out there does come from Black Angus Cattle but to become Certified Black Angus it has to be in the top 6 percent. What they mean when they grade the beef Prime, Choice and Select is the amount of marbleized fat that runs through the meat, this translated into a juicy and delicious steak. I also have learned the two keys to flavorful meat are bones and fat, that’s why they say the porterhouse is the king of steaks, not only do you have the tenderloin and new York strip steaks divided by that “T” Bone, a well marbled sirloin steak counterpoints the tender but lean Filet Mignon on the opposite side. When I say the meat is marbled it contains necessary far globules, that when cooked and then eaten make you associate these flavors and juices with a well cooked and top of the line steak.
A classic restaurant dish, steak au poivre is French for steak with peppercorns. It is served with a flamed cognac pan sauce. If you must, bourbon or red wine may be substituted for the cognac.
· 1 thick-cut well-marbled strip steak, about 1 pound total weight, and 1-1/2 inches thick
· 2 tablespoons mixed whole peppercorns, including black, white, green, Szechuan and Jamaican (whole allspice)
· 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
· 1 tablespoon butter
· Pan sauce:
· 2 tablespoons minced shallots
· 2 tablespoons cognac (or bourbon or red wine)
· 1/2 cup flavorful dark stock
· 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
Trim the steak of all the surrounding fat and cartilage. Cut the meat into 2 pieces and crush the peppercorns using the bottom of a heavy skillet.
Sprinkle salt to taste on the top and bottom of the steaks; then press each side into the cracked peppercorns, encrusting the steaks lightly or heavily, as you prefer.
Heat the oil and the butter in a heavy saute or frying pan over high heat.
When the pan is quite hot, lay the peppered steaks in. Fry for about 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, until the undersides are well seared. Turn the meat and cook the second side for about a minute. Press with a finger to test for the slight springiness that indicates rare. Cook to desired doneness and remove to a warm platter.
Making the pan sauce:
Add the shallots to the pan and saute briefly, stirring with a spoon to scrape up the drippings. Lean away from the stove (averting your face) and pour the cognac into the pan; tilt the edge of the pan slightly, over the burner flame, to ignite the alcohol. The cognac will flame for a few seconds as the alcohol burns off. Cook for a few moments more and then add the stock. Bring the liquid back to the boil, and cook about 1 minute to thicken the sauce, stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning. Finally, add the soft butter, swirling the pan until it melts and incorporates with the juices.
When blended, pour the sauce over the steaks. Sprinkle liberally with chopped parsley and garnish each plate with sprigs of parsley or watercress.
Yield: 2 servings
Prime rib roast makes an impressive dish for any occasion, and it is especially popular at Christmas and other major holidays. Some prefer the standing rib roast with the ribs attached. Others carve the roast from the ribs and save the ribs to cook as a separate dish. This way, you can carve the prime rib roast in thinner slices without hitting the bone, and the ribs make extra servings for those who love them. Creamed horseradish sauce, a simple sauce made with either unsweetened whipped heavy cream or sour cream mixed with up to an equal volume (depending on how spicy you like it) of ground horseradish, and a pinch of salt is a traditonal and yummy accompaniment for prime rib.
4 pounds rib roast
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon herb leaves (tarragon, rosemary, thyme, etc)
1/4 cup onions, finely chopped
1 cup beef broth, or water
Rib refers to where the cut of meat was taken. The rib section contains less connective tissue than other cuts of meat making it one of the more tender cuts. Prime is generally the top or highest grade of meat. It contains the greatest degree of marbling making it juicier and more tender. The grade of meat may not necessarily be "prime" to be called "prime rib roast." With or without the prime grade, prime rib roast is traditionally considered elegant, tender, and juicy. Meat may be purchased as rolled rib roast, standing rib roast, boneless rib roast, rib-eye roast, small end rib roast, or large end rib roast.
Before Roasting you want to season the roast liberally with salt and pepper. Because rib cuts are more tender, dry heat roasting (no cover and no added liquid) is preferred. Moist heat is used to tenderize tougher cuts of meat, but may also result in greater shrinkage and drier meat. Place meat on a cooking rack, fat side up, in a shallow roasting pan. Do not place meat in a cooking bag nor place a cover of any kind over the meat. Roast at 350 degrees, 18-24 minutes per pound. Medium-rare (145 degrees final internal temperature), medium (155 degrees internal temperature), and well-done (165 degrees internal temperature). Note - Over cooking meat will dry it out and help toughen it. Internal temperature of meat will continue to raise 5 more degrees during standing time.
Allow roast to stand 15-20 minutes before carving. Proper carving will make meat seem more tender. Slice across the grain of meat. Serve with horseradish and au jus, as desired.
Remove meat from pan and drain off excess fat. Place pan on top of stove, add onions, cook and stir over medium heat 3-5 minutes. Add water and/or broth. Stir until meat juices attached to pan are dissolved. Continue to simmer until liquid is reduced to desired strength.
Once again the T-bone that separates the filet and sirloin also de-notes the cut we are using. The difference between a T-Bone and Porterhouse is only the size, classically the Porterhouse is about a pound and a half 20-22 oz or larger and is supposed to be .cut from the larger side of the short loin producing a larger “eye” of tenderloin
Once you have your steak you want to pre-heat your grill which should be quite hot to cook this mammoth steak.
2 - porterhouse steaks, room temperature
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons cracked black pepper
2 lemons, quartered
1 rosemary sprig
Take a few leaves from the rosemary sprig and chop them and place in the olive oil and squeeze in the juice of one lemon and the salt and cracked pepper
Also place the rosemary branch in the oil to realease additional flavors and oil. Using the rosemary sprig as a brush , massage the oil marinade ove the steaks. Drop the steak on the grill, let it cook and rotate 90 degrees to make cross-hatched grill marks. Baste with the rosemary branch again being careful not to get too much oil on the flame or it will catch fire. Flip over and repeat and cook to your liking. The important thing is that the heat remain constant and intense following the initial very high-heat searing, and if the coals look like they're dying down gently fan them back to life. The cooking should happen in the space of a few minutes, and when done the steak should still be rare on the inside. How much time? This depends upon your fire and your taste.
One of the best tests for doneness of a steak is feel. Raw meat is squishy and soft, and as it passes from rare though medium to well done, toughening as it goes, it becomes progressively firmer, and finally unyielding.. The Joy of Cooking suggests cooking times for steaks straight from the fridge, and says to add or subtract 1 minute per half-inch thickness of steak. If you're using room temperature meat, the meat will cook a few minutes faster.
· A 1-inch steak: Rare, 10-12 mins; Medium Rare, 12-16 mins; Medium, 16-18 mins
· A 2-inch steak: Rare, 18-20 mins; Medium Rare, 20-24 mins; Medium, 24-28 mins
What to serve your Steak with? A classic is sautéed spinach or a green and tomato salad like peppery Arugula with garden fresh tomatoes olive oil and lemon. Other possibilities for side dishes include fried potatoes or stewed white (canellini) beans with garlic and olive oil. And of course a rich red wine, a Chianti Classico Riserva, or a Brunello, or a Barolo.
For One Option for a Sauce I like a Drizzle of Good Balsamic Vinegar, it give a tangy sour counterpoint to the rich grilled meat much like a tamarind flavored steak sauce.
Aged Balsamic can be a little price to reproduce this we are going to take 3/4 a cup of balsamic vinegar and heat it with 4 tablespoons of brown or granulated sugar. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, and cook until this mixture will coat a spoon. Overcooking this will produce a burnt bitter caramel you don’t want to eat or clean up so be careful to watch your reduction. Spoon the reduction over your steaks and enjoy