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Sticks & Steaks August 5, 2008

Posted by Mitchell in Home, Politics, Science & Technology.
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It’s time for a general update of things around here, and also since Lemur King asked for it – how I cook my steaks.

Sticks
First up – my new pool cue addition and the new 9-ball league! I started going to the pool hall for an hour or so every night after work when I got my Predator shaft last week. The first few nights I had an instantly notacable improvement in accuracy and ball control. I was dropping shots that I was consistantly missing just a couple days before. Needless to say I was very well pleased with my purchase. The last couple of times over the weekend and last night particularly my performance started to sink back to my previous frustratingly inconsistent levels. Grrrrr!

Last night was the official start of league play and we were formed into five teams of five members each. Every Monday night two teams will be matched against each other and every member of each team will play two games against the other members of the opposing team. So everyone plays 10 games for a total of 50. We got creamed: 18 to 32. I didn’t do very well at all and only won 4 out of my 10 and two of those were out of dumb luck against a guy who was playing much better than I was. My last match was kinda heartening though. It was against our toughest opponent who’d only lost one game against all the other members of my team. He blew me away on the first game, but I hung with him on the second to get the last three balls on the rack with a clutch bank shot on the 9 to win.

I’ll detail a bit more about the teams and my observations about the members a bit later, but I think we started things off in an interesting manner via team names we picked for ourselves. My team is “Comic Relief” (not my suggeston). Our opponents last night decided on “The Champions”. No kidding.

Steaks
Since I live all by my selfish I don’t have a grill. It never made sense to me to go through all the trouble of grilling food just for myself so I’ve never grilled a steak on an outdoor BBQ. If I want good outdoor grilled food I go to my parent’s house. Last weekend Dad grilled wild salmon and it was absolutely delicious.

Anyway. There is a very good way to to cook a perfect steak inside without all that other stuff. The secret is a nice big cast iron skillet. Right off the bat here let me give credit where it is properly due: Steve Graham over at Hog On Ice. I started reading his stuff regularly and he described how he cooked his steaks outside on a cast iron griddle. He does it at a really high temperature that produces a lot of smoke. I do it inside at a lower temperature where the range hood can handle the little bit of smoke it produces. Other than that it’s the same and I’ve never cooked better steaks.

First, you take out and salt the steak on both sides. Steve says something along the lines of “salt it more than you think you should, and then a little bit more.” Really rub it in. The steak should feel uniformly gritty. Next, give it time to warm up to room temperature. This is going to take about three hours. Four is probably better. I stick mine in a turned offf oven to make sure the cat doesn’t get to it. Steve doesn’t say so but I think this gives a more even and faster cooking, plus time for that salt to dissolve and get absorbed into the meat.

When you’re ready to cook put your seasoned cast iron skillet on the range set the burner to medium high heat. When my skillet starts to smoke a little I know it’s ready for the steak. The idea is to quickly sear the steak to seal in the juices. Two minutes on each side seem to do that nicely. The rest of the time depends on the thickness of the steak and doneness you want. I like medium-rare. For a boneless inch-thick ribeye a total cook time of 8 minutes is perfect, flipped every two minutes. A slightly thicker bone-in ribeye at 12 minutes slightly overshot perfect medium-rare. Remember to cook both sides equally. All of the steaks I’ve cooked this way were juicy and delicious, and each bite perfectly salted without touching the salt shaker again. And not just on top, but throughout each bite of the meat. There is a difference and it is amazing.

Steve does this one better and makes up some garlic butter for his steaks and pours it all over them. I did that for my first steak cooked this way. One word: WOW. It’s impossibly rich, but you have to do this at least once in your lifetime. Butter. Your. Steak. Do it. You’ll thank me later.

That’s it for now. I’ll type at you later.

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Comments

1. ~KC~ - August 7, 2008

Your cooking techniques have left me salivating…
Must try it.

2. Lemur King - August 12, 2008

I’m thinking “about 3 seconds on a side ought to do it” and just dig in. Sometimes I wonder why I don’t just drag down a bovine with my teeth and gnaw on a leg right there. I will definitely try your method.

I saw Emeril or an Emeril-clone do a compound butter for a steak that was butter/blue-cheese. (drool)

3. Enas Yorl - August 13, 2008

Blue cheese always = yum! I saw Bobbie Flay on the food network did a rib-eye on the grill last weekend and he did much the same thing I did – except he used WAY too much salt. About twice what I do. That was nuts. He did blue cheese too. I’ll have to remember that next time.

4. xbradtc - August 25, 2008

Dude, even living selfishly alone, grilling is easy as pie. As long as you have a patio or balcony. A cheap gas grill, and 15 minutes leads to perfect steaks, chops, chicken, burgers, cats, you name it. And clean up is easy.

5. S. Weasel - August 25, 2008

Don’t denigrate this technique, Brad. It’s eerily close to mine. To wit:

Make sure you let the steak warm to room temp (I rub mine with salt, pepper and olive oil to keep it from drying out). Sometimes I’ll let it sit for hours and hours.

I use an iron frying pan with a lid. I heat that sucker as high as I can on the hottest burner, and use the lid to keep from setting off the smoke alarm. I like my steaks thinner. I give it maybe four minutes on each side on the highest heat with the lid. That pretty much does it.

The butter? If you watch them in restaurants, they always ladle something over the steak before serving. That something is butter!

6. Enas Yorl - August 26, 2008

There you go Weasel. Steak skilleters stick together!

7. xbradtc - August 26, 2008

I’m not saying you can’t make an excellent skillet steak. Hell, my cast irons are about a hundred years old. They’ve fed a heck of a lot of people in their time. And there are some things that should only be done in a cast iron skillet, like okra.

I’m just saying that for one person, grilling on a gas grill is a hell of a lot easier.

8. Enas Yorl - August 26, 2008

Brad, I think you misunderestimate my laziness and my dislike of doing ANYTHING outside during the brutal Las Vegas summer temps. Bleh. If I grill outside I’d feel compelled to clean up my patio and this would mean that I’d have to contend with the black widow spiders that claimed that area as their territory.

Maybe when things cool off this fall I’ll give it a try.


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