This is a yummy post. You’re going to head to Sam’s Club for kosher salt, tongs and steak after you read this. Two articles, combined, led me to write this post. The first, teaches you how to prepare steak; second, I’ll tell you where to buy and how to cook the steak.
Why eat red meat? Because it’s one of your best sources of iron. Iron’s job is to carry oxygen in the red blood cells to the muscles, and gives you energy. Too little iron, and you can develop anemia. Iron cannot be found in chicken, or pork.
Iron-fortified cereal is great, but if you pour milk on your cereal, phosphates in calcium block your body’s absorption of iron. If you eat spinach, oxalic acid blocks iron absorption as well. This is why vegetarians are so smart — they’ve figured all of this out, and know how to eat the right foods, at the right time, so they get the right nutrients.
I’m not that smart. I have to eat red meat. But how to cook it perfectly? First, realize that the drive for ethanol is driving up the price of beef. When cows eat corn, it gives that marble-effect to the meat. Now, farmers are selling the corn for ethanol; higher demand, higher price. (Oh, what a tangled web we weave.)
The first goodie I have for you is a mouth watering post on how to prepare a cheap cut of meat, so it will be tender and juicy, from Jaden’s Steamy Kitchen, called How to Turn Cheap “Choice” Steaks Into Gucci Prime Steaks. Complete with photos, and science slides on osmosis, she explains how salt, lots of salt, can transform a cheap steak into a mouth-watering morsel.
Now, how to cook it, so its tender and juicy. The second article, The Search for the Perfect Steak, WSJ, September 8, 2007, was gleaned from none other than Elias Iglesias, chef at the New York branch of Morton’s. These instructions came directly from his kitchen:
Use tongs, not a fork. The reason cookbooks always tell you to let meat rest for a few minutes after the meat is done is because the meat needs time to distribute its juices. Piercing the meat makes all the juices run to that point, and out, without giving the juices a chance to spread out. So, never turn your meat with a fork. Use tongs.
Shop at the Big Box Stores. Believe it or not, Costco or Sam’s Club is the place to buy your meat. You want USDA Choice Beef. It’s not prime, so it’s cheaper. It’s not select, which is the less flavorful stuff at the supermarket. Mr. Iglesias “happily cooks choice meat at home, often buying whole loins at big-box stores such as BJ’s or Costco. If you like filet mignon, look for a cut labeled beef tenderloin; for strip steaks, buy strip loin.”
Once you’ve drenched your steaks in salt, following Jaden’s guidelines, here’s what the WSJ learned from Mr. Iglesias on how to cook steak on the stove top, followed by his adaptations for repeating the same method on the grill.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with a rack set in the middle.
- Heat a heavy, cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, until a few drops of water sprinkled in the hot pan evaporate within 3 seconds.
- Coat the bottom of the pan with 2 teaspoons of extra light olive oil, grapeseed or canola oil. (Always from a glass bottle.)
- Liberally salt the steaks with kosher salt, about 3/4 teaspoon for each steak.
- Place steaks in pan and sear for 2 minutes on each side, flipping only once with tongs.
- Transfer the steaks, still in the pan, to the oven and roast for roughly 8 to 9 minutes for 11/2-inch steaks to achieve medium-rare (an instant-read thermometer should register between 125 and 130 degrees).
- Let the steaks rest, under a tent of aluminum foil, for 5 minutes before serving.
On the grill, sear first over high heat, and then move the steaks to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking.Read more here. Now, who has a recipe for a great BÃ©arnaise sauce?