One of the unexpected responsibilities of a Military Spouse is that the grilling and barbecues fall squarely on your shoulders while your Spouse is deployed. For some this is a piece of cake, but if you, like us, need a bit more direction when it comes to making the perfect steak, Saint Germain Catering has these helpful step-by-step instructions:
Crisp and caramelized on the outside, but never burnt, with a bite that melts in your mouth as the savory, perfectly seasoned flavor of beef hits your palate. Forget the steakhouse; we’re going to help you reach steak nirvana on your own.
- Meet your Meat! Start with the best prime-grade, dry-aged beef or substitute a one-and-a-half-inch-thick choice steak from your local grocery store. We recommend prime New York strip steaks. Try to pick the meat with the most marbling, i.e., visible grains of fat running through the steak. As the steak is cooking, the fat will melt and naturally tenderize the meat and build in flavor.
- Fire it Up! Begin by stacking around 35 pieces of charcoal in the center of your grill to get it started. Let the fire burn for 15-20 minutes, until the coals turn about halfway white; then spread them out to one side, leaving a cool spot on the grill. Cover your grill with the lid and leave the top vent open for 3-5 minutes until it’s very, very hot! You need it hot enough to sear the outside quickly and form a crust. Remember your goal – the perfect steak – is defined by the contrast between the charred exterior and the warm, juicy center.
- Pre-game Warm Up! For four 14 to 16 ounce pieces of meat, grab 1/2 cup corn oil, 8 teaspoons each of kosher salt and cracked black pepper, and 2 sticks unsalted butter. Melt the butter and skim the solids from the surface, set aside to cool. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 30 to 40 minutes before cooking to allow them to hit room temperature. Make sure to shape the steaks by pushing the side into the center to create height.
- Marinate – Mix the oil and ½ cup of clarified butter on a large serving plate. Put the steaks into the oil-butter mix to coast each side, and then lift the steaks to allow the excess oil to drip off. Also make sure the steaks don’t have too much oil-butter mix on them or it will create flare-ups on the grill. Coat each side of the steaks with a teaspoon of salt and pepper each. (Salt helps make a great crust!)
- Grillmaster Time – Throw the meat on the hottest part of the grill. If the grill flares up, move the steaks to the outside edge, and then return them to the center when the flame dies down. It is really important you do not slide the meat across the grill. Gently pick the steaks up with tongs; you do not want to pierce the meat at all! Also you do not want to flip them around too much; limit yourself to three flips, cooking each side for 3 minutes at a time.
- How Do YOU Like It? There is no exact science to knowing when a steak is done. Most people cut a small slit in the steak to see the color of the meat, but the best way to do it is by comparing the meat’s firmness to your hand’s firmness. It sounds strange, but try it out some time. If the softer, fleshy part at the base of your thumb is the same density as the meat, the meat is rare. The firm center of your palm is the feel of a well-done steak.
Before you devour your perfect steak, allow the meat to rest for 3 to 4 minutes before serving to allow the juices to emerge from the center.