Monday, August 23, 2010

Yep, I'm a carnivore.

Yesterday, I wandered into Whole Paycheck - that is Whole Foods, on Union Square, in search of some motivation for dinner.  Something I'd want to eat this week.  And I found it- they had these Rib Eye SLABS, they were passing off as steak in the butcher department.  I mean face-sized slabs of aged beef with beautiful marbling.... Really.  look;

If you're a carnivore like me, how are you supposed to resist this?  What you can't see in this photo, is that it's about 2 inches thick - cut funny, admittedly - I mean did we have to go diagonally across nearly three ribs?  But who cares??!!  This is a steak for steak eaters...

I dunno about you, but I've f'ed up steak before.  No really - I've yanked it off the stove to find there's no pink on the inside, or found it to be charred outside and still moving inside - I've had a challenge finding the perfect medium rare.... but tonight - I did it!!  And I thought I should share HOW it was done, in hopes that I can replicate here goes

Oven to 450 - use a cast iron pan for this - really, there is no substitute for this at all - and place the pan in the oven to warm while you prep.
  • One big fat steak.  Big, and fat - find a proper butcher, there IS one in your area, you just have to find them.  Grocery store cuts of meat are going to cook too fast and won't yield the kind of results you want for this no way no how...
  • Bulb of garlic - this will come out buttery and soft, you can eat it, smear it on bread, or toss it if you're not a fan of garlic, but it adds flavor to the steak
  • Shallot - one big fat whole one
  • Butter - I used fresh home made butter, which lent a creamy taste that was way more than I expected and may have lent to inhaling of the steak
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To prep the steak, take it out of the fridge and set it out for about 30 min to bring it to room temp.  Sprinkle both sides with salt and pepper and let it rest.

Peel garlic and shallots - my favorite technique for peeling garlic involves smashing cloves with the flat side of a knife - it magically loosens the paper thin skins and allows it to release the flavor without tedious slicing and mincing.  Slice the peeled shallots in half - long or short way, no matter, they're getting roasted too!

Set the garlic and shallots aside and get ready to cook - pull the pan out of the oven (leave the oven on) and place it on the stove top on high heat.  Pour in a splash of olive oil and a chunk of butter - I never said this would be a low calorie dish...let the oils and fats heat up real good.

Place your steak in the hot pan, and don't touch it.  Seriously leave it alone for 2 - 3 min - no peeking nothing.  Grab a pair of tongs and flip it over and do the same again on the other side - again 2 - 3 min.  Sprinkle the shallots and garlic across the entire pan, add another chunk of butter and slide the whole thing into the oven.

Walk away - for about 6 to 8 min.  You'll hear crackling, and sizzling, and you'll smell the garlic and you're going to leave it alone.  Remember, shorter times for thinner cuts, mine was a little over 2 inches, and it went for 7 min.  This is the result;

Pleasantly pink, still a little cool in the center, nice caramelizing on the outside....if you're a steak eater, you're drooling now. I ate this with a side of lightly saut√©ed spinach that I tossed with the roast garlic from the steak pan.  It pairs nicely with a robust salad as well - something with hearty greens like romaine and a nice red - I'm working my way through a bottle of lambrusco at the moment...


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