one of the chefs at Glutenfreeda.com, you can only imagine
the variety of foods set in front of my family at dinner-time.
It is not uncommon for a weeknight dinner to consist of an
elaborate presentation of something like Grilled Shrimp &
Mango Salad followed by an entrée of Beef Roast with
Shallots & Fennel in Marsala Sauce accompanied by Feta
Mashed Potatoes and Caramelized Cauliflower with Bacon &
Spinach. You can only imagine that after awhile you begin
to crave basic, simple foods. Now dont get me wrong,
my husband feels very, very fortunate for the opportunity
to be the ultimate taste tester for Glutenfreeda.com, however,
if asked what he would like for dinner he invariably will
say, How about a grilled steak, baked potato and corn
on the cobb.
So, in honor of all those hard-working Fathers
Day, lets talk steak! What makes a great steak? Success
relies on a naturally tender cut of meat. Tender, mild-flavored
steaks come from the top and middle sections, while less tender
but more flavorful steaks come from the front and hind quarters.
Stick to prime or choice grade steaks for optimal tenderness
and flavor. Choose your steak based on how you intend to prepare
it. Here are some helpful details about several different
cuts of beef to help you make the best steak possible.
Filet: The most popular and also most expensive steak
comes from the short loin. These steaks are ideal for grilling
and pan searing.
Porterhouse & T-Bones: Cutting
the short loin into bone-in steaks will yield the large porterhouse
steak and the T-bone steak. The porterhouse will be more expensive
because it contains a larger section of tenderloin. Great
New York Strip: Another popular steak
containing no tenderloin and no bone. Great for grilling,
pan searing & broiling.
Rib steaks and boneless rib-eye steaks:
These steaks are cut from the rib section of the beef. These
often have more fat marbled throughout the meat which gives
more flavor than you will find in a filet. They may be less
tender than a filet but they are rich and juicy great
for grilling and broiling.
Top sirloin steak: Comes from the
top section of the sirloin (hence the name). These steaks
are good grill steaks and are sometimes cut into large sections
enough to serve 3-4 people.
Top round steak: This steak comes
from the hind leg portion. For many steak lovers, this steak
offers the best combination of texture and flavor. Avoid the
tough eye-of-the-round steaks these are best braised
until tender. These steaks take well to marinades.
Flank steak: This steak is a lean,
flat, boneless cut from the underside of the beef. It has
tremendous flavor but must be cooked quickly and sliced very
thin across the grain to be tender. This steak does very well
Skirt steak: This long, narrow steak
is also referred to as fajita steak. It is more tender and
contains more fat than the flank steak. Like flank and top
round this steak is best quickly broiled or grilled and takes
well to marinades.
the years, Ive had ample opportunity to experiment with
what I feel produces the best possible steak. Everyone seems
to have their own "best-method" for grilling, so
if youve figured out what works best for you, than keep
with what youre doing. My method begins with having
a well-oiled grill rack. If using 2-sided propane grill, start
by heating both sides over high heat (top closed). Once the
grill reaches 450-500 °F, turn off one side of the grill,
leaving the other side on. Place the steaks on the "off"
side. Grill for 5 minutes. Turn the "off" side on
and the "on" side "off". Flip the steaks
over onto the new "off " side. Grill for another
5 minutes. Test the steaks by using the "touch test"
(see below on how to use the "touch test"). If the
steaks are not done, repeat the above process, flipping over
onto the new "off" side, until the steaks are cooked
to the desired doneness. This method still sears the outside
of the meat, but it allows those thicker steaks the necessary
time to cook through.
If using a charcoal grill, heat the coals
until hot. Again, place an oiled grill rack over the coals
and heat the grill. Place the steaks over the hot coals and
grill for about 6-7 minutes per side. If cooking thick steaks,
transfer steaks to a 350 °F oven for about 10 minutes
or until the steaks pass your "touch test".
Regardless of your method, dont skip
the important step of letting the steaks rest before serving.
After grilling, place the steaks on a platter and tent with
foil. Let the steaks rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
As meat proteins cook they begin to shrink and a loss of moisture
occurs. As meat rests, this process is partially reversed.
The moisture that is driven toward the center of the meat
is redistributed as the protein molecules relax and are able
to reabsorb some moisture. As a result, less juice runs out
of the meat when you cut into it. If you cut into meat right
away, almost twice as much liquid is lost than if you let
it rest before carving. Keep in mind that the internal temperature
of the meat will rise about 5-10 °F as it rests
so plan for this as you are grilling it so you dont
remove it from the grill too late.
The number one key to cooking a great steak,
regardless of the cooking method, is in knowing when to stop.
Many cooks have their own individual ways of telling when
a steak is cooked just right. A sure-fire way is to check
the internal temperature of the steak to know when it has
cooked long enough. The internal temperature for a rare steak
is 135 degrees F; for medium-rare its 145 degrees F;
and for medium its 155 degrees F. If youre wondering
what the temperature is for well-done, you wont find
it here because we believe no steak should be cooked past
medium. If you like your meat well-done, we suggest you choose
a different cut of meat. The only problem with the thermometer
method is that steak will continue to cook after it has been
removed from the heat source. So, to end up with a rare steak,
the steak should be pulled off the heat when it registers
about 125 degrees F.
An easier way to test a cooking steak is
by touch. To those who are not outdoor barbecue kings and
queens, this may sound like unproved science, but it is actually
very accurate and it doesnt require fussing with a thermometer.
rare: The steak, when touched or lightly pushed on will
give easily and feel soft.
The steak will feel firmer than that of a rare steak but not
The steak will feel firm and give only slightly.
To get a feel for the
touch test method, try cooking a steak to what you think is
rare and touch it, then let it cook a little longer and touch
it again. You will quickly get a sense for the difference.
Cooking Time: Use the chart below
for approximate cooking times. All steaks should be flipped
halfway through the cooking time. Keep in mind that the second
side will cook faster than the first.
Filet, Flank or Skirt
Boneless top loin, rib, sirloin,
Bone-in T-bone, porterhouse, rib,
top loin or skirt steak
Now for the recipes: If your dad
is looking for an extraordinary steak, here are some of my
guys favorite steak recipes we know hell
Ribeyes with Salsa Butter
with Gorgonzola Butter
Steaks with Caramelized Onions & Feta
Steaks with Salsa & Roasted Peppers
Steaks with Sun-Dried Tomato Butter
Steaks with Fried Leeks
Glazed Steaks with Mushrooms
with Pasilla Chili Sauce
Flank Steak with Chimichurri Sauce
Glutenfreeda wishes all the Dads
out there a very Happy Fathers Day!