Monday, August 07, 2006

How to grill a steak well, not well done.

For the last few months I've been craving for beef. When I find myself in a restaurant or at the market, I want meat. My favorite New York restaurant, Hell's Kitchen, serves up great steak, Mexican style: Grilled Sirloin with Sweet Potato Fries & Endive-Pasilla Sauce. Delicious.

Right now I'm grilling bone-in rib eyes. I find that leaving the bone in lends more flavor and juiciness to the steak. It also allows you to get a little prehistoric, chomping on the bone when your knife is no longer of any use. I season the steaks generously with a spicy Montreal steak rub and let them them come to room temperature before throwing them on the grill. Allowing the steaks, or any meat for that matter, to come up to room temperature allows for more even cooking. When my grill is ready, I place the steaks on the hot side of a two-level charcoal fire, grilling them for a few minutes on each side before moving them to the lower heat side of the fire. I now cover the grill and let them finish cooking for a few more minutes. Moving them to the lower level of the fire will prevent them from burning or drying out. This is the reason for the two-level fire. You can accomplish the same two-level fire on a gas grill by turning one burner off and finishing the steaks with the indirect heat. As far as knowing when the steaks are ready, that will come with practice. You need to feel the meat, pressing lightly with your finger. Never, ever stick a steak with a fork, or one of those fork thermometers, while the steak is cooking, turn your steaks with tongs. Piercing the outer surface of the steak with anything will cause all the delicious juices to drain out before the steak is ready and you'll be left with a dried out piece of shoe leather.

I hope you learned something.

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