Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The last steak-out

Again from M & M Meats in Jim's Farmers Market, downtown Chambersburg: was gazing longingly at some beautiful ribeyes I spotted through the display glass. Was asked: see anything you like? I said: the ribeye looks great, but the price--$12.99 a pound? I suppose with the cost of beef skyrocketing you can't keep prices the way they were, and--what's that? You're letting me have it for $9.99? Really?

Two steaks then, please, two inches thick each. 

Which was how my weekend happened. Didn't bother freezing the steaks; come Saturday took em out and rubbed them with the guesstimated recipe of The Hitching Post Magic Dust I'd found online, with some differences: didn't have white pepper so just went heavier on the fresh-cracked black version; used Himalayan salt instead of kosher; used balsamic vinegar (cheap kind, don't have the cash for the real thing).

The resulting paste was rubbed on the steak as follows:

To cook used a cast iron pan, as simple a technique as can be

1. Stick pan in oven, then set for 500 degrees;

2. When oven hits target temperature, leave pan to heat up for twenty minutes;

3. Put rubbed-and-oiled steaks in pan, let cook for eight minutes;

4. Flip and cook other side for another seven minutes for medium-rare;

5. Important: rest for five or so minutes to let the juices distribute (if you don't first slice of the knife and the juices gush out, leaving you with a slab of shoe leather).

The recipe calls for a porterhouse; actually it can be any tender cut of meat (NY strip; filet mignon; ribeye; bone-in ribeye) as long as the cut measures two inches from one face to the other. It's the thickness not the cut that matters. 

The recipe also calls for oil salt and pepper and and many a great steak I've cooked this way. But I wanted to experiment, so this is what I got:

Crusty outside (the 'balsamic' caramelized with a burnt-sugar flavor) with a hint of paprika heat, deep red inside. Not a lot of fat overall but what there was was more white than yellow (not saying it's grassfed, but the farm that raised the beef is family-owned and proud of its quality (the cow probably roamed a grassy field more than usual).

For a side I went to this recipe from The Huffington Post, only it wasn't all spinach, but Power Greens (y'know--kale, bok choy, Swiss chard), and where the recipe asked for a fourth cup of Parmesan I kind of ahem forgot to stop pouring.

And this is the result:

Not Peter Luger's, but the greens are bright yet tender, the sauce taking on an interesting hint of corruption from all the Parmesan I negligently poured in (earthy greens, earthy sauce), complements nicely the (almost) grassfed beef with spicy burnt-sugar crust. Served up with some incredibly sweet roasted corn we bought from Hess Orchards (picked that morning or so the girl at the register said), roasted in the oven for twenty minutes, served up on the same plate.

In other words, this:

For dessert Luz bought dough from The Butcher Shoppe, baked them a little too long. She wasn't happy with the results but I loved them: crisped, crunchy, crammed with M & Ms, dried coconut, and peanut butter, with a burnt-sugar taste that matched the steak's crust:

And the rest as they say is blessed blessed silence.

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