Friday, July 27, 2007

a little mi(steak)

It's been a while since we've had steak night and given the sweltering summer heat, it was a good day to grill up a couple of enormous rib steaks.

Dina took the liberty of marinating the steaks in advance in a tuscan-like wet rub. In a mortar and pestle she mashed 2 cloves of garlic and some salt until it became a paste. Then, she added fresh basil leaves, a few chili flakes, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar and blended it all until it came together.

The rub went all over both sides of the steaks and they marinated for about 10 minutes as I fired up the grill to preheat.

When the bbq was hot enough (place your hand a few inches above the grill and start counting...if you can make it to 5 seconds before it gets too hot, the grill is at the right temperature) I threw the steaks on and left them alone for about 7 minutes. Then a flip and another 5 minutes. We then let them sit for a couple of minutes to let the juices redistribute themselves.

Although Dina flavoured the steaks beautifully, unfortunately, I seem to be losing my touch when it comes to cooking them just right. They both turned out to be closer to well done rather than the medium-rare that Dina prefers and the medium that I enjoy.

Any fool-proof methods for cooking to the right doneness?


Rose said...

Thanks for visiting Dinner Party. I don't have any stake cooking tips, but that marinade looks fabulous!

Le frire spécialiste said...

Gently touch your index finger and thumb together on your left hand, then push your right index finger into the fleshy muscle under your thumb. Feel how soft that is? That's what a rare steak will feel like. Thumb and middle finger is medium rare. Thumb and ring finger is medium. Thumb and pinky is well done. Try it! You'll love your new tool. Go poke a steak.

Luke said...

My first reaction is to say that 12 minutes total on a grill sounds a little high. I might try if I were you going for a slightly higher heat for a slightly lower duration - say 4-5 minutes a side. That way you can sear the flavor in and get a good savory bite to the outside of the steak - which would be perfect given the texture of your marinade.

Also you'll make it easier on yourself by changing as few variables as possible. If you are changing the cut of meat, the thickness of the steaks, the temperature and the cooking times you will have too big a job figuring out where to make improvements. Go to the same butcher and ask for the same cut + thickness of steak every time, and you will be cooking perfect steaks in no time!

Karen said...

The steak looks mouthwatering - and I agree with Luke. Try cooking 5 minutes per side, and count on carry-over cooking while the meat rests.

mony said...

Thanks for the tips! I've heard of the finger trick and have neglected to use that technique for some reason. I'll give it a try and I'll try a higher heat and shorter cook time as suggested.

Stay tuned for the 2nd try!