We don’t eat much beef steak or fancy beef roasts around these parts (Meathenge Labs). Why? For several reasons. One of which being it costs too much. The other is that I find beef is really quite quirky as to its cooking times. One minute you have perfection and in five? A stinky ol’ boot. While this isn’t a problem for skilled meat craftsman, I’ve got 2 small boys and their neighborhood friends about my feet at most times. I need a meat that will give me a few minutes of leeway.
That being said, I had my Highland Hills Farm Chateaubriand from the farmer’s market last Saturday and Monday night seemed a perfect moment for me and my meat.
Today I’d like to offer up a few pictures and meat technology that might help some of you getting a good steak from your range in your kitchen. I didn’t have time for the grill and I hate my broiler. So, off we go!
Let’s take another look at our dinner, here. If you saw this type of cut at your grocery store, what does it say to you about how to cook it? Little or no marbling or fat on the outer limits. This tells us all that this here meat needs to be cooked hot and fast.
If you do a google on cooking a chateaubriand, you’ll come up with some excellent guidelines and/or recipes. But what I don’t see is the correct temperature for your frypan or oven. This would be hot, hotter and fricken smokin’ hot.
Pull your steak from the wrapper and wash lightly, dry completely. Set out on a plate and let come to nearly room temp. This could be 10 to 25 minutes. After drying, preheat your oven to 425 degrees F and put rack on center.
When your steak is ready, preheat your cast iron frypan. On my stove I did medium heat, this is nearly enough flame to cover the bottom of an 11″ pan, so you may need to jack it a bit. You want this pan to be really smoking, not just little pretty wafts of blue smoke. I want it a few steps past that. While it’s preheating I suggest you salt the steak. I used a fancy coarse fleur de sel. I wanted the salt to stand up to the high heat and moisture from the meat. No pepper. Personally I find that it burns and I get a far better pepper taste by doing it after the steak is done. Is the pan hot yet?
OoOoOok, and don’t give that crap about, “Oh my patina! I never put it past low and I never ever cook bacon in it.” Jam it closed. I don’t want to hear it. Listen up, that pan is designed for this type of cooking. And you know what? This will carbonize your oily patina and make it even better. Get that pan hot, foo.
I took a dollup of canola oil and quickly swished it around the pan, then poured it out in to a waiting aluminum pie tin. Return to fire. Careful with hot pans like this and liquidy fats. Move with precision and care. Double check your grip with the hot pad. Install your steak in to this hot pan and put a bacon press or something heavish on the meat.
“OooOoo, Biggles you’re going to squeeze out all the juices. I know it’s true because I heard it somewhere that I can’t remember cause my brain is swiss cheese and I don’t know any better to repeat Chicken Little garbage.” Don’t worry your pretty little head, any good fry cook knows that pressing the meat a bit will give you a uniform brownness that can’t be obtained without it. Trust me when I say, “My meat is always juicy baby.”
Take look at the steak there, it’s a nice brown. You could go darker, but not any lighter. This took about 3 to 4 minutes a side. Do this to both sides.
Install in to your preheated 450 degree center racked oven. Remember, this shit is hot. Move carefully and precisely. Take your time, safety first. Get your instant read thermometer ready.
Check in 10 minutes, then in 20 and pull no later than 135 degrees. If your steak is more than an inch thick, you could probably check in 15 or 20 instead. You’ll get some carry over heat that’ll take it to 140 or even to 145, once your meat is out. 145 is the sweet spot for making sure you don’t make your family sick. But if you like your steak more rarer and know the source of your meat, then drop that temp to 120 to 125, then pull & rest.
In any case, let the meat rest for 10 to 15 minutes on a cutting board. Put a little lump of butter on the top and let it melt over the steak. If you’re a fancy lad, make an herb butter. That ain’t me.
While I hadn’t planned on posting this, I felt that not only did the images come out okay, but the steak was more than worth the effort.
EAT STEAK !!!