Posts Tagged ‘steak’
I’ve already spent half a post singing the praises of this incredible cookbook so I won’t rehash those details. Lucky for me, my brother got me this for my birthday over the summer, and I’ve been slowly easing into it. Being a meat-themed cookbook, some of the recipes are not quite so easy to try as they might require you to have access to a meat grinder, if you want to make your own sausage, or to shell out for a lamb roast, but there are definitely approachable recipes in there if that’s what you’re looking for. When I saw this recipe I was immediately intrigued because I love chile spice rubs on grilled steaks, and I also enjoy looking for ways to incorporate the flavor of coffee into cooking.
4 steaks (8-12 oz)
1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp EVOO
¼ tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp ancho chili powder
3 tbsp light brown sugar
3 tbsp honey
2 tbsp bourbon (this is definitely optional, as it’s not in the original recipe)
¼ cup strong black coffee
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp butter, cut into several pieces
For the steaks: Mix the spices and the salt in the first section, rub into the meat, then drizzle the olive oil onto both sides and rub the meat again to evenly distribute. I have seen conflicting opinions regarding whether one should apply a spice rub to a steak dry, or to include olive oil. I’ve tried both methods a fair amount (Grilled steak is probably my favorite food), and I am definitely a pro-oil person. It seems to make a big difference in terms of getting the best possible crust on the meat, which really enhances both the flavor and the texture of a steak. Of course, the other key to a great crust on your steak is to use charcoal, especially hardwood charcoal. Propane is certainly convenient, but unless you want to spend the same amount on your grill as a used car, you will never be able to get that kind of intense heat. And even if you splurge for the cadillac propane grill, you’re still not going to get that smoky flavor. Either way, get your steaks prepped and grill them medium rare, then let them rest for a few minutes.
For the sauce: Mix everything but the butter in a sauce pan, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. As soon as the liquid boils, immediately lower the heat and simmer on your stove’s lowest setting until the liquid has reduced by about half. Cover and keep warm. There is a little bit of flexibility here in regards to timing, in that you can cover the pan and keep the sauce warm for a bit while you wait for the steaks to get off the grill, or for your side dish to cook. HOWEVER, do not allow this to fully cool and congeal. It might not completely ruin it, but it definitely won’t get restored to its ideal version.
When the steaks are ready, bring the liquid back to a simmer and whisk in the butter until thoroughly incorporated. Drizzle the sauce over the steaks, and whatever else you want to taste amazing. Seriously, the combination of the sweet, sour, smoky and spicy notes of the sauce make for a very interesting steak accompaniment, and was so addictive that I was trying to think of other things this sauce would go with. I’m thinking it would be good with vanilla ice cream, or on top of some kind of pastry like coffee cake or a german chocolate cake. What I think would be a truly intriguing application for it would be in a tiramisu. More to come on this later.
Hidden in the middle of an office park in Columbia, Maryland is a gem. If you can manage to navigate through Stanford Road, Standford Avenue, Stanford Circle, Stanford Lane, Stanford Way, and Stanford Drive you’ll find a wood-panelled dining room. A place where quiet music from a live jazz band floats through the dimly lit air.
It’s been almost twelve hours since I took my last bite of key lime pie at the Stanford Grill and I’m almost ready to think about food. After driving five or so hours from New York, with nothing but a bag McDonald’s dollar menu food to sustain us, we were ready to eat! For half the drive, Nick extolled the virtues of the Stanford. After ordering drinks I was skeptical. Our waiter was confused when I ordered a negroni, after a consultation with the bartender I had to walkthrough the drink’s construction. But all was well. An adequate negroni (and mysterious bonus glass of gin) arrived. And the quality of the food stood above that of the bar.
I ordered the bone-in ribeye steak, but was convinced to go surf and turf and add a crab cake. Before I could get the words out of my mouth, Nick put in an order of the mac and cheese starter. The mac and cheese was a solid and extremely cheesy dish. I prefer a more refined version with top layer of bread crumbs for texture. But this dish satisfied my taste buds and thrilled my stomach. The crab cake contained large chunks of crab held together with the right amount of breading. And the steak, Oh the steak. I haven’t had one in a restaurant since Peter Luger and I was not disappointed with my choice. A perfect light char surrounding a medium rare center. The mashed potatoes side was well executed as were the green beans, though I decided to forgo much of them so as to take down every bit of protein on my plate. I continued to devour steak as my fellow diners ordered and received desserts. Cleaning the bone, I accepted generous offers of bites of key lime pie and crème brûlée. The key lime pie was extraordinary (says the man who usually skips dessert).
A meal full of delicious nap inducing excess. I owe my body a run for this one. But for now, I think it’s time to consider lunch.
“You cannot buy Japanese Kobe beef in this country. Not in stores, not by mail, and certainly not in restaurants. No matter how much you have spent, how fancy a steakhouse you went to, or which of the many celebrity chefs who regularly feature ‘Kobe beef’ on their menus you believed, you were duped… It is now illegal to import (or even hand carry for personal consumption) any Japanese beef. ”
After reading the above, my conclusion is that you can get still get some amazing beef here in the States; but, the Kobe name is not a guarantee of quality.
This year I had my first bite of a Filet Oscar over dinner at the Post House which inspired a return lunch trip to the same establishment. If you are a meat eater, the Filet Oscar needs to be on your culinary bucket list. This dish is pure unadulterated decadence: filet minion, crab meat, Bearnaise sauce, and asparagus. I can just feel my arteries clogging with deliciousness.
In 2012 my plan is to make this bad boy myself.
In celebration of passing the bar, I finally made it to this venerable New York establishment. (Thank you Fayaz for picking up the tab.) In addition to being any red blooded carnivore’s dream, it’s hard to walk through these doors and not feel like you’re trapping into a little piece of history. The ambiance of the bar and the perfectly made Gibsons alone are enough of a reason to try this place.
My recent post on Peter Luger reminded me of a trip to the Post House a few months back with my good friend Alex. Alex lives in California, but he makes a point of stopping at the Post House every time he swings through the city.
Nestled in Midtown, the sophistication that people might miss at Luger’s can be found in abundance at the Post House. The establishment has a a rich, but simple, elegance that you would expect from a top end Manhattan steak house. The table clothes are white, the waiters dote, and the clientele is suit clad. And, as Alex likes to point out, this was one of Bernie Madoff’s favorite haunts.
I had the New York cut, which was, of course, everything that you can hope for in a steak.
Our sides consisted of the creamed spinach and asparagus. The creamed spinach was a clear home run. Unlike Peter Luger’s, the Post House’s creamed spinach has visible strands of spinach mixed with a thick cream sauce. (Luger presented creamed spinach that seemed to be whipped steamed spinach alone.)
But the coup de grâce was Alex’s order of the filet Oscar. Wikipedia should have a picture of this bad boy under its entry for decadent. The base is a huge melt in your mouth filet minion which is topped in crab meat, drowned (in the best sense of the word) in a Bearnaise Sauce, topped with chopped asparagus. I’m sure this dish would infuriate a Peter Luger waiter, who seem to universally believe that a steak should, under no circumstances, be adulterated. For my self, while I enjoy a great pure steak, this decadent tower of meat and seafood should be on everyone’s culinary bucket list.
In writing this, I learned that the Post House has a $24.07 dollar lunch prefix. I’m not sure that I’ll spring for the $10 extra for the filet Oscar, but given that this amazing deal is within walking distance from my office I’ll have to find an excuse to try this place again on the cheap.
To many, the name is synonymous with great steak. Founded in 1887, Peter Luger is a New York institution that I had yet to experience. Fayaz changed that by generously treating Nick and me for a passing the bar celebration.
On the night of our 8:45 Thursday reservation, Nick and Fayaz were running a little late and on Fayaz’s arrival we learned that he had made the reservation at the sister restaurant 140 miles away from the Brooklyn location. This small error just meant we had to spend a little quality time at the bar. After a proper negroni and solid gibson (think a martini with cocktail onions instead of olives) we got our table.
Second only to Peter Luger’s reputation for amazing meat is it’s reputation for dismissive and and condescending servers. I have to say that we experience none of the rumored poor service. The only slight sneer we drew from our waiter was when Fayaz asked if the sauce on the table was the famous Peter Luger sauce. (Despite having steak sauce in stores all over the city, Lugers hates the idea of you putting it on their steak.) If I had to guess at the reason for the service reputation, I would point the finger at the customer. Not only does some Minnesota nice and few please and thank yous go a long way, but I suspect that many first time Luger diners have miss placed expectations. Yes, the place is expensive, but the menu is spartan and its simple food done really right. I can see people coming in the door expecting pretense having their reality realigned by a server who’s seen it all.
And the food. To start we ordered the Sliced Tomatoes & Onions and the bacon. The Sliced Tomatoes & Onions are perfectly named, you get three huge slices of tomatoes and two large onion slices on a plate–that is it. Our waiter recommended that we try it with a rust brown sauce sitting on a table in a gravy boat. The sauce, their signature, reminded us of a cocktail sauce, not very sweet and heavy on the horseradish. The sauce was great on the tomatoes and onion and delicious when sopped-up with bread.
We ordered steak for three (yeah, that’s how you order it at Lugers) and it was [insert beefy superlatives]. It’s the best selection of meat that is dry aged on site before it’s butchered and cooked perfectly. But, at the end of the day–and I know my grandfather is spinning in his grave as I type this–it was still steak. I just don’t know if I’m able to tell the difference between a really good steak and an amazing steak. The thick cut bacon, that little appetizer I didn’t elaborate on, was the home run when it came to the meat. Fatty, but not overly so, this little bit heaven had prefect crisp on the outside and a smoky flavor that is still making me salivate as I think of it. I felt like I was experiencing a whole smoked ham in every bit. (To my vegetarian, Muslim, and Jewish friends: if you every change your mind run here and order several slices of this.)
For sides we took down the creamed spinach and the German potatoes. The creamed spinach was unremarkable, but a necessary bit of color and texture for a plate of steak. The German potatoes, not so different from home fries, were the prefect crispy starch that every good steak needs. You can also get a baked potatoe (thank you Mr. Quayle) or french fries–I’m happy with our pick.
We decided to round the meal off with a tall ice cream Sunday that seems to hail from an old school ice cream shop. A prefect sweet ending to a great meal with a literal cherry on top.