I’m a steak lover: sirloin, flank, t-bone, skirt, NY-strip, almost any cut will make me happy. In my wanton middle age, I used to indulge in steak several times a week. Now, in my sixties, it’s maybe once a week. Alas, I’ve grown heath conscious.
I cook my steaks simply. Rarely do I use marinades or rubs, and when I do, it’s only for a flank or skirt steak. I also prefer to use locally raised beef and, when possible, go for grass fed. Granted, in NYC “locally” may be farther away than in other locations.
Limited to a small outdoor electric grill on the terrace, I prefer to use a two-burner grill pan. I take the steaks out of the fridge about an hour before cooking and let them come to room temperature.
While heating the grill pan, I dry the steaks with paper towels and season them liberally on one side with coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, followed by a drizzle of olive oil.
When it’s hot, I lightly oil the grill and place the steaks, seasoned side down, near the center of the pan so that they are not directly over the burners. I press down firmly on the steaks to ensure that they are in full contact with the grill and get some grill marks. Note that this is the only time I press on the meat. At this point, I season the other side as I did the first with coarse salt and black pepper.
I cook the steaks for about 1 minute on high to sear them and then reduce the flame to medium. I do not move the steaks at all during cooking. Let the grill do its work.
After 6 or 7 minutes for a 1.25” strip, aiming for medium rare, I turn the steaks and return the heat to high for one minute. I then reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook for about another 6 or 7 minutes, using the last minute to brown the fat on the side of the steaks. Of course, grilling times will vary depending on the thickness of the steaks and the desired level of doneness.
I remove the steaks from the grill, place them on heated plates, tent with foil and let them rest for about 3 minutes.
That’s it. I eschew making or using any sauce for steak since I find that it masks the true flavor of good local raised beef. I do, however, drizzle the steaks with a high quality extra virgin olive oil, for a touch of unctuousness.
For sides as well, I keep them as simple as possible. Baked potato with olive oil and lemon; maybe some steamed spinach. A lightly dressed arugula salad finishes the meal.
Wine Pairing: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Valpolicella Ripasso