I reckon that I have had a passion for steak since I was old enough to chew……. ….throughout my ages I’ve probably tried about every cut of meat that is imaginable and cooked it in many different vessels over many different heat sources. Not a dummy in the art of cooking a steak – But, what does the consumer or diner really want ?
It comes natural that as an owner of a small diner in a small town that at some point in time we would entertain the idea of offering steaks at Dunky’s. So, an intensive research period began for this Ol’ hillbilly in the Ozarks of Missouri.
“Nothing that humans have ever put into their mouths in the name of nourishment has been the subject of such devotion, such flights of gastronomic ecstasy, or such grave connoisseurship as this most adored of meats” ……..
Research is conducted primarily to answer questions regarding a specific inquiry. In the case of the best steak or the best way to cook that steak – I don’t know if there is or ever will be a definitive specific answer…this due to a widely opinionated subject & a large range of different personal preferences or palette’s.
I do know what I do like or don’t like when it comes to tastes…and, yes, my own personal preferences have changed over time and I am also very open to trying new or exciting variances.
My personal preference for a beef steak is a good Ribeye and yes I do love beef fat and I do also love the way it chars and carmelizes with heat….I do not see a need to make a simple thing complex, by any nature. My personal approach is probably primal in the context of utilizing the base material and NOT trying to alter or complicate the simple beauty of it !
Considering this is a blog, I should get to the point. Last week on a Friday night we decided to take the plunge and cook up some steak in our little diner. I ordered in a case of 12 ounce USDA Prime Ribeyes. I cringed at the higher price that Prime grade demands….but, I also wanted to start out with the best of the best….and they were some beauties.
I cannot deny the erotic sensation as I hand rubbed each one down with olive oil and massaged in a little sea salt and course ground pepper. They sat at room temperature for about an hour, when the first orders began coming in. My plan was to sear in the juices with high heat and short duration. My vessel of choice were 12” cast iron skillets on 22,000 btu burners at around 450° and an oven on the ready, also at 450°. Into a smoking hot skillet went the ribeyes. 2 minutes on a side, then a flip and 2 more minutes.. a good sized square of butter was placed on top. For the Medium Rare orders they were perfect at this point, for the Medium orders I placed them in the oven for another 2 minutes with the butter on top. Perfect. I had one Well Done order in which I pulled it out of the oven and placed it back on stove top under reduced heat and tin foil on top for an additional 2 minutes. Again, perfect !! Additionally, I ladled the small amount of juices over the top of the steak before allowing it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
I’m pretty much sold on this searing method in cast iron. It really sealed in the juice’s, there was a tasty colorful crust, yet soft and inviting. The flavor was out of this world and the chew was perfect.
I made a point of visiting with the customers and we got nothing but rave reviews and comments…..and my query was answered…”Will small town people pay big city prices for an exceptional steak – in a small town. I do think so.
Now I am anxious to try this method on other cuts: Strips, sirloins, etc.
Licking my Dunky or rather my plate, in Licking!