50 SHADES of Steak
We had a lot of fun with this one…. 😉
I pray to be an empathetic omnivore. I endeavor to eat as many plant-based foods as possible, and make certain that I grow my own vegetables in an effort to deepen the engagement. When I eat meat, I choose very carefully, and have engaged in the raising of animals, and stewarding of their passing. But there is something about the cooking and eating of meat that takes me to a place of near decadence. Because I eat meat so seldom that, when I do, I spend a significant amount to time and thought to ensure that my preparation expresses all the decadence and personality the meat has to offer.
Seasoning to the very limit of where seasoning can go. Choosing ingredients in the seasoning that can help protect and prepare the meat to endure the most brilliant of flames — not only to survive, but to thrive. The best meat cookery demands pressing the limits that both the meat and the cook can endure. The result is a relationship that yields an awesomeness beyond expression. Please enjoy the spoof video that, while a spoof, might not be so far-fetched!
People tell me that when I describe the special relationship between an excruciatingly hot fire, the steak, and the cooker of the steak — they say: “What? Are you the Christian Grey of steak and fire?” So I did this spoof — but pay attention because the techniques and methodology are important in pushing your steak grilling to the limits in a way that yields a truly, crispy, succulent, perfectly cooked steak. Honestly, for the best results, you have to over-do everything — the seasoning, the intensity of the heat, the tempering. And doing so requires a sense of focus and control not unlike that of Mr. Grey in his relationship with Ms. Steele…… You can blame my wife for me knowing these details.
Serves 6 to 8
4 2-to-3-inch thick bone-in rib stakes
1/4 cup salt-smashed garlic (or chopped fresh garlic)
Steak Cure Ingredients
1/2 cup sea salt
3/4 cup organic cane sugar
1T freshly cracked black pepper
Whole branches of fresh herbs
- Lay the steaks out and rub both sides of each steak with the garlic.
- Make sure to thoroughly massage the garlic into the meat.
- Season each steak on both sides with the cure.
- Lay-out a large piece of parchment paper.
- Divide the herbs into four equal batches of mixed herbs–so four batches each with rosemary, sage, and thyme.
- Spread some herbs out on the paper and set the first steak on top of the herbs. Set more herbs on top of the steak and then set another steak on top of the first–as though you’re making an herb sandwich, and the steaks are the slices of bread.
- Repeat until all the steaks are layered with herbs. The stack should match the opening photo of the video. Herbs, steak, herbs, steak, herbs, steak, then finally herbs.
- Wrap the steaks in the paper, the refrigerated at least 24 hours.
- Set the steaks out at room temperature about three hours before grilling to take the chill off.
- Heat your grill to high heat–do not bother with having a cool side the grill. Rather–you must commit to not leaving the grill so you can constantly turn the steaks during the cooking process to they become very dark and crisp.
- Start grilling, right over the high flames – look at the video… If the heat gets too intense and you need to take a break, take the steaks off the grill and let them rest until you cool off a bit.
- Take a sip of a cocktail, a few sips of beer, some wine, some jasmine tea. Then get back to grilling!
- After about eight minutes, use an instant-read thermometer to check the internal temperature. When the internal temp is about 115 degrees, take the steaks off for rare to medium rare. For medium rare to medium, take them off at 120 to 125 degrees.
- Let the steaks stand for 15 minutes before slicing.
Photos courtesy of Ken Goodman @kengoodmanphoto