We rarely eat red meat, probably once or twice a month, but when we do it we do it the right way. We both think red meat should be considered a luxury item therefore consciously purchased. The reasons are two mainly: cardiovascular and environmental (which includes animal treatment, the conditions of the livestocks and in general the problem involved with the mass production of commodities that involve the killing or the suffering of another species). We prefer to spend some extra bucks and buy meat that comes from a beast that spent a decent life (if not a happy one); that had been fed with grass and that had been pharmaceutically treated to a bare minimum (zero growth hormones is a first basic requirement).
We usually buy Rib Eye (bone-in would be our first choice), New York Strip is another amazing cut; Tenderloin or Filet Mignon great: but never enough (I personally prefer to slice a filet mignon into a fresh roll with some provolone and a touch of mustard). For this dinner we purchased two Rib Eye steaks and we pan seared them on a cast iron skillet. When the meat is less than 2/2.5 inches thick I strongly believe you can definitely skip the oven baking part of the cooking.
We let some butter rest room temperature and we mixed it up with some thyme and two smashed cloves of garlic just to create a nice aromatic cream.
The preparation is very simple: just brown the steak and create a nice crust by throwing it on a very hot pan, just a couple of tablespoon of seeds/fry oil (high burning temperature) will do. 3/4 minutes per side… A this point you can add your garlic butter: I also threw in the field some extra thyme and a bunch of rosemary because, who doesn’t love rosemary?
The steak is done when your heart tells you it spent enough time on fire; or when you measure its doneness using that (truly irritating to watch) test of “touching the flashy area of your hand between your thumb and forefinger” or when (I personally suggest this technique) your thermometer measures an internal temperature of 125 (pretty rare) to 135 (medium rare) degrees Fahrenheit. Our preferred temperature lays -in fact- right in between rare and medium rare (probably in the 128-132 range). If you eat your steak more cooked than that, it’s completely fine, don’t feel judged… you may also enjoy a warm beer, a cold shower or pineapple pizza why not… the gustibus non est disputandum.
Look at this beauty:
Side dish: when it comes to sides and snacks I think I was blessed by marrying the Queen of snacks and sides. Not that she is not able to cook main dishes (you should spend some Holidays with us just to see how she can put together a full three courses meal for 20 people by herself … no help needed or required, actually when help is offered it’s not particularly politely refused because the stress coming from producing such a large scale meal is always through the roof for perfectionists like her).
Anyways, among the many many fantastic sides she always make when we do steak night, I have to say a classic wedge salad keep being my absolute favorite. It’s fresh, crunchy, naughty, the blue cheese dressing is a complete perfect rounding match for the bestiality of the steak and it makes me feel like we’re eating at an upscale NYC steak house.
Since she’s a pretty sinful genius she decided to bake some local farmed bacon for topping… and you can see how that doesn’t look like a bad idea:
As for the steak she really likes to keep things simple (Leonardo used to say that Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication): she made her own dressing with a very good quality blue cheese, she created a nice base of tomato slices and red onions (when you eat raw onions make sure you pick the red ones…if you don’t eat raw onions I’m very sorry for you), she chopped the lettuce leaving it big enough to keep its crunchiness intact and above all giving us the option of choosing the ratio of dressing we wanted in every single bite. Sometimes you get a bite of steak that is dripping oil or butter and you want just to pair it with an almost undressed leaf of lettuce; some other bites may tell you a different story and you may need that creamy blue decadent punch in your mouth.
The wedge was completed adding some avocado (avocado is good on basically anything let’s get real); another quality of yellow tomato, the above mentioned sliced pig and of course extra dressing on top…here’s the final glorious result:
We accompanied everything with our favorite Barolo (see our post “24 hours in the Langhe”)…which is also the wine we offered at our wedding…and some iced cold San Pellegrino (is there any other sparking water on the market?… we get a good deal at Restaurant Depot $15 bucks for a case of 12 1L bottles…also, when you can, get your water or sodas or whatever you drink habitually in glass instead of plastic… plastic really is super 1990s, it just sucks).
It was just a wonderful evening, love was in the air, we spent it chatting, creating, dreaming and laughing for hours at our little round table. This is so precious.
Thanks for reading.