Well the BBQ season is here! Relaxing with friends and family is what it all about right?
Easy cooking on the grill at home, cottage or camp site is the best R & R but, you don't have to wait for the weekend to enjoy a nice juicy steak....but, you do have to know a few basics to get it right.
Which is the best: Rub or Marinade? Well I have done both for many years:
Rubs are quicker, drier and less messy on your hands because you really don't have to "Rub" it in.
Marinades generally need to sit...this all depends on how much time you have.
Which ever you choose, make sure you like the herbs, spices and the acid you are going to use.
Herbs give a wonderful aroma to the meat and spices add flavor and bite. The acid via fruit or alcohol will add flavor, sugar for caramelizing (that crispy crust) and help break down the tissue and help cut the fat of whatever meat you choose to BBQ.
There's nothing like ruining an expensive cut of meat, so treat it with care.
Hopefully my guide will help the novices and expert cooks understand the basics of BBQ'ing a steak.
Step 1: Marinating: Adding Flavour
Anyone can slap a piece of meat on the Barbie and slather some BBQ sauce on the meat at the end.
Where's the fun in taking credit for a juicy steak?
Beef is expensive treat it like GOLD and with some respect!
A little bit of prepping ahead of time will have your guests bragging about dinner at your place...
The thickness is where people get confused about timing of the cooking the thinner the quicker cooking.
Generally: 1/2" steaks can take anywhere from Med Rare: 6-8min Med: 8-10 Well 10-12 min on high (300-350F) on the Barbie.
3/4" steaks increase each by approx. 4min
1" steaks by double the amount of time of the 1/2", but lower the heat so they do not char on the outside; (unless you like that) as these big boys need time to cook inside.
Here's what you'll need: Buying
steaks: I have 3 Rib Steaks all at different thicknesses...cuz everyone in my family loves different thicknesses.
These steaks come from the top of the cow where the Ribs are: hence the name Prime Rib.
Look for marbling of fat throughout the steak. This will yield a more tender steak...this will yield a higher price point too!
Here's What you'll need: to make Tex Mex Rib Steaks
1 tbsp. steak spice or a blend of: black pepper, crushed coriander, cayenne
1 tsp salt
1 tsp thyme or oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup merlot, pinot noir, sauvignon (your fave)
Step 2: Play With Your Food
Let's just take a moment and make a depression into the room temp. steak.
This is completely raw and see how deep the "clean" finger goes down into the meat?
This is your guide...the deeper the depression the more pink the meat.
Step 3: Cooking on the BBQ
Using a proper BBQ brush, scrape any residue off the Barbie.
Oil the grill then turn it on to high, this will burn any residual remnants on the Barbie.
If you have a fancy side burner that heats instantly adding the char marks on the steak this is where you would do this. I was able to do this on the thicker steaks because they need more time to cook, then they go on the regular grill side.
Lower the heat to 300-350 using the dial on the BBQ. If yours doesn't work place you hand over the grills, if it is ready you will only be able to hold your hand over the grill for a few seconds! Oouch
Place the steaks on the grill and DO NOT TOUCH for 5 MIN. using tongs (not a fork) turn the meat 1/4 turn.
DO NOT TOUCH for at least another 2 min to develop the cross hatching.
...it also gives you flavor and colour from the caramelization.
Step 4: Gauging the Degree of Doneness
When the bottom is nicely coloured and you have nice cross hatching. Using the tongs flip it over.
Repeat the 1/4 turns....this is where you will have to check the timing and the depression.
*Also, do not close the lid on steaks we don't need to steam them*
Remember the finger effect? No not the one you're thinking of....lol
The Depression? Where you press into the meat?
After you have cooked the meat for another 5 min., press into the meat with the tongs if you can't stand the heat or use a clean finger.
Remember to cook the meat almost to where you like it because the meat continues to cook as it cools.
So..... now you have a steak and you want to dig in right?
Not yet! Let it rest! Where and why you ask?
If you have a rack that would be the best place for 5 min. any longer and it will get cold and you will starve!
This resting period allows the fibers of the meat to rest and the juice will stay centralized instead of running out when you slice into it.
Step 5: Toppings: 1
Well... make sure you prepare any sides before hand so you don't waste time after the meat is cooked.
Here are some classic and not so classic toppings for your perfect steak.
Mushroom & Red Wine Sauce
2 cup chopped cremini or button mushrooms
1 clove garlic
1 tsp thyme or oregano
1/4 cup red wine
2 tbsp. EVOO
In a med. size skillet on med. high heat add the oil and garlic.
Saute for 1 min until fragrant.
Add the mushrooms, herbs and salt. Saute until golden brown for 5-8 min.
When the liquids begin to dry add the wine and cook reducing the juices for 5 min.
Serve hot over the steak.
Step 6: Toppings: 2
Roasted Red Peppers:
An assortment of red, yellow, green, or hot peppers
6 sprigs of parsley, chopped including stems
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup EVOO
1/2-1 tsp salt
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
Char the peppers on all sides on the grill, heat is on high
Remove and allow to rest, cool to the touch
Scrape off the charred skin as best as possible.
Place on a platter and mix with the remaining dressing ingredients.
*In my first photographs this is minced finely and placed on the steak as a topping.
It can also be used as a hearty side*
Step 7: Finishing: Cave Man Style
Oh yes, did I forget to mention pick up that cooled bone if your steak has one and chomp on it....it have the most flavor!
Enjoy with love!