One of Chef Jose Mier’s favorite meals is a good, grilled steak. There’s just something no-nosense about it. Really, it’s just meat. Just one good cut. The rest is frills like side dishes or garnish. The cut has to be good to start but after than it’s preparation that’s key and I’m going to expound on what I think is the best way to make the perfect steak.
Good steak doesn’t need much. There’s something about the flavor of beef that speaks (and tastes) for itself. I prefer a three-quarter pound flatiron steak or another similar cut. But there are ways to enhance that flavor and make it even richer and more delicious. Enter the seasonings.
Now granted there are gazillions of mass-produced meat seasonings out there. Each one claims it will make your next steak the greatest thing since sliced bread but you really only need two seasonings: salt and pepper. Salt will amplify a food’s natural flavor. It stimulates the taste buds so that they’re more receptive to whatever flavor a food has. It also decreases bitter tastes so things taste sweeter or more flavorful (the Japanese refer to this as umami). Pepper, of course adds a touch of spice for a little kick.
In order to pull out as much flavor from the meat you’re cooking you need to season liberally with salt and pepper and let the meat sit (for an hour or better yet overnight in the fridge). You’ll be surprised at what this will do to the taste of your meat.
The Next Level: Garlic Butter
For an extra savory steak, cooking in garlic butter is going to up the ante even more. The aroma and taste of garlic will have your taste buds dancing and cooking in butter is going to aid as both your cooking medium and as a baste for the meat imparting even more flavor.
I cook it in a skillet, making sure to keep the meat in place for half the cooking time before turning it. Of course you’ll need to keep an eye on the internal temperature so you have steak at your desired doneness. I prefer medium well, but others have to have medium or rare. Use a meat thermometer for this. And remember to let the meat rest after cooking so juices get reabsorbed. No one likes a dry steak.
Steak is simple and it may be among the easiest of dishes to prepare if it’s done right. Sometimes even I love to have food served to me instead of cooking (even if it’s as easy as this) so around my Sun Valley, CA neck of the woods I’ll go to the local Outback. Mine is located at 1761 N Victory Pl., Burbank, CA 91502