Please remove your heart strings so I can tug them a bit: I am lonely! I miss Craig! He’s been gone all summer shooting his movie in Washington State. Well, he was in pre-production for the last few months; he just started shooting two weeks ago. The second day of shooting, he almost gave me a heart attack: he called me hysterical to say that, “The worst thing in the world that could’ve happened happened.” The equipment truck had caught fire in the night and it looked like all their film and equipment was destroyed. He hung up and I didn’t speak to him for another 24 hours and in that time I imagined the worst: that the movie was over. But when I spoke to him the next day he said it was a false alarm: a battery had overheated and exploded and covered everything with soot, but nothing was really destroyed. All was ok. And onward they go with the movie: he’s having a blast. And I wish I could be there but I have my book stuff to tend to. And he’ll be back in three weeks anyway. But in the meantime, I’m Mopey McMopeypants. I need some cheering up. Can’t someone kill a cow for me and give me its flesh to cook? They can? Yippee!
Now, those who have studied my archives like a sacred text will probably know that in the three and a half years I’ve done this site I have NEVER cooked steak. It’s not that I don’t love steak–I do–I’m just scared to cook it at home. I don’t have a grill. The one time I did try cooking a steak at home (I didn’t write about it), I did a bad job. It was grainy and not very good. I’d basically given up.
But at Union Market the other day, in Park Slope, I spied a Rib-Eye that was $24 a pound. Mighty pricey for a piece of meat but it was just me that night: Diana was out with her brothers. Craig, as mentioned, was shooting a movie. And there was a certain someone I hadn’t been paying much attention to lately… Corey Haim. Wait. I mean me. I hadn’t been paying much attention to me and I deserved a Rib-Eye.
So I asked for the smallest Rib-Eye they had–it was 3/4th of a pound–and it rang in at $17. On the way home, because I was feeling ultra-decadent, I stopped into a wine store bought myself a bottle of red wine. I asked the guy there if he could recommend a relatively inexpensive red to go with steak and he suggested this:
That’s a Spanish Priorat. I’ve never heard of Priorat. But guess what? It was awesome. Smoky, fruity, powerful: it was a great match for the steak and a great suggestion.
And now for the steak. How to cook it? I Googled “How To Cook A Steak Indoors” and came upon this page on Yahoo Answers. About the fourth comment down, someone posted Alton Brown’s recipe. I’ve really started to admire Alton Brown–he really understands food; and though I’m not someone who’s terribly interested in the science of cooking, there’s no doubt that he knows how to make food taste good. So I decided to follow his technique.
Folks: it’s foolproof. And awesome. Here’s what you do.
1. Take out your meat (it should be appx. 1-inch thick) and let it come to room temperature.
2. When it’s there, rub it with a tiny amount of Canola oil and then sprinkle with LOTS of salt and pepper.
3. Stick a pan in the oven–Cast Iron would be best, but I don’t have Cast Iron so I put my All-Clad skillet in there instead–and turn it up to 500 degrees.
4. Wait. I waited 30 minutes because I wanted to make sure it really got scorchingly hot. That’s what’ll get you your sear.
5. When it’s there, VERY CAREFULLY–and, obviously, using a glove or a towel–remove the pan from the oven and set on high heat for a few more minutes.
6. Hold your hand over the pan. It should be PAINFUL. When it hurts–really hurts–drop in the meat.
It should sizzle and smoke. That’s great! That’s what you want! Don’t move it. Wait 30 seconds. At 30 seconds, flip it over and sear on the other side for 30 seconds. THEN: carefully (and use a towel, that handle’s hot) put in the oven for 2 minutes. Take it out, flip the steak over one more time, put it back in for 2 minutes and then take it out and remove to a plate. That’s it! Cover it with aluminum foil for 2 minutes so the juices go back in and you’ve got totally perfect medium rare Rib-Eye.
I served it with a simple Greek salad–tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, oil, vinegar and Feta–And Oh My Lord was this good.
Juicy as hell, powerfully meaty, and a great match for the red wine. After a few bites, I was glad Craig was far away: I couldn’t afford to make this for both of us anyway. And sometimes it’s fun to spoil yourself with dinner for one. Come to think of it: let him shoot his movie for the next three weeks, I’ll eat like a king! And get fat! And then he’ll come back and he won’t recognize me and I’ll tell him Adam was killed in a terrible accident and I’m Renaldo, the King of Portugal, and he’ll dump me and turn straight. On second thought, instead of moping around, maybe I should join a gym.