Friday, May 07, 2010
I have never cooked beef in my life, ever. My mother dislikes the "smell" therefore family cooking is always safe from anything bovine. Since Vijay also doesn't eat beef, I have not found reason to cook a steak as much as I love to eat it.
One weekend in KL saw me at Las Vacas (actually I demanded Farha to bring me there since I've heard so much about it from fellow steak lovers). The no-frills butcher impressed with freshly cut meat. The Australian wagyu striploin was excellently marbled and tender. I came home with piece of grass-fed ribeye and promptly schemed on how to cook it best.
I don't know what came over me but just to get the grill marks on my steak I went out to get a grill pan. Normally I'm more level headed and wouldn't
However, reviews of grill pan users have mentioned that since steaks don't sit directly in fat or liquid, it will give a crisper exterior. One even wrote - Don't underestimate the power of those grill marks! They send a subtle message that the food is "grilled." Remember, first we eat with our eyes, and it's widely acknowledged that this affects how we taste things. I am in agreement. Flavor wise there will be no difference as long as the pan is used on a regular gas stove.
A piece of meat this good calls for simplicity so for the method of cooking, I studied Jamie Oliver's 20 Minute Meals iPhone application (thanks to Najah) video "Cooking the Perfect Steak" (one more reason to love the phone).
For checking doneness I used both Jamie's time guide (according to steak thickness) and the finger test methods. The mushroom sauce is a self-invention repeated many, many times over chicken chops and mashed potatoes. On demand by the other half, the next artery chocking protein to be cooked may have something to do with lamb, after I find a very good way to cook it.
Simple Steak with Mushroom Sauce
For the steak:
- 2 slices of fresh quality beef cut of choice, roughly 300 grams each, between 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches thick
- freshly ground pepper
- sea salt to taste
- regular olive oil
- 1 small knob of butter
- 1 clove garlic, halved
- 1 stalk fresh rosemary
For the mushroom sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups mushrooms, field button or Swiss brown
- 1 1/2 cups chicken/beef stock or water
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons fresh cream (I used leftover sour cream, it worked well)
- salt and pepper to taste
For the steak: Heat up a griddle pan for up to 5 minutes over medium heat. While heating the pan, season the steak with sea salt, pepper and a little olive oil on both sides and toss well.
Place the steaks on the pan, flip every 1 minute or so until cooked to the doneness preferred (1 1/2 minutes on each side will yield steaks just under medium, as a guide). The second flip can be rotated slightly to create crisscross grill marks. If the side of the steaks are fatty, press the fatty side against the side of the pan to brown it.
About 1 minute before the steaks are done, rub the garlic and butter on the steaks. Pat the stalk of rosemary on the steak a few times. Repeat on the reverse side.
Remove steaks to rest on a plate for at least 5 minutes.
For the mushroom sauce: Meanwhile, toss in the mushrooms in the pan and saute over medium heat. Add a few drips of olive oil if the leftover fat from the steak is insufficient. After the mushrooms have browned slightly, deglaze the pan with stock/water.
Scrape the pan and around the sides well to incorporate all the leftover fond into the sauce. Add the oyster and Worcestershire sauces. At this point some juices may have been released by the resting steaks. Return those into the sauce as well. Mix well and add in cream. Let sauce thicken and season to taste.
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