Love affair with a juicy steak

20120613-065139.jpgThe Foodie:

Years ago when my sister was dating my brother-in-law we enjoyed a wonderful prime rib dinner prepared by my mother, the Foodie’s role model and teacher.

It was likely a big roast, at least four to five ribs and, as was our custom, we would all beg for the bones. He went home and told his mother he thought he was marrying into the Flintstone family.

We were at a lovely restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard and our friend’s five year old ordered a juicy steak. The server smiled and asked him if he knew what that was. He said, “yes, but my mom still has to cut it because she won’t let me use a knife.” No chicken fingers for him, just a slab of beef, cooked expertly over an open fire.

Any cut of meat with the word “loin” is leaner than chuck or rib eye but give me a cut of beef with a bone and I’m in my own carnivorous heaven. The porterhouse is extra special because it has a strip loin on one side, tenderloin (no less than 1 ¼ inches) on the other kept together by the ultimate T-bone (if you are lucky there is a tiny piece of marrow at the top of the “T”). A T-bone is a porterhouse with smaller tenderloin (no less than a half inch). The ultimate for me may be a bone-in rib eye, perfect marbling and tenderness.

Less is more with a good cut of beef. You have no idea how happy I am that Melloni’s Market is less than a mile away. Every steak is perfect and they are all the same width which aids in consistent cooking.

First, take the steaks out of the refrigerator about an hour before you plan to cook them. My father learned how to season steaks from a chef at John’s Flaming Hearth. On one side put onion powder and Lowry’s Seasoned Salt and on the other put garlic powder and ground pepper. That’s it.

We always use charcoal (I’m a real grill snob, not going to lie). My husband is the direct heat grill master in our house. He grills it a few minutes on one side until there are nice grill marks and flips it, being sure the flame does not burn the meat.

We like it medium rare and he removes the steaks just before they are completely cooked and covers them tightly with aluminum foil for about ten minutes so the juices can go back into the steak.

Tonight, we paired our steak with Black Willow Winery’s (located in Burt) Cabernet Franc. This was the perfect complement to our steak and I enjoyed the smoky black cherry taste. The label says it has a candy apple flavor but I did not pick that out. I will definitely keep this wine on hand and look forward to pairing it with other red meat dishes.

You have no idea how much self restraint I have to exhibit when eating out at a steak house. There is no waste worse, to me, than good meat left on the bone. I could walk around the dining room, never order anything, and just ask strangers “you going to eat that bone?”