Thursday, December 9, 2010

Practice Makes Perfect, Grass Fed

Back in early November, I purchased a little more than 5 pounds of New York Strip steaks from the nice Double Check Ranch people at the Farmer's market.  In the weeks before Thanksgiving, my son and I experimented with grilling these grass fed strips of juicy steak.
The first try was "not so good".  We left them on the grill far too long, and being so very juicy, they "flamed up" substantially, charring the outer surfaces significantly.  They were "OK at best" the first round.  I also stupidly STABBED the steaks with a fork to turn them.  I won't make that mistake again - juice jetted out of the stab marks while they were cooking.  Argh!

The 2nd round, we followed a cooking method my son found online (link here).  They were better... but I think the butter sort of diluted the natural flavor.
 This time I roasted red and yellow bell peppers, as well as a 1/4 of the large red onion left over from the Thanksgiving chicken, alongside the steaks.  Proximity to flame again degraded the surface (I don't like to eat char) but the medium rare internal texture was achieved.

My third iteration - and remember, this is with steak that is $10 a pound (when you buy 5 or more pounds), so it's not a whimsical culinary experiment - turned out better. 

This time, I suspended the steaks on the "corn roasting rack" which sits higher off the flames.  I still did the "5 minutes of sear per side" recommendation, but I let the drippings fall onto the veggies.  Out of yellow and red bell peppers, I used "sweet Italian green peppers" - which are only "sweet" if you remove the seeds, and more of the onion.  Keep in mind, until November 2010, I had never grilled with onions before, or grilled and eaten my own grass fed beef.  I also sliced up two large crimini mushrooms, the kind normally used to "stuff".  This was heavenly.  See below.
I ate these delicious steaks Monday night, while watching the last episode of The Walking Dead on DVR.  Oh So Yummy!  But last Saturday, I picked up 5.5 pounds of grass fed Ribeyes.... so it was time to defrost the first one of those.

The Ribeyes are probably about 40% thicker than the NY Strips.  Alot less blood comes off them prior to cooking, and alot less "flame up" occurs on the grill as well. I defrosted just one, since the boy went back to SC last week, and Dr Desert Flower doesn't like beef.  I used up the last of the Italian sweet peppers, more sliced criminis, one organic tomato, and a handful of organic carrots.  The same suspended upper rack grilling technique was used... and this time, I believe, to perfection.
I can honestly say, that now I have eaten the tastiest steak I have ever grilled.  It rivals the pasture raised, whiskey aged steak my friend Ron grilled for me in London 9 years ago, as the previous bench-mark of awesome grillage.  Each was a heavenly meal, and the London steak melted in my mouth... but I didn't cook it myself, so there's a different sort of...  je ne sais quoi.  An Aquila d'Oro accompanied the beef, which worked just fine... but I should've opened a bottle 2 or 3 times as expensive (at the $4 / bottle of the Aquila).  

I've still got 4 more ribeyes in the freezer, and one fridge defrosting as I type this.  I can't wait to grill the next one this weekend!


  1. Come visit me in Phoenix, and I'll cook you one so you can TASTE as well as SEE =) ...I do owe you the favor of reciprocal delicious grilled steak generosity after all.

    Now that the boy has been released back into the wild, the guest bed room is available again...

  2. I think you've inspired me to go visit my butcher. Nathan Jr. re-integration into the wild successful then? Did you tag a fin with a tracking transponder?

  3. He Says he'll wear a helmet when cycling from now on, and be more careful... il faut voir. Without a driver's license, he won't go too far.


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