Sunday, October 24, 2010

Quest for the Perfect Steak

When I was a kid my dad would cook steak for dinner almost every weekend.  My mom would always get her steak well done and then I would eat part of hers.  I will never forget the day  that my dad gave me part of his rare steak.  My steak eating days were changed forever! It was like...going from Hershey to Godiva, from Wal-mart to Bloomingdales, from...from...from Star Trek to STAR WARS! It was fabulous.  I picked it up with my little fingers and juice ran down my hand and wrist and it all but melted in my mouth and it was absolutely the best thing I had ever eaten in my life.  I never shared a steak with my mother again. 

It was an important rite of passage in my life, this transition of well done to rare and I have to confess since then I have become something of a steak "snob".  When the waitress asks if I need steak sauce my response is always "I hope not" because a good steak shouldn't need sauce.  A steak cooked beyond medium is a ruined steak.  Although there are less than a dozen good things I can say about my dad, the one thing I can say is that he could make the perfect steak.  Unfortunately, my dad has since become something of should I put it...ass? Yes, that seems appropriate and so I am always on the journey to find the perfect steak seeing as how I can't really ask him how he does it.

I have recently given up on marinades because all the ones I have used make the steak taste like, well...marinade and not like actual steak.  I've tried Dale's (ugh, I know.  Who farted, right?), worstershire(?), and once I even tried Jack Daniels, which was horrible since I like my steak rare and it tasted like a glass of Jack Daniels with some meat thrown in it.  Today I went with just plain old salt and some fresh ground pepper.  This was not actually bad, especially the pepper so on my next attempt I'm going to stick with that but it was still missing something.  I'm starting to think that the thing I'm missing can't actually be replicated and that thing is one of the very few fond memories I have of my childhood.  It's the same reason why my biscuits never taste like my mother's (that and haha, you should see me trying to make homemade biscuits.  My kitchen always ends up looking like the set of The Day After Tomorrow.  I try to ask my aunt for the particulars of making biscuits and she always says, "You just add buttermilk until it looks right."  How is that even close to instructions?).  I also have very unhelpful friends (who shall remain NAMErobinLESS) have the following conversations with me:

Me:  I think I'm going to cook steak for dinner tomorrow.  I'm still trying to figure out a way to make them   really good.
 Friend:  My dad just gave me the recipe to his super secret steak marinade recipe.  It's fantastic.
 Me:  Ooo! What is it?
 Friend:  I can't tell you.  It's a secret.
 Me:  Ok, really? You can't just jump in the conversation and say something like that and then not tell.  What is it? 
Friend:  No.  It's super secret.

So, I'm going to start preparing for next month's steak adventure.  The adventures only happen once a month because I'm poor.  I might switch from ribeyes to NY strips, though I haven't decided on this part yet.  I'm going to take suggestions, too assuming that anyone out there thinks they can make the perfect steak.


1 comment:

KiraRin said...

Sorry I'm late on this, but the best way to cook steak is in lots and lots of butter. Season the meat whilst the butter heats and starts to bubble in the pan, then slap that bitch in there! Keep basting it for a few minutes before turning it, then carry on basting baby!

Best. Steak. Ever.