Steak Your Claim!

Vegetarians please don’t despair. We’ll be writing plenty of blogs that will appeal to your fancies. For you carnivores, though, please keep reading. We’re talking steak this week. For me, it’s a primal thing. Pure beef. Unadulterated. Thrown on the grill and done up medium rare. Is there anything more satisfying? I think not.


As a kid steak didn’t really appeal to me. It was something we had for dinner every Saturday night. (Was Saturday steak night at your home too?) However, when I was a bit older, my family started a Christmas Season tradition. We’d spend an evening doing those great things one does in New York City that time of year. Window shopping on Fifth Avenue, the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center, the Rockettes Show at Radio City Music Hall. The best part of the evening, however, was dinner at Ruth’s Chris. There are fancier, more expensive steak houses in the city. But there was something about Ruth’s steak that really was irresistible. Perhaps it was the butter served atop those sizzling cuts that got to me. I don’t know. Nevertheless, I’ve been a steak fanatic ever since.

Besides those Christmastime visits to Ruth’s Chris which we still, by the way, treat ourselves to every season, I particularly look forward to steak this time of year. Grilling a steak is my favorite way to prepare it. Whether it’s a t-bone, strip or hanger steak nothing takes to the flavor that charcoal imparts better. I prefer mine medium rare, but I’m very accommodating. I’ll prepare yours anyone way you like. Nothing elaborate, mind you. A simple sprinkling of salt and freshly ground pepper and you’re ready to go with it.

For as much as I’m a backyard BBQ enthusiast, I’m not really a purist. I’ll take steak anyway you serve it. So if you want to panfry mine, or broil it for me, I’ll be there with a bottle of wine to enjoy the meal. Need to get up market with it? Do it au poivre. Coat the steak with peppercorns and panfry. Create a pan sauce of reduced cognac and heavy cream. Oh, be sure to make the sauce in the same pan you cooked the steak. You want to get all the brown goodness in your sauce. Or perhaps you’re looking for something a little brighter? Why not ladle a bit of béarnaise sauce over your steak. The butter, egg yolk and tarragon mixture is the perfect counterfoil to the earthiness of the meat. Please don’t buy bottled béarnaise, though. It’s easy to prepare, and recipes abound.

I could write tomes about different cuts of steak. The best way to find your fit is to try them all. As for aging, I do preferred dry aged steaks (as opposed to wet aged). And always Prime for me. A bit more expensive, but definitely worth it.

As for sides, well I am a bit of a purist here. With my steak au poivre, nothing will do except for mashed potatoes and steamed asparagus. When béarnaise is on the plate, I want a baked potato and creamed spinach. When it’s just steak, some French fries and sautéed mushrooms must accompany. I know, these are all sides you find at the steakhouses. I can’t help it. Guess I just keep returning to Ruth’s Chris!

Before I go, just a quick word about steak sauce: unnecessary! I’m sorry, I get a bit crazy where steak is concerned. But tell me, why would you want to smother a kicked up version of Worcestershire sauce on such a beautiful thing as steak? I’m not judging. Enjoy however you please. That’s why steak exists.

Victor Ribaudo

Crank Up the BBQ–Grilled Ribeye Steak

Great steaks aren’t cooked, they’re bought; the important work is done
before you ever leave the shop. Ruth Reichl in
Garlic and Sapphires

A great steak from aged grass-fed beef can’t be beat. It doesn’t need a rub
massaged into it to mask the flavor. Its own beefy flavor is sublime. Does
Peter Luger use a rub? I think not. Select steaks at least 1 ½ inches
thick and nicely marbled. This means a fine marbling of fat throughout, not
big pockets of fat and, in no case, totally lean. It’s true that fat carries
flavor plus providing more tender meat. I really like Cheryl Smith’s recipe
for ribeye. She does include a brief rest for the steak in garlic, olive
oil and fresh thyme, but then the garlic and thyme are removed before
Optional: Serve it with a creamy gorgonzola sauce. Suggested
accompaniments are sautéed spinach and shoestring potatoes.

2 (10-oz.) ribeye steaks from grass-fed beef (preferably aged)
3 cloves garlic, sliced
6 sprigs fresh thyme, crushed
3 T extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Place steak in a dish along with garlic, thyme and olive oil. Turn the
steak over from time to time and allow it to marinate for one hour.
2. Heat a grill to medium high.
3. Remove garlic and thyme and season steak with salt and pepper.
4. Grill to desired doneness turning only once.
5. Remove from grill and cover with aluminum foil for five minutes before

Gorgonzola Dolce Cream Sauce

2 T unsalted butter
2 T finely diced onions
1 T fresh thyme leaves
1 T all-purpose flour
1 cup heavy cream
2 T dry sherry
½ to 1 cup gorgonzola dolce cheese
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan.
2. Add the onions, thyme and then whisk in the flour.
3. Cook the flour one minute.
4. Add the heavy cream and dry sherry and continue to whisk. Bring the
mixture to a simmer.
5. After about 2 minutes of simmering add cheese to melt. Season with salt
and pepper. Serve on top of steak or on the side. Serves 2.
Adapted from Cheryl Smith

Written by Victor Ribaudo

Recipe Provided by Phyllis Kirigin, aka sweetpaprika

Blog syndicated at the