I’m not sure exactly what my last meal would be, but I am sure that it would include steak and red wine. So, last Friday after getting off work and officially starting my holiday break I decided to treat myself and headed to the market. My initial plan was to pick up filet mignon, but then a ridiculously good looking rib roast caught my eye and the plan changed. I had the butcher slice off one rib for me and headed home with this beautiful 32oz piece of meat.
The menu: Steak with a roasted head of garlic and a side of baked potato wedges and sauteed lemon garlic spinach (w/ chili flakes). The beverage of choice to wash it all down would be a bottle of Liano red wine (Sangiovese / Cabernet Sauvignon).
You obviously don’t want to mess around too much with a piece of meat like this, so I kept it simple: Montreal steak spice, a bit of olive oil and garlic powder.
1. Let the steak come to room temperature for at least an hour. I gave it about an hour and a half. This is such an important step if you want to cook a nice medium rare steak, and one that is often overlooked.
Tip: Season the steak (including the salt) at least 40 minutes before you plan to start cooking it. If you can’t, then do it only right before cooking it (i.e. you don’t want to season 20 minutes before). There are a lot of views re: how long in advance you should salt meat; after doing my research I’m now firmly in the “at least 40 minutes” camp, for the reasons that this guy takes the time to explain (you can’t argue with science).
2. Heat a cast iron pan on high heat. Add a bit of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.
3. Sear the steak for about 2 – 2.5 minutes on each side.
Tip: After searing, remove the steak from the pan, set it aside on a plate and clean and wipe dry the pan. This is an important step. Most of the recipes that I have read would have you just slide the pan straight into the oven after you are finished searing. I’m sure that can work too; but for whatever reason, whenever I have done that I have gotten tons of smoke, an oily steak, and an increased risk of burning.
5. Put the steak back into the clean cast iron pan and slide it into the oven to finish it off. Ovens vary, so cooking times will of course vary. I had mine on the convection roast setting at 390 and ended up giving it a total of 14 minutes. Pull it out and give it the poke test every now and then until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
Tip: Flip the steak once or twice while it is roasting in the oven or else one side will cook more than the other.
6. Let the steak rest 7-10 minutes. I didn’t tent with foil this time because my poke test told me that the meat didn’t need any more cooking.
Brilliant. The steak came out exactly as I had hoped it would - beautifully seared, slightly charred, juicy and full of flavour. The potato wedges and sauteed garlic spinach were excellent in their supporting roles, each roasted clove of garlic was delicious smeared over the meat and the Liano was delicious.
Perhaps I shouldn’t boast about my own meal, but this truly was the best steak I have ever eaten and one of my top meals of 2011. At $22, it’s not exactly a bargain steak, but when you consider how much a meal like this would cost you in a restaurant it was an absolute steal.
Note: A 32 oz steak is huge. I didn’t think that I’d actually finish the whole thing. I did though, and I promptly passed out about 30 minutes after (the bottle of red wine might have also had something to do with that). So if you plan a meal like this, make sure you allow at least a 24-36 hour recovery period.