Monday, October 01, 2007


Yesterday the Missus and I had both developed a Meat Jones, and there was but one cure: a Beefy Dinner.

Our friends Gary and JoAnn had given us a gift card to The Place That Is Extremely Proud Of Their Meat for our anniversary several months ago, so it was only fitting that we invite them to share in the Meaty Bounty that we purchased therewith. Two honkin’ big porterhouse steaks, that is.

I love a good porterhouse. It’s a strip steak and a filet combined in one huge chunk of beef, with a bone to give it delectably beefy flavor. If you can’t get a bone-in ribeye, the porterhouse is an excellent alternative.

Instead of grilling those bad boys, I salted ’em down with kosher salt and added a liberal dose of freshly ground black pepper, then let ’em sit for a couple of hours to absorb the salt. Then I put them on a rack in a 275°F oven for 30 minutes, long enough to get the interior temperature up to about 90-95°F. (Use 20-25 minutes if you want rare steaks...these came out a perfect medium-rare.)

This is where Darth Stover came into his own. I took a heavy skillet and put it on the heavy-duty 15,000 BTU burner with a little vegetable oil in it. Once the oil was smoking, I seared the steaks for two minutes on each side, lifting and turning the meat halfway through to make sure the fat was well-distributed. Then I let them rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing ’em up.

Searing Porterhouse
Searing the steaks in a hot skillet gives ’em a nice crust.

[Porterhouse steaks can be enjoyed whole or sliced. In this case, since I was using two huge steaks to feed four people, slicing ’em up made sense.]

The combined effect of prewarming in the oven and searing in the pan - you need good stove ventilation if you’re gonna do this indoors - resulted in steaks with a nice caramelized crust and a perfectly-done interior. None of the grey layer you get when you try to grill a thick steak without leaving the inside raw.

While the steaks were resting, I added some minced shallots to the pan and cooked them until translucent. Then, about half a cup of chicken stock to deglaze the pan, followed by some rainwater Madeira. Bingo: Steak sauce.

Throwing cholesterol-caution to the wind, I dressed the sliced meat with a few spoonsful of hot garlic butter that I had had sitting on the low-intensity (900 BTU) burner. A real Steve H. Graham touch, that. A little chopped parsley scattered on top, and Bob’s your uncle: dinner is served.

Sliced Porterhouse
Sliced up and ready to serve.

Along with the Meefsteak, we had sweet potatoes, lovingly washed, rubbed in kosher salt, and convection baked to a golden turn. Yummy.

So what if we’ll be eating salads the rest of the week? It was so worth it.

Beef. It’s what’s for dinner!

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