Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Big Barbee Sizzle Time

It's that time of year again (at least north of the equator) when all the BBQs are out in full force. Personally, I bbq all year round, or at least I did in Toronto where we lived in a house and had a covered porch off the dining room. We're still house/apartment hunting here in Halifax, and bbqing is high up on my "things I'd like to have" list.

And many of my favorite things to cook on the bbq end with "steak" so... all my favorite vegetarians out there (you know who you and I promise to highlight some veggie bbqs soon) turn the other way or improvise.

If you are a meat lover and if you can only buy ONE magazine this summer - you must get a copy of Saveur Magazine, The Steak Issue. There are some delicious looking (photos are amazing) and sounding (all the ingredients made my mouth water) recipes, but that's not the main reason for buying the issue. It's the article called "Know Your Cuts" that's the MUST HAVE.

I don't know about you, but I find (particularly when using magazines and cookbooks from other parts of the world) that names of meat are quite puzzling to me...like top loin (perfect for South BeachDieters) which is also called Strip Loin, New York Strip and probably more. The magazine might not give each type of steak multiple names, but it does have very specific descriptions, gorgeous photos of each so when all else fails you can bring it to the butcher. The article tells you which part of the steer each cut is from, which need marinating and how long to cook each for maximum tenderness.

Until you get you hands on a copy of the magazine, I thought I'd share a couple of my own tips:

1. Cook over medium high heat and do not touch the steak for at least 4 minutes before turning. This allows the hot grill to sear gorgeous grill marks on the steak just like the fancy steak houses. The more you move the steaks, the less defined the marks. If you are going to flip the steaks more than once, angle the steaks so the grill marks form cross-hatch effect.

2. You know when the steak is ready to flip when it no longer sticks to the grill.

3. Slightly undercook your steaks, remove them from the grill and cover with foil for 5 minutes to "relax" the muscles. The steak will continue to "cook" so if you like your steaks medium rare, cook to rare...etc. Foiling really does make a difference to the chewiness and juiciness factor;

4. Steaks should be at least 1"/2.5cm in thickness for really juicy, tender eating. That way, the outside get seared and the inside remains succulent. If it looks too big, share a steak rather than buying a thin one to get the weight right. I usually eat half of my steak and save the rest for salads or sandwiches the next day. If you can only find thin steaks, cook them for just a minute or two on each side over very high heat.

I also thought I'd share some of my favorite steak on the bbq recipes...

strip loin steak with mushroom sauce

beef kebabs

vinaigrette marinated flank steak

teriyaki flank steak (my family's favorite)

and the best sauce...chimichurri(for you vegetarians, if you made it this far...I love this in scrambled eggs, as a spread on grilled goat cheese sandwiches instead of pesto, with pasta....the list is endless).

Enjoy the sun and the BBQ!

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1 comment:

Nora B. said...

wow, Ruth. That's a lot of steak recipe ideas. Thanks!