Saturday, April 29, 2006

Avoiding One's Mis-Steaks

I'm not a big-time steak guy. There are too many wonderful permutations of pork to distract me. But Margy and I do like a good steak, and since we rarely have one, we tend to go for broke and get a porterhouse.

This one looked so great as I seasoned it up -- all thick and red and sturdy -- that I made a pact with myself: I would not overcook it. I'm getting better at judging cooking times, but I still let things go too long (or not long enough) on occasion. Steak especially, since I don't get to practice very often, and since I'm frankly not exactly sure how I want to cook it. I gave tonight's porterhouse about five minutes on the first side to get a nice char, and then I flipped it for three minutes more, maybe three and a half. After letting it rest, I started carving it up, and it was clear that it was not overdone.

"Is that cooked enough?" Margy asked.

"Yes," I said. In my heart, I wasn't sure.

I took a bite. Man, it was good.

"YES," I repeated, more firmly. "Don't worry. Eat it."

It was medium rare, more rare than we usually eat steak -- it was more like the way I usually cook lamb -- and it was a revelation. I had a good piece of meat on my hands, sure, but cooking it correctly made it that much better. I served it with a crispy-creamy potato gratin and broccoli rabe with garlic. With a big glass of red wine, it was a good way to end Margy's workweek. I bet we'll get another steak soon.

No comments: