Friday, August 04, 2006

The (Almost) Perfect Steak

I have a confession to make: This is the most expensive steak I've ever bought. It's an Angus porterhouse, and I got it at my beloved butcher shop, which is admittedly a pretty swanky joint. I even let the guy talk me into a bigger one than the steak I first pointed at.

Anyway, my parents paid for it. They had given Margy and me a gift certificate to this meat haven, and I'd been waiting for a splurge to use it. My $8 parcels of pancetta can be paid for out of pocket; I'll let the folks take care of the $25 slab of beef.

As I lit the grill, I was nervous. It's not like I was trying to cleave the Hope diamond, but I really didn't want to ruin our porterhouse. It was so much bigger than the other steaks I'd cooked that I wasn't exactly sure how to adjust the grilling time. In the end I probably left it over the coals for a minute or 90 seconds too long, but it wasn't a big deal. Actually, I was letting my mood turn dark, but Margy came in and rescued me. "It's perfect!" she said as I sliced it. "What are you talking about?"

It was an almost ridiculously fine specimen. I dare say I might not have been able to ruin it if I tried; it was that tender and juicy. It had taken on a nice crust, and any pieces that were cut near the bone were spot-on medium-rare.

My advice: Next time you're going to cook a steak, step it up a bit -- it's worth it. Life's too short for second-rate meat.

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