Perfect Medium Rare Steak

Oh … winter… not a season we are ever going to taste a perfect grill marked steak.  I’ve been working on achieving the perfect steak during the “off” season.  Nailed it!

Perfect steak 5

PERFECT.  Pink inside, crusty outside, and drizzled with Cafe de Paris Beurre.  I’m in heaven.

First step is to make your dry rub:

1 lemon – zested, and zest set aside to dry

Perfect steak 1

Zest your lemon, and allow it to sit a bit, just to dry it out so it helps create the perfect crust.  Do you buy lemon pepper dry rub?  Stop!  Just try this instead …

Combine:

  • freshly cracked pepper
  • sea salt
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • mustard powder
  • paprika
  • raw sugar

I use all equal amounts of all these ingredients.  You can certainly adjust to your own preference!

Stir to bring it all together, and once the lemon zest has dried out a bit, add it in there too.

Perfect steak 2

We are lucky.  I’d be the first to admit that.  We dry our garlic and onion in the fall, and create our own powder.  Yep, we even do paprika, this one is grilled poblano peppers.  No, sorry, we didn’t create either the mustard powder or the salt and pepper.  (But, does it give us extra points because we bring the sea salt home from a favourite region in Mexico??)

Pat the steaks dry – VERY important.  Drizzle over a little neutral oil, and then press in the seasoning.  Make sure to get the seasoning rubbed into the sides as well as top and bottom.

Perfect steak 3

Got everything ready??  Just look at that marbling on the steak … that is what you are hoping for.

While the steak is coming to room temperature, heat up a pan that can handle the heat of a 400 degree oven.  (this would be a great time to preheat your oven!)

Sear the steak on all sides – get it good and crusty!  Pop it into a 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. . . . check it carefully, you want to pull it out of the oven once the steak hits 120 degrees.  Tent it with tin foil, and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

I couldn’t help myself, needed to top the steak with my Cafe de Paris Beurre ….. it makes everything better.  I’ve eaten …. but want to eat it again.  I think that says it all.

perfect steak 4

Served with baked potato and a simple iceberg wedge salad and I’m totally satisfied.  You will be too! Give it a try.  If you are able to grill all year ….. well good for you!  Maybe you want to try it anyway, and see what you think??

 

Cafe de Paris Beurre

Cafe de Paris 8

How to enhance an already perfect medium rare steak?  Cafe de Paris Beurre.  It’s that easy.

What’s that, you say????  Only the most amazing flavour packed umami bomb you will ever create.  Don’t be alarmed by the list of ingredients.  This makes a whack of butter, which you can give away to your best of friends, or stash in your freezer to pull out when needed.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound, 5 ounces unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ounce ketchup
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 ounce capers, rinsed
  • 2 ounces shallots, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chives, snipped
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dill, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon tarragon leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 8 anchovy fillets, rinsed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 1 tablespoon madeira
  • 1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cayenne powder
  • juice of one lemon
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • zest of 1/4 Orange
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
Cafe de Paris 5

Just a few of the many ingredients needed.

Cafe de Paris 3

Okay, it might not look appetizing right now, but it smells incredible …

 

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large bowl, beat the butter by hand or use an electric mixer set to slow speed, until it has a slightly creamy texture.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all the other ingredients and mix thoroughly. Add this mixture to the butter and beat again until all the ingredients are completely combined.
  3. Place a double thickness of foil, about 12 inches long, on a flat surface and line with a similar-sized piece of silicone paper. Spread half the butter along one of the foil edges and roll up to form a long sausage shape — roll it with your hands like a rolling pin to get a tidy shape and eliminate any air pockets. Twist the ends to seal. You can also use plastic kitchen wrap, which I did this time.  Repeat this process with the remaining butter. Place in the fridge to chill before use.
  4. To use, slice a ½ inch thick disc of butter and place on top of a grilled steak (or a steamed spud). Traditionally, the steak is placed back under a hot grill (broiler) to soften and brown the butter, but I don’t reckon you need to do this, just let it melt from the heat of the steak.
  5. The butter can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a few weeks or in the freezer for several months.
Cafe de Paris 4

Ready to roll into logs and pop in the freezer (or gift bags!)

Cafe de Paris 6

Don’t just think of steaks, top any chicken or fish dish, or use it in place of garlic butter on bread.

Cafe de Paris Beurre 1

I tried out quite a few recipes I found, and this one from Food Republic, is the definite winner, and the most like a butter topped steak we had a “Red Door” in Whistler.  If you aren’t a meat lover, don’t even worry – it’s just amazing on vegetables, scrambled eggs or melted and drizzled over popcorn!

 

Backstrap Venison ….. Thai style!

We had the good fortune to have backstrap venison grilled at our good friend Rob and Mandy’s ….Rob being the hunter … and further good fortune as they sent us home with the leftover, rare grilled venison.  It was amazing the first time, and just as fabulous as a “leftover”  … repurposed as a Thai style salad.

The instructions for this are VERY loose.  It involved what I call creative cooking, or clean out the fridge.
Thai Style Backstrap Venison

Pan roast some peanuts, and if you are fortunate enough to have a mortar and pestle, grind them up a bit with about 1 tsp chili flakes (obviously to your taste).  Add tamarind, palm sugar (2 tsp?) freshly squeezed lime juice, light soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, roasted sesame seeds and even a bit of peanut oil.  A little of this, a little of that.  Keep doing that until your taste buds sing and you can hardly wait to dress your salad.

Thinly slice red onion, and pour boiling water over.  10 seconds later, yes, TEN SECONDS, pour the water off – add a bit of kosher salt, a few chili flakes, and cover with freshly squeezed lime juice …. (if you run short top it up with regular vinegar)

Cook up a few ramen noodles, or rice noodles, or whatever you have on hand.

Lay the cooled noodles over a serving platter, and build your salad on top of that with whatever strikes your fancy. (and is in your fridge)   Add some thinly slivered protein – i.e. the venison, or you could use cooked chicken, steak, and prawns.  Again – totally up to you!  (and if you are looking for a vegetarian option – do some tofu!)

Top with the quick pickled red onion, some of your roasted peanuts, sesame seeds – and although I didn’t have any today – I would have loved some bean sprouts and fresh cilantro over it all …..

Italian Salad Dressing

P1110070

4 tbsp. minced red onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

3 tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 cup good quality olive oil

Soak minced red onion in cold water for 15 minutes, and drain well

Combine all ingredients except olive oil.  Using blender or immersion blender, blend all ingredients until smooth.  Gradually add the oil until creamy – taste for seasonings.

This keeps well in the fridge to use on anything from salad dressings to grilled vegetables – try brushing it over grilled steaks after removing from the grill.

 

Flank Steak

This has been a family favorite for years!  While it is pretty good with any cut of steak, flank is definitely the best.  Also – if you can’t access a grill …..

you can use the broiler, but – well it just won’t be as fantastic!

  • 1 flank steak
  • 1/2 cup soya sauce
  • 1/4-1/2 cup olive oil (I usually stay with 1/4 cup)
  • 4 1/2 tbsp honey
  • 6 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary (and only fresh will do)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt

Prepare marinade and put in ziplock bag along with the steak.  Seal for a minimum of 2 hours, but really …. overnight is best.  I have also put it in the freezer at this point, and then you alway have one ready!

Grill for 7 min per side for medium rare, and then slice thinly on the diagonal.

Garnish with slivered green onions