Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Pan Seared T-Bone Steak with a Whiskey Sauce and Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

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 OH BOY STEAK!  and I do mean oh Boy!

But not just any steak, these are 2 inch thick T-Bones!  Part Filet Mignon, part Sirloin Strip and all manly delicious (but she likes it too)!

I really do not eat much red meat.  More for economic reasons than for health concerns, prices have zoomed over the years.  But on those rare occasions when something special is in demand, go ahead and splurge and enjoy that special cut of meat that is guaranteed to impress.

And the best thing... It is about the easiest big chunk of meat to cook.  Simple seasoning and simple heat and you have the fantastic center piece for something special!

Pan Searing a steak is about the most popular way to order a steak at a high end steak house.  Popular for two reasons... First, there is no doubt that this method insures meat that is tender, juicy and easily monitored for proper temperature.  That intimidating Rare,medium Rare, Medium or Medium Well.  Those terms measure the internal temperature.  ALWAYS cook with an internal meat thermometer.  If you are a master griller that cooks steak every day you could measure doneness by touch.  But for the novice or occasional steak cooker (like me), better to be safe accurate and ALWAYS PERFECT.  After all, that is your goal is to serve a consistent product.  Right every time. Probe thermometers that measure the temperature of the meat while cooking are easy to find, cheap (about $20) and is the single most important tool a steak cook has.

Medium Rare, the industry standard for the best temperature to serve meat is 135 degrees.  5 degrees more and you have Medium, 5 less and you have rare.

Finally,  VERY VERY IMPORTANT Tip is to rest your meat.  Once out of the oven, your steak on a cutting board and let it relax, cool a bit, evenly distribute the temperature into the meat and allow the juices to be reabsorbed.  If you have ever cut into a steak and pools of blood grows and grows on the plate, your steak was not allowed to rest.  The meat shown is medium rare, yet very very little blood seeps out.  It stays in the meat, keeping it moist tender and juicy.  Really, that's all you need to know... Proper temperature, Resting the meat and Simple Seasonings...

I also included recipes for the wonderful whiskey sauce and simple roasted seasoned potatoes... What a meal!

Keep scrolling down, recipes to follow...

You do have a special "need" for this recipe... An oven safe HEAVY Cast Iron Skillet.  If you don;t have one, always look for something pre-seasoned so it is non-stick.  Heavy guarantees even heating.  Once you get a cast iron skillet, you will be amazed how often you use one.  Cooks fantastic and can also be used to make a dramatic presentation table side.  Here's one of the most popular, at a very good price with FREE shipping (Amazon does free shipping with any orders over $25).

And like I said... Keep scrolling down, recipes to follow...

 OK... Here's what I did...

Pan Seared T-Bone Steak with a Whiskey Sauce and Parmesan Roasted Potatoes

    Simple Seasonings..
    Olive Oil
  • On a Simple Luxurious Cut of Meat
    2 - One and a half inch thick T-Bone Steaks (Look for even thin marbling of fat  throughout the meat.  If in doubt, ask your butcher to pick out the best ones.  They want you to succeed and are ALWAYS very helpful).
Cooking Directions
  1. One hour before you plan to cook, remove thawed steaks from  the refrigerator.  Generously sprinkle about 1 TBS each of Salt and Pepper on the steaks.  Rub each with a tBS of Olive Oil.  Wrap each steak in Cling Wrap and set aside.  This allows the meat to slowly come to room temperature which allows the meat to cook more evenly, even when it is this thick.
  2. And that hour is just the right amount of time to bake the side dishes (Baked potatoes and spaghetti squash)
  3. OK... Time to "Grill".  Set your oven to BROIL.  Position a rack in the middle.   It is best to use a slotted grill pan.  If you do not have one you can use a jelly roll pan as long as it has sides to prevent the rendering fat from dripping into the oven.  
  4. There is a MUST HAVE piece of technology... a remote probe digital thermometer,  One with a cord that you can measure the temperature with while the oven door is baking.  
  5. BUT FIRST, before you "Grill" in the oven, you need to pan sear the steak.  PREHEAT for 5 minutes a cast iron or heavy bottomed frying pan.  Set the burner on HIGH and the pan with nothing in it on the burner.  HOT HOT HOT.  WARNING, this will SMOKE once you add the meat.. Smoke alot.  Part of the charm.  Have a window open and a fan to suck the smoke out as much as possible.  Just think of it as a way to test your smoke detector (I am only allowed to cook steaks this way once a year... This is why).
  6. OK.  Unwrap the steaks and put them down into the HOT HOT HOT Frying Pan.   have a timer ready.  One minute per side.  This will get a nice beautiful charred outside as the pepper blackens.  The Olive Oil you rubbed on the steak earlier will keep the meat from sticking.  After one minute, flip the meat and sear the other side.  If the pan holds both steaks, great, once both sides are seared, just move the pan to the oven under the broiler.  In this case, the steaks were too big for a single pan.  I did them in stages.
  7. Once in the oven, hook up the remote temperature probe.  Your goal is 130 to 140 degrees internal temperature.  These came out of the oven a beautiful medium rare... pink in color, warm and cooked throughout.  The steaks need to be turned every 2 minutes as they cook.  Each steak cooks differently, based on how thick they are, how much fat content and how well the cow lived his life.  COOK BY TEMPERATURE to be sure.
  8. When the steaks reach temperature, remove from oven and allow to rest on a cutting board for 15-20 minutes (very thick cuts like these, leave for 20 minutes).  This allows the steaks to relax, allowing the steaks to reabsorb the juices.  If you cut into them right from the oven, the steaks will bleed out all those juices making them tough and dry.
  9. A T-Bone steak is actually two different cuts of meat.  One is a Filet Mignon cut and the longer larger side is a KC (OK, some say New York) strip.  You can serve them caveman style, just plop a big steak on a big plate and serve.  OR, cut the meat from the bones and serve as strips and/or filets.  OR, as I did here, cut the steaks from the bone and then slice the steaks... Always against the grain.
  10. And if you slice them before serving you can plate them up on a platter along with the sides for a presentation tableside.  Either way, served warm and ENJOY!

1/4 cup Whiskey (I used I used good old Jack (we are on a first name basis, you may know him as Jack Daniels))
1 ounce Blue Cheese
2 Tablespoons Butter

Allow the skillet to cool for 1 minute (took at least that long to wrap the meat).  Pour in the cognac and whisk to dissolve all the little bits stuck to the skillet (deglaze the pan).
Reduce the cognac for 30 seconds (If you are using a heavy bottom cast iron skillet, no need to return the pan to the heat.  It is still plenty hot).
Add the cheese and whisk another 30 seconds
Add the butter and continue to whisk until it is incorporated and the sauce begins to thicken slightly.
Serve in Ramekins for dipping, or pour over the top of your steaks!

Grilled Mustard Aioli Potato Salad

2 Pounds Red Potatoes, Halved and Sliced to bite Size
1/4 Cup Salt
1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
2 TBS Garlic Powder
Sprinkle of Smoked Paprika for Garnish

Boil the potato slices in a pot with 1/4 Cup Salt and enough water to cover by a couple of inches. Cook until a fork can easily pierce a slice, about 12 minutes Drain.
While the Potatoes cook, mix the spices with the Parmesan.
When the potatoes are cooked through and drained, generously dust each piece with the spice/Parmedan mix.
In the oven, use your broiler setting, place the potatoes on a rimmed cookie sheet pan in a single layer and allow to cook until the potatoes just start to charstarts to char, about 3 minutes
Turn the potatoes over and repeat
Serve WARM, But is also delicious as a room temperature potato salad for a PotLuck and ENJOY!!!

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