Food & Drink Magazine

A Weeknight Splurge : A Fat Juicy Steak with Sugar Roasted Acorn Squash & Steamed Broccoli with Ginger & Almonds

By Weavethousandflavors

It's Monday and I have no business turning this into a movie and steak night considering it is also a school night but I'm going to do just that!

What can I say, naughty me!

We've got ''Did you meet the Morgan's?' on DVD and wouldn't you rather spend an evening with Hugh Grant & Sarah Jessica Parker than the local news? I don't feel like fussing much today but crave a fat juicy steak, a New York strip, medium please with my two favorite sides - sugar roasted acorn squash and some of that lovely steamed broccoli with ginger & almonds.

As you continue to read this post, the next thought in your head will probably be "Oh, how the mighty have fallen"!

Because not only am I about to break the cardinal rule of gastronauts, I'm about to brag about it!

I'm actually going to fix the steak using my very humble Whatever Whenever Rub that I use for just about everything (hence the name..duh) and it's going to be fabulous!

Mind you, I love doing homemade steak rubs & steak au poivre is utterly, butterly delicious. Yet some days I'll take a steak doused with some good ole rub over anything else. You should actually listen to me on this one for a very simple reason. We've known each other for some years now and would I steer you wrong on all matters foodie?

Moving on, here you have my favorite dessert-in-a-veggie side, Sugar & Thyme Roasted Acorn Squash. You'll find the post for this here

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I'm serving this with my another all time favorite, Steamed Broccoli with Ginger & Almonds that I just posted a few days ago.

 

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And finally the most coveted item of the evening -

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Now that is one hunk of meat! How my ancestors must be turning in their graves this very moment!

Back to the steaks - I L.O.V.E my steaks on a cast iron pan. If you aren't using a grill I would recommend cast iron pans over any new hoity toity brand name pan for the simple reason that good ole' cast iron allows for true uniform heating and though it may take a bit to get to that required temperature once there it can hold it's heat.

Secondly I do my steaks with ghee!

What????

Oh please hold back those racial slurs. Ghee after all is nothing but clarified butter & has all the goodness and yumminess of butter without its one prevalent weakness - the tendency to burn easily at high temperatures & not so high temperatures.

With ghee, it can hold its own, imparts excellent flavor and casts no overshadowing smell. I've said it before, I'll say it again - ghee is the clean fuel of cooking fats!

To get started -

Whatever whenever rub

  • 1 ½ tbs Paprika
  • 2  tbs Brown sugar
  • 1  tbs Garlic powder
  • 1/2  tbs Black pepper
  • 1  tbs Onion powder
  • 1  tbs Thyme leaves
  • 1  tbs Oregano leaves
  • 1/2  tbs Cayenne Pepper
  •  1/2 tsp Turmeric 
  • 1/2 tbs cumin powder
  • 1-1/2 tbs salt

Preparation

Place all ingredients, one by one in a screw top glass jar or any plastic container with tight lid. Close lid tightly and shake for 30 seconds vigorously to combine all above ingredients in a thoroughly dry airtight container.

Marinate each steak with 1 tbs Whatever Whenever Rub & 1 tbs olive oil per steak.

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Rub thoroughly all over the meat, including top, bottom as well as sides with clean fingers. Do not add any salt since the seasoning is enough.

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Set aside for at least 1/2 hour. Longer is better.

The marinade and oil would have infused the meat. You'll be able to tell that it has soaked through the surface.

 

Once the steaks have marinated, heat up the cast iron pan or fire up the grill. If using a grill the steaks will be cooked using the 'Direct heat method'.

I like my steak cooked medium - pink center & Mr. Hubby likes it Medium to Medium-rare - hot pink center.  For cooking times, we follow  Steven Raichlen's guide to cooking steaks:

 Steaks 1/2” to 3/4” thick-

  • Rare – 1-2 minutes / side
  • Medium – 2-3 minutes/side
  • Well-done - 3-4 minutes/side


Steaks 1” thick
-

  • Rare – 3-4 minutes / side
  • Medium – 4-6 minutes/side
  • Well-done - 6-7 minutes/side

Steaks 1-1/2” thick-

  • Rare – 4-6 minutes / side
  • Medium – 6-8 minutes/side
  • Well-done - 8-9 minutes/side

Heat 1-1/2 tbs ghee in the cast iron pan over medium high heat.

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Use the above  guide for cooking times. I love the crisp blackened layer the steak gets when you flip it over. Cook the other side as well once again following recommended cooking times.

Once cooked, remove the steaks to a plate and rest the steak for about 5-10 minutes before serving.

Why is it important to rest steaks before cutting into them?

Quite simply,as meat proteins cook, they begin to shrink. As it continues to cook most of the moisture will be squeezed out of a lean piece of meat. As meat rests, this process is partially reversed & the moisture that is driven toward the center of the meat is redistributed. As a result, less juice runs out of the meat when you cut into it.

Also remember that the meat continues to cook after you've taken it off the heat source. This is crucial to understand especially when cooking a steak.  This is called carry-over cooking and is caused by residual heat transferring from the hotter exterior of the meat to the cooler center.

This means the meat must be removed from the heat at an internal temperature lower than your desired final internal temperature, allowing the residual heat to finish the cooking while the meat rests.

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Dinner's done!

There you have it - a wonderful, steakhouse quality dinner not at $45 per person at $8 per person! As you can see the steak is moist, juicy & trust me, absolutely delicious.

The movie wasn't too bad either. Had us a few laughs and it turned out to be a nice weeknight after all.


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