Sometimes you wake up and you feel like a bag of trash, dirty diapers, and dead rats. You can’t face the day, you can’t blog chirpily and hang billowing white sheets in the sunshine and talk to your neighbor about their organic huckleberries. You just can’t right now.
You CAN, however, eat cold steak with your hands off an Avon “Gentle Moments” plate and drink ice cold black coffee from your favorite Pigathon mug your boyfriend gave you.
Anyhoo, this is a recipe for the hot steak I ate last night, the leftovers of which will be the only good thing I eat/do today.
- Any steak you want. Filets are fancy but boring, and cheap little steaks marinated and seasoned well make you feel like a genius and a billionaire, a trickster who figured out how to beat the system. Anyway, this was a ribeye, and I only bought it because there was a meat sale on at the store. Usually I do get the cheap ones. Look at the date and the amount of fat in the cut. I look for a 65:35 ratio for meat to fat marbling.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Everyone always says it has to be first cold press and all that, which would be great, but this isn’t a blog about all the things I wish I could afford. Point is, you can get a pretty great bottle for around ten bucks, this one is from Trader Joe’s and a very pretty pale green.
- DAT KOSHER SALT AND CRACKED BLACK PEPPER WE TALKED ABOUT. Be slightly more heavy handed than you might think with salting, meat that’s under-salted is vile and it’s not as good if you add it later.
- HERBIESSS! This is the whole thing about the well-stocked pantry. Invest in dried herbs that you can use over and over again, classic French prep, traditional Latin spices, and Indian fare. This way, you’re not spending over the odds on one weird dish the time you decided to make, I don’t know, goulash or something. More on this topic later. This time I went French with a kick: rosemary, thyme, marjoram, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper, in equal parts.
- Meat cooks better when you let it come down to room temperature so I pulled it out of the fridge, poured on the dang seasoning, and covered it in tinfoil and left it on the counter for three hours while I did cool other stuff.
- Obviously, a grill would be ideal, but again, this isn’t a wish blog. I do, however, have a grill pan which has little ridges in it like a grill and is actually awesome. I use it so much it’s all warped and nuts, but still works a treat. Anyway, make it pretty hot before you pop the steaks on it.
- And cooking takes no time at all, especially when you’re using those thin little “minute” steaks. When my mother made them for me as a little kid I thought “minute” was a brand name, but no, it just takes a minute to cook them. You can watch the side of the meat as it cooks and turns brown. You don’t want to keep flipping meat over and over and over so you watch it, flip it once, and cook it equally on the other side.
- Doneness is up to you. I like my steak pretty rare, but there’s a nifty trick to tell any doneness that I learned from working in kitchens: poke the top of the meat as it’s cooking and compare it to how the pad of your hand feels when you touch your thumb to your pinky, ring finger, middle finger, and index finger in turn. Thumb to pinky is tightest, aka well done. I usually pull it out of the pan when it feels like I’m thumb to index finger. That’s a crazy way to explain it, but it works. It continues to cook a bit after you take it off the heat, so plan accordingly and just deal with it.
- Let it settle for a second while you glug wine or queue up Orange is the New Black or call your sister. It has to rest so all the pretty juices don’t run away and down the board instead of on your face and hands where it should be. Eat.
Even if you want to eat it all, save at least a fourth of it so regardless of how you feel the next day you can have cowboy breakfast if you want to.