Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Meaty Gratitude

As an extra special thank you, our friends Dave and Wendy bought us some steaks from Lobel's of New York.  Wow.  What a great gift.  I tore open the box and was thrilled by some of the best-looking steaks I had ever seen.  I have heard good things about this butcher shop and I couldn't wait to try it for myself.

Lobel's  specializes in USDA prime, dry aged beef.  When beef is dry aged, the moisture evaporates from the muscle concentrating the beefy flavor and taste.  It also becomes more tender as the natural enzymes in the beef break down the fibrous, connective tissue in the muscle.  Needless to say, this is an expensive process, since the beef must be stored for weeks at or near freezing temperatures.  This adds to the cost of the meat, and is why you only see it offered at steak restaurants and high-end butcher shops nowadays.

I decided to prepare two tenderloin steaks for our dinner that night.  About half an hour before I was ready to grill, I took the steaks out of the refrigerator and removed them from their packaging.  With such a fine cut of meat, it needs seasoning only from kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Then I let the steaks sit out to bring them to room temperature.  This will help ensure the meat cooks evenly and can help reduce the cooking time.

I fired up the grill to high.  I knew it was ready when I couldn't hold my hand above the grate for more than about 5 seconds.  Using tongs, I placed the steaks on the grate to sear.  This will take 2 to 4 minutes for each side - depending on how thick your steak is, how hot you've made your grill, and how done you want it.  You can turn (not flip) your steak halfway through each side to give it fancy grill marks, if you want.

If you don't like your steak rare, you may want to cook it a bit longer on indirect heat after the sear.  Just lift it with the tongs, away from the flame.  We like our steaks rare, so ours were ready to go much faster.

To check for doneness, I don't like to pierce of cut the beef, I just use my clean finger and press down on the steak.  If it is rare, my finger will make an indention and it will stay in place.  If it is medium, the steak will give, but the indention will not remain.  A well done steak will feel firm.

After removing the steaks from the grill, let them rest for 3 or 4 minutes to redistribute the juices within the meat.

They were delicious and meltingly tender.  Some of the best meat I've ever had.  Seriously.  We have some pretty great friends.


  1. My daughter recently discovered dry aged beef at a recent Mesa Grill visit. She is sold! These look wonderful!

  2. It is hard to go back after you have tasted dry aged beef...

  3. Hey... I'm interested in seeing a picture of the steak cut (if you cover steak again in future posts) to see what the inside looks like. I'm still a bit unsure if I'm undercooking steak if I only cook it for a few minutes. (I come from a family of meat overcookers.)