First of all, I’d like to thank Paige & Jackie for giving me the opportunity to be a guest author on A Recipe For Living. They are both far more talented than I am, even if I am much, much cooler. =) Okay, maybe not, but telling myself that helps me sleep a little better at night.
Anyway, I’m here to show everyone how to grill the one of the most insanely thick cuts of steak you can get (or at least, that I’m aware of), a cowboy cut ribeye, second only to the chateaubriand (3″…I have yet to find this one). Mmmmmm. This isn’t just a steak. It’s 1/10th of a cow. It’s two pounds of pure awesome, marinated and grilled to perfection (when done correctly). You have no idea how good this steak is. Get one. I’m serious. It may very well be the most important thing you ever do.
This steak is 2 inches thick and weighs 2lbs. Now that's a steak!
Alrighty. Now that I got that out of my system…let’s get started, shall we? For this unbelievably awesome steak you will need Paige’s unbelievably awesome marinade. Really, you could cook this steak and add nothing more than a pinch of salt and it will still be outstanding (that’s the beauty of steak), but this marinade just screams cowboy cut ribeye! It will definitely make it that much better. If you haven’t already checked it out, read Paige’s post “Cowboy Ribeye with Chimichurri” before moving on. Once you’ve marinaded the steak properly, you can continue. I’ll wait…
Alrighty then! I like to begin my steak grilling experience by beating the steak into submission. Giving your thick cut steaks a good whallop with a meat mallet will break down some of those tough muscle fibers making the final product far more tender. It really can make a huge difference with nearly any steak, and it’s a must if you prefer your steaks medium well or well done. Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as a tender well done steak (when done right). In any case, I actually did not tenderize this steak…I was so excited to eat it I completely forgot! Lucky for me, fatty steaks tend to be quite a bit softer, so it was still extremely tender.
At this point, you’ll want to wipe off any extra marinade from the steak with a paper towel. Leaving the marinade on will greatly reduce the effectiveness of the sear we will be doing in a few moments. In Paige’s post you will notice that she added salt and pepper to the steak before putting it on the skillet. If you’re grilling your steak, I highly recommend NOT doing this. Salting your steak prior to grilling will allow the salt to draw juices from your steak resulting in a slightly tougher end product. I always make it a point to salt my steak just before removing it from the grill. Believe me, this little difference in seasoning can have a pretty significant effect on your steak. If you’re pan-searing your steak and cooking it in the oven, this is not really an issue as the steak will be cooking in it’s own juices throughout most of the process.
You are now ready to grill! Heat up the grill to it’s highest setting. I like to use grill spray (like Pam for grills) to keep the steak from sticking (NOTE: Be sure to spray your grill with the burners off. Aerosol + Fire = BOOM!). It also helps preserve the bars on your grill from deteriorating as they tend to do over time. A lot of people say olive oil works great too, but that can be a bit expensive if you grill a lot. Once the grill has reached a nice high temperature, it’s time to throw on the steak.
Sear each side until it looks nice and cooked.
The idea here is to sear the outside of the steak to seal in all the juices without leaving the steak on long enough for it to burn. The time you want to sear each side for will vary depending on a few things; 1) the type of grill, 2) the distance the grill is from the flames, 3) how fatty the steak is, 4) how hot the highest setting on your grill is. A pretty generall number to work around for most gas grills is about 2 minutes on each side. Don’t simply throw the steak on, look at the clock, and then walk away. You need to keep an eye on that steak to make sure it isn’t engulfed in flames. Once each side looks nice and grey, you’re ready for the next step. Keep in mind, this steak is so thick that you more than likely won’t get that finished grey color on the sides. That’s okay.
Move your steak to an area away from the flames.
Now you want to move your steak to an area of the grill with indirect heat. I like to use the top rack in my grill, but if you don’t have one you can turn off the burners on one side of the grill and move the steak there. The idea is to get the steak far away from any flames. Once in place, you’re going to lower your burners to medium heat and close the grill. Adjust the burners until you can get the temperature around 350°.
Aluminum foil will protect your steak from direct contact with the flames.
At this point it’s extremely important to keep a close eye on your steak. The worst thing that can happen is a rogue flame you didn’t think could reach your steak flares up and burns your steak continuously for five minutes because you weren’t paying attention. Remember, fire is hard to control, so just because your steak is way up on the top rack of the grill far away from the flames, that doesn’t mean those flames aren’t going to climb all the way up there when they get a nice drop of fat. If you find the flames keep making their way up to the steak, a great trick is to put the steak on a piece of aluminum foil. This will keep the flames from touching the meat, which will keep your steak nice and grey instead of black and gritty.
Probably the hardest part of this process is determining when the steak is ready to take off the grill. The last thing you want to do is check by cutting into it (although it won’t be the end of the world if you have to check that way). Cutting into your steak is basically the opposite of searing. You’re slicing right into the best part of the meat letting all those juices out that we worked so hard to seal in. I generally endorse the finger method
, which essentially consists of determining doneness by comparing the tightness of the meat with the fleshy part of your hand below your thumb. Unfortunately, this steak is so thick that the top and bottom 1/2″ sections can be done to perfection while the middle 1″ is still rare, so really the best way to tell is by using a meat thermometer. Always me sure the center is at a minimum 125° (this is rare). A medium steak should be between 140-150°, and a well done steak shouldn’t be higher than 160°. The slower you cook the steak, the more evenly it will cook, so don’t give into temptation and jack up the temperature thinking it will finish quicker.
Once you’ve gotten your steak cooked the way you like it, throw on some salt and pepper to taste on either side of the steak. I’m a minimalist when it comes to salt, so I added a pretty conservative amount. I feel too much salt takes away from the natural flavor of the steak, which is why I loved this marinade so much…it’s complimentary to the steak as opposed to overpowering it. Far too often I try a new marinade and my final product just tastes like the marinade.
If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’re done! Grab some of that leftover marinade you saved (I actually spread it over the top of the steak) and prepare to eat the most amazing steak you’ve ever cooked on your own! Mmmmm…. Now just decide how you want to serve it. I served my steak straight up. I cut a portion of the meaty side for the wifey, and I left the bone-in side for myself. I’m pretty giving in our relationship, but when it comes to steak or beer, I become very selfish all of a sudden. Once I had gotten through the steak as far as I could with a fork and knife, I just picked up the bone and gnawed off everything I could until there was nothing left. Looking down at that bare bone knowing there was no meat left was pretty depressing…but all good things must come to an end.
If all went well, your steak should look something like this.
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