Since I’ll be heading to LA for a few days sans husband, I figured I’d make something a little special tonight. These are ribeye steaks, which are good, and look fairly spectacular, but honestly aren’t my preference – I like strip steaks (which our supermarket was out of), because they tend to be less fatty and cook more evenly. It’s pretty hard to screw up a strip steak, whereas the more technically desirable cuts (such as filet mignon) can be a bit more challenging. Not that you shouldn’t take a stab at them…just that they need more love and attention than I’m usually willing to give a slab of raw meat at 9pm on a Tuesday.
I recently read Jeffrey Steingarten’s It Must’ve Been Something I Ate, and the book offers an excellent run-down on different cuts of meat, and how to navigate this tricky section of the supermarket. Basically, dry-aged meat (where meat is left to sit in a room – don’t get grossed out – for several weeks with special air filtering mechanisms in place until it grows mold that has to be hacked off) is far and away the best, but almost impossible to come by nowadays (Whole Foods does have dry-aged cuts).
That aside, I really believe what you choose is a matter of personal preference. Lots of people (including Steingarten) go nuts over porterhouse steaks; I find it difficult to cook them in a way that makes the whole thing taste good to me. Maybe I just haven’t figured it out yet…that’s certainly possible, as I’m a relative novice when it comes to cooking red meat. I like my steak not very fatty, and very chewy, and with a TON of garlic and salt. Like, an embarrassing amount.
The ribeyes pictured here were marinated in red wine for an hour or so, and then rubbed with good olive oil and sprinkled with garlic salt (Whole Foods brand is my favorite) before being placed on the grill for about 7 minutes/side (change the angle at which the steaks are laying at about 4 minutes to get that lovely cross-hatch look). You can press the meat to see if it’s done – medium should feel like the center of your hand, while rare feels like the big mound towards your thumb and well done feels like the area just below your pinky. Or you can just cut into it. So it has a little slit in it? Big freakin’ deal. Your guests will just be thrilled that they’re eating steak!
I also like garnishing pretty much everything with rosemary, ‘cause it’s pretty.