Because it is finally summer in Ontario cottage country and because I love a good steak, I thought I would pass along some helpful tips to preparing and (most importantly) enjoying a great steak up North at the cottage.
The most important part of eating a delicious steak is buying the right cut of beef. If you end up buying a thin flank steak, you will not be enjoying a thick juicy piece of meat for dinner regardless of how you prepare it. In general, the best cuts of beef for a steak are the rib, short loin and tenderloin.
The short loin steak is commonly called the New York Strip. From the ribs, you get a delicious ribeye steak. From the tenderloin, you will get the most succulent cuts of meat including: Porterhouse, T-bone and the coveted Filet Mignon. If you consider yourself to be a novice at buying meat, be careful buying cuts of tenderloin as you can get meat that has connective tissue in it as it is taken from the butt or back end of the cow.
Once you have your desired cut of beef, the next step is to prepare it for the grill. If you think that you can just toss the meat on the heat and a mouth watering meal will await you and your guests at the cottage dinner table, you are wrong. For me – preparation is as important as the grilling.
If you went all out and purchased an expensive cut of beef, a little oil, salt and time is all you will need to make that meat juicy and delicious. Massage the oil and salt into the meat, cover the tray with foil and let it sit in the fridge. The longer it sits (maximum a week) the juicer and more tender the meat will be once it is grilled.
If you didn’t spring for the Filet Mignon, you should still marinate your meat. In addition to the oil and salt, try using a delicious sauce on the steak to help with flavour. I would recommend applying the sauce on the grill. This will help avoid grey coloured and burnt meat (the sugar in the sauces can cause this if left to marinade for too long).
When it comes to actual time on the grill, this really varies depending on how you prefer your meat to be cooked: rare, medium or well done. Generally, to prepare a medium steak, you are looking at grilling each side for about 5-6 minutes. Grill it less for a rare steak and more for well done steak.
When you are eating a great steak, it should be the champion of the meal. That being said, having the right side dishes completes the experience. Grilled veggies and delicious potatoes are always a cottage favorite. Stay tuned for next weeks potato preparation!