Monday, December 26, 2011
Dry-Aged Rib Eye Steak with Parsley Butter
Ever since I can remember, Christmas Day meant treating ourselves to the absolute best steaks on the butcher block. I'm not a frequent red meat eater, but a few times a year, I go through intense cravings when all I want is to bite into a perfectly medium-rare, slightly bloody steak, cooked in lots of coarse salt and butter. Christmas Day, via tradition, is always one of those times. This year, due to a lack of qualified babysitters for Suz Monster and a sudden onslaught of new business for CA Creative, I stayed in NYC instead of making the 3,000 mile journey home to Hawaii (I'll be spending a couple of weeks there in January to make it up to my mother). However, there was no way I was going to let this slight inconvenience disrupt an ages-old food tradition. I simply took myself to Whole Foods, picked up a beautiful 2 lb bone-in, dry-aged rib eye, and stuck it in the fridge to wait it's turn in my trusty cast iron pan.
When the time came, I laid it on the counter in all it's well-marbled glory and let it come to room temperature while the oven heated. The tricks to a good steak are lots of good salt, careful browning, a few minutes in a hot oven, followed by a low-heat butter bath. I learned this method of steak-making from David Chang's Momofuku cookbook, and it unfailingly produces the absolute best steaks I've tasted, save for maybe the Porterhouse at Peter Luger's. And it even gives that legend some competition. This year, I decided to fancy things up a bit more and add a tasty little mix of parsley butter I whipped up quickly to serve on the side (that counts as a green, right?). After all, tradition can always be improved on.
Hope everyone had a fantastic holiday. Recipe down below. xo
Pan-Roasted Dry-Aged Rib Eye Steak with Parsley Butter
For the steak:
One 2- to 2 1/2 lb bone-in rib-eye steak, preferably dry-aged
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
A few sprigs of thyme
3 garlic cloves
2 small shallots
For the parsley butter:
8 tablespoons softened butter, preferably salted Irish like Kerrygold
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small shallot, minced
Half a bunch of parsley, leaves chopped
Salt and pepper
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a 10- to 12-inch cast-iron pan over high heat. While the pan is heating, season the steak liberally with salt--like you'd salt a sidewalk in New York in the winter--and then with pepper.
When the pan is good and hot--the steak should sizzle aggressively when it touches the pan--brown the steak. Put the steak in the pan and don't touch it or press it. After 2 minutes, take a peek: the steak should release easily from the pan and the seared side should be on the golden side of browned. Flip it. Sear the second side for another 2 minutes. Sear the steak up with the fatty side opposite the bone against the pan for 30 seconds, then turn the steak back over so the side that was seared first is against the pan. Put the steak in the oven and leave it untouched for 8 minutes.
Return the pan to the stovetop over low heat. Add the butter, thyme, garlic, and shallots to the pan. As soon as the butter melts, start basting: Use one hand to tilt the pan up at a 45-degree angle and, with the other hand, use a very large spoon to scoop up butter from the pool in the pan and spoon it over the steak. Repeat this motion constantly, cloaking the steak in an eddy of aromatic melted butter. After about 2 minutes of basting, give the steak a poke--it should be squishy soft, or somewhere close to that. If it's there, and if you like your steak rare, pull the steak from the pan and put it on a plate to rest. If you like your steak medium-rare, baste it for another minute or two. Do not cook this steak beyond medium-rare. It'll ruin it. And save the pan juice for the table! It's delicious.
Let the steak rest for at least 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, cut the steak off the bone, then slice it against the grain (cutting in the direction that was perpendicular to the bone) into 1/2-inch-thick slabs. Put on plates and pour any juices from where it rested and the cutting board into the pan drippings. Scatter the steak with Maldon salt.
While the steak is resting, make your parsley butter. Beat the butter in a bowl with a wooden spoon to make it smooth and a bit creamy. Add the garlic, shallots, and parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Stir until well-combined. The butter can be used right away or covered and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Serve alongside the steak.