Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 332 - Rosemary Balsamic Marinade and Grilled Steak

Since Adinah was going to be spending a few hours here, watching me set up her new computer, I thought I'd take the opportunity to feed her.

I started her off with the last of the Cassoulet. (Big hit. I had added some liquid to the leftovers, so they were wet. Yummy!)

Then, I did some more indoor grilling....

Rosemary Balsamic Marinade (p. 173)

Martha says this goes really well with steak, so it seemed crazy not to use it on the Grilled Steak recipe.

It's quite easy to put together: it's just coarsely chopped garlic and rosemary sprigs, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. (But wait- can one really coarsely chop rosemary sprigs? Mine were so twiggy, I ended up having to snap them instead.)

It's curious that there's no salt in this marinade. Is it a mistaken omission? Intentional? Maybe I'll be able to tell when I eat the steak....

Jeff: A
Martha: A

Grilled Steak (p. 164)

Porterhouse: it sounds so 50's/Mad Men. Translation? A nice big steak with a bone through the middle.

This steak sat in the marinade for 3 hours refrigerated and 1 more hour as it came to room temperature. Then I tied some twine around it. I was very excited about tying it. In fact, at the store, I flipped through a bunch of steaks until I found one that looked like it would benefit from some tying. (I don't want to miss a thing!)

Martha says season generously with salt and pepper on both sides, so I went to town with the S+P.

The first side went on the very hot grill, and after rotating once, the cross-hatch marks were a thing of beauty. Then I repeated on the other side and turned down the flame for the "continue cooking with indirect heat" part of the process.

Now, I'm grilling this on a stovetop cast iron grill, so there are certain things I can't quite achieve, i.e. cooking with indirect heat. I try to simulate the heat environments by raising or lowering the flames on the burners, but the way that cast iron conducts heat, I'm not sure if this is terribly effective.

The biggest indicator that it's not effective is that my steak reaches it's desired internal temperature in about 5 minutes, when it's supposed to take 14-16 minutes. Granted, my steak isn't outrageously thick, but still, that seems fast. Ah well.

The texture? Just OK. A little tough. Maybe it's the meat, maybe it's that part two of the cooking process went too fast at too high a temperature.

The flavor? Pretty good. The marinade isn't overwhelming, after four hours of service. It's a nice background flavor, but it's not changing my life.

Meanwhile, what happened to all that salt? It was as if I hadn't salted or peppered this meat at all! I guess I could have seasoned more generously. Or maybe there was supposed to be salt in the marinade...

I almost forgot to top this with compound butter but remembered right under the wire. Not sure if it brought anything to the experience, other than a few more calories.

As you can probably tell, I was underwhelmed by this marinade/steak.

But here's the crazy thing. When I ate the leftovers cold today as the filling in a sandwich, it tasted completely amazing! Much better than when it came right off the grill. Go figure....

Jeff: A
Martha: A

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