Sunday, August 21, 2011

Chuck steak so good we call it "Charles"

I could not find exactly the right picture. The above is, I believe, a New York strip

Here we have a 7-bone chuck roast. I've cooked these many times. They are delicious but take a while.

What we have here looks for all the world like a pot roast.

If you go to your supermarket you will find cuts of beef labeled in so many ways that you truly will have no idea what it is they are trying to sell you. It takes some experience to have a look at a hunk of beef and have an idea what you should do with it. I do not have that type of experience, but I have a reasonable track record in terms of my guesswork. The best thing that has happened to me recently was when Chris of nibblemethis began teaching us about the reverse sear technique for beef or, I suspect, lamb or pork (maybe even poultry). The method is simple. Instead of putting on a serious sear at the beginning of the cooking process, you start very slow, get things up to a certain target temperature, then remove the meat from the pan (or grill) and crank the heat way way up, get some good color and an appropriate temp on the stuff. I've done this half a dozen times and it has worked flawlessly.
So now I find myself with a so-called boneless chuck steak. It looks pretty well marbled. I bought it a few days ago for an excellent price. Then I gave it a rub of black pepper, somethng called menudo mix (I would never have gone out to buy this, just happened to have it), and onion and garlic powders. I'm not cooking it until tomorrow and will wait to add salt.
For the reverse sear for beef, I insert my electronic temp probe and put the meat into a mix of olive oil and melted butter over low heat. Initial target temp is 100 degrees (turning it once). Then I set it aside and bring the heat uner the pan way up - maybe to 3/4 of maximum. Back in with the steak with a final target temp of 125. Turn the meat at 115. Don't fool around with this. When you see 125 degrees get that meat onto a platter and tent it with foil. Do whatever else you need to do to finalize dinner prep. If you get this right, you will go and rejoin your church next week. We served our steak with some braised kale from the farmers market and a couple of ears of corn dressed only with butter and salt.


Andrea the Kitchen Witch said...

I so agree the reverse sear is the ONLY way to go! I've done it many times as well and it never lets me down, so long as I don't blow past my target temps. Good to know that chuck was successful too!

Jenn said...

Target temps are my nemesis at times :) I think that is why I keep "forgetting" to use the reverse sear method!! lol Must work on my patience!

Care's Kitchen said...

sounds delicious! I've used this meathod too and it's great! Now I'm craving MEAT

Chris said...

You hit such a HUGE point in this post that many may overlook. DON'T put salt or a salt based rub on meat and let it sit for a long time. Waiting to salt the meat until close to cooking time is genius!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

I've never done this!!! I must try this. Thanks so much. Can't wait to give it a go. Sounds fantastic.

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma What's For Dinner

Shu Han said...

wow all that precision and gadgets. it looks and sounds fantastic, definitely worth the effort!

btw i just tagged you in this fun recap post thing, where you choose your top 7 posts so your readers (including me!) can get the chance to catch up on great posts that we've missed! hope you can play along (:

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