Two great tips to make your grilled steak the best ever.

When grilling a steak, finish it right. Here’s how.

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When it’s time for a steak, meat-lovers love a T-bone on the grill.

The bone may or may not make the steak taste better (I think it does for all kinds of scientific reasons about fat, collagen, and heat insulation) but it sure looks sexy on the plate. Maybe it’s the Fred Flintstone Effect — a bone-in steak evokes deep, primal memories of eating around a fire after a long day of surviving saber toothed kittens.

The basics of cooking a steak everyone should know are these. Every single one matters. Luckily, they’re simple.

  • Bring the steak to room temperature before cooking. This takes about 20 minutes once you remove the steak from the fridge. A steak at room temperature is much closer to its best cooked temperature, which means, as you cook it, you are cooking it less time (better) and more evenly (better). It’s just … better. Don’t let it rest too long though.

  • Cover the steak on both sides with plenty of salt. You can do this while it’s coming to room temperature.

  • Get your EuroCAST grill pan super hot. You can test for heat by sprinkling a little water on the pan. If it sizzles and skitters around the pan, you’re good to go.

  • Bones in a steak may create a gentle curling of the meat as you cook. Gently press the steak against the grill to ensure contact without pressing out any juices.

  • Cook your steak to the right temperature (ideally minimizing cutting into the steak to check, which releases juices, so try this method instead) … or even just slightly under. Because, as you’re about to read, there are chef secrets you can exploit to make your steak the best ever.

The two secret steps

Rest the steak when you’ve cooked it enough. The steak will continue to cook while it’s resting on a plate. This is why you can pull it off the grill pan just slightly under. If you like medium, pull it off the pan just shy of medium, more like medium-rare. And let it rest. How long? Simple. For every inch of steak thickness, it should rest five minutes. If you’re lucky and found a great 2-inch thick T-bone on sale, that’s 10 minutes of rest.

While it’s resting, put a knob of compound butter on top. A compound butter is butter in which you have blended special ingredients, usually herbs and spices. Take the compound butter in its ramekin out to the table, too. When the steak gets served, people can slather up their steak just a bit more, to taste.

And of course I have a suggestion for a compound butter … scroll down for the recipe!

Bonus secret step: No matter what compound butter you wind up making as your signature magic potion, before you put even the first knob of it on your resting steak, sprinkle some garlic powder and Aleppo flake on the steak. You will thank me. Your family and friends will thank you.

A compound butter to rule them all

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Ingredients

Blending ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, each pricked with a knife — so they don’t literally explode into tomato jam all over your kitchen

  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed, paper removed

  • 3 tablespoons high quality olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

To add after blending

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives

  • 1-1/2 sticks of softened unsalted butter (I like grass-fed — it really, truly does taste better)

Procedure

Make sure your butter is softening while you prep the special goodies.

  1. Sauté the blending ingredients in a EuroCAST skillet over medium heat until the tomatoes have become sweaty and slightly charred, about 10 minutes

  2. Lower heat to a simmer

  3. Cook another 10 minutes to reduce the liquid from the tomatoes — it should be viscous

  4. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature

  5. Place the cooked items into the bowl of your food processor and whip until smooth

  6. Add in the pitted green olives and fresh thyme and process some more, leaving the olives slightly chunky, to your preference (want it less chunky, whiz some more!)

  7. Remove to a medium size bowl and fold the mixture into the softened butter

  8. Store in a ramekin until ready to use (in the fridge if you’re making this well in advance)

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When the steak is resting, drop a knob of the butter on it. Multiple steaks, multiple knobs, of course.

And then take the ramekin to the table so people can add more of your magic. This is where the orchestra strikes up its pastoral tune in the hearts and minds of your diners, and you are the star.

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Paul WardComment