Steak with Fat Fries
by Clara P. Triane, M.D. and Sol Ta Triane
The prices for different types of steak can vary widely. More expensive cuts may be more tender and marbled and are a little easier to cook, but a cheaper cut may be just as delicious if prepared in the following way. Here are some tips for buying, cutting, aging and cooking lower cost beef:
- If you live any distance from the store, it may be a good idea to bring a cooler with plenty of ice with you. Pop the meat in the cooler as soon as you leave the store.
- If you are flush with money, buy well-marbled choice and prime cuts. Otherwise, buy large cuts of beef from a restaurant supply store like CHEF’STORE, and bravely cut it up yourself.
- If you bought very large cuts of meat to save money, good for you. Turn your large cuts into steaks or roasts the size of your liking with a sharp butcher knife. Don’t worry about being perfect the first time; just cut safely and in a manner that looks appealing to you. Steaks and roasts: they’re all excellent ruminant food.
- When grocery shopping, look at the date on the package. Choose the freshest meat.
- When you get home you may want to freeze steaks, roasts and bones if you are not planning on cooking them soon. However, steaks properly prepared can stay in the fridge, drying up to a week or two, getting better and better.
- Salt the steaks that you are going to put in the fridge on both sides with plenty of high quality salt such as Redmond Real Salt or pink Himalayan sea salt.
- Put the steaks on a wire rack, which is in turn placed on a baking sheet so that plenty of air can circulate around the meat. Place in the fridge to age it. Let the steaks sit at least overnight if possible, but you can go up to two weeks.
- IMPORTANT: On the day you are going to eat the steaks, remove them from the fridge a couple hours prior to your meal so they can rise in temperature.
- A cast iron or carbon steel pan is recommended for frying. Use tongs. Once seasoned these pans are nonstick, chemical free and scratchproof. These pans maintain their temperature well, necessary for browning the steak. Cast iron is heavier and will take a little longer to heat up than carbon steel. Choose the smallest-sized pan that will hold the steaks you are planning to cook without crowding.
- Pat the steaks dry with a clean cotton towel.
Make Fat Fries—Render the Fat—Fry the Steaks
Our goal here is to create fantastic steaks out of inexpensive leaner cuts of beef. We are using the edge fat to fatten up and brown the steak.
- On your cutting board cut off some of the thick pieces of fat that are on the edge of your steaks. Chop these fat pieces into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces, or should we say, “fries.” If you have extras, save some for use in other recipes, such as Meatloaf.
- Put the fat fries in the frying pan and turn the flame up high.
- Cover the fries for 3-4 minutes to accelerate the process and block spattering. Get them good and brown on one side, then flip them over. At this point the fat fries should be releasing beautiful, clear beef tallow into the bottom of the pan . . . and that means it's time to add your steaks.
- When the fat fries become nice and brown on both sides, they are ready to remove from the pan. They have done their job of releasing the nice shiny beef tallow in which you are searing your steaks.
- How long to cook the steaks? Ah, that is an art. Depending on the thickness of the steaks, initially you may want to fry them for up to 3 minutes on each side; that’s all for a 1-inch thick steak. Then if they are thick, you can turn the steaks more frequently, using tongs, about every minute. You may want to stand a steak on its side to fry the edge if you want your edge brown, but then again, why bother? Cook until the outside of the steak is seared, and the inside of the steak is rare, medium-rare or medium according to your preference. Check by cutting.
- While cooking your steaks, you may want to put your serving plates on the stove next to your pan to warm them.
- Serve the steaks along with the delicious fat fries. You may soon find that your family members are fighting over who gets to eat the most fat fries!
- But what about the steak sauce? The best steak sauce is your meat pan juice. The best Worcestershire sauce and the best soy sauce is—your meat juice! The most nutritious sauce—meat juice. The most instinctively satisfying—meat juice. So pour all those drippings from the pan on top of your steaks, and your steak is no longer too lean. If your pan liquids have dried up, add water, scrape and pour.
Blessings to all beings!
Clara P. Triane, M.D. and Sol Ta Triane
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