Recently, I have become enthralled with meat and fish again. For some time I chose to be vegetarian, or, rather, trendy. I lived this dietary lifestyle even as I worked at The Wedge, as a Meat Counter Sales Representative; I had full access to freezers and coolers of humanely raised, hormone and antibiotic free, free range/free roam meats. I chose to eat greens, grains, and fruits, what a waste. Seldom I took home bacon, once bone-in pork chops. I had the keys to the car, the cream of the crop, so to say, and I did little with it.
I have somewhat similar access today; however, there is nothing like walking into a freezer with row after row of fresh, top quality meat. Sadly, my freedom of dietary expression oppressed my palate.
As of now I have changed my ways. An inspiration for change came from reading Kitchen Confidential, a scathing expose by Anthony Bourdain, on “Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly”. I advise you read this book, if you eat, ever. Bourdain makes perfect sense of the dangers of being a vegetarian and the pros of being a carnivore.
As a meat eater I go forward.
I ran into a situation: For Valentine’s Day I needed to create a simple, yet classic dish, so here is what I did:
1.) I went home, to the Brohouse, the house formerly known as the BroPalace. Then, promptly, I biked to The Wedge. I have been on a budget lately so I purchased the essentials: 3 potatoes, a bundle of green onions, fresh garlic, and 2 half to 3/4 pound Rib Eye Steaks. The guys at the meat counter hooked it up with advice and well wishes. I was in and out of the co-op in no time at all. My total came to about $15 with my Co-op Membership (the membership is wise because, essentially I get a check for buying food, and I get a discount). (Note about Shopping: To avoid crowds do not shop on the weekends or after 5 PM on the weekdays, your trip time will double for certain.)
2.) I realize when I arrived home that I have never cooked Rib Eye Steaks before, so I did a brief Google search. The internet is awesome; I found some relatively easy to navigate instructions for cooking a steak right at the top of the page. I took the first link’s ideas and modified them to my liking, and to the capacity of the kitchen setup. (Note about Cooking: The most useful equipment to have while cooking would be a Cast-Iron Skillet, and a set of Tongs; these components are essential to an easy cooking experience.)
3.) I wrote down my cooking plans from the search I did onto a green sticky notepad. I hung them above the stove and waited for Babe to get home. She arrived and the cooking commenced. My instructions for the perfect steak go like this:
4.) Prep the Steaks: Let your steak sit out until it reaches room temperature, dab your steak to cleanse it of blood and debris. Then rub your steak with generous portions of salt and pepper mixed with olive oil. If you choose to, cut slits into the meat and stuff them with sliced garlic to add flavor. Go heavy on the salt and pepper olive oil mix, it will add flavor to your steak.
5.) Pre-heat the oven to Broil. Place a cookie pan, or a deep-dish metal pan-that the steaks fit into, inside of the oven to preheat as well.
6.) When the oven is ready (with pan heating in it), put the Cast-Iron Skillet on the stove and turn the heat on high.
7.) When the skillet on the stove has reached high heat put the steaks on (30 seconds each side).
8.) After 30 seconds on each side, open the stove and throw the steaks in the pan to broil (tongs are highly important for this move) for 2 minutes on each side. This will, apparently, render you with “medium rare steaks”. My steaks were more rare than medium rare, but with the quality of meat I obtained there was leeway to the doneness of the steaks.
If you are cooking this dish be careful to pay attention to the pan on the stove, that shit gets hot and could cause a fire. How embarrassing. I almost started a grease fire and the fire alarm started going off mid-transfer from the stovetop to the broiler. Remember to put this fire out with Baking Soda, not water. Babe got a bit flustered, but everything turned out great. We opened a window for some fresh air and sat down to enjoy our meal.
The steaks and potatoes turned out amazing. I suggest you try this with your top quality steaks.
Basically this is the easiest way to cook a perfect steak, it doesn’t get any easier.
If you are a vegetarian I suggest you think about the number of classic, well done, protein soaked, dishes you are missing out on.
Being trendy is all good, but eventually you are inhibiting yourself from all of the freedoms that life has to offer.
An aside: If you are on any trendy diet, realize that moderation is the best diet you could possibly be on. Living in moderation is key. Avoiding, or writing off a food because of some unfounded dietary change is just asinine. Do the research.
An Interesting Fact: 6 to 7 percent of the population of the world is Gluten-intolerant, and all of those people live in Minneapolis.
Keep this fact in mind: No one gives a shit about your diet other than you, so keep it to yourself. If you are on one of these new and improved diets, remember, so is everyone else.