lunes, 20 de agosto de 2012

New York Steak with Dried Cherry Balsamic Reduction and Bacon-Salted Frites

Nothing says "I love you" like steak. Well, maybe good scotch and a cigar. And a BJ. But still, steak ranks up there with the best public displays of affection conceived by mankind. And steak cooked properly, perfectly, keeping the center at 65°C while uniformly caramelizing the outside, seasoning it just right and serving it with a side of civilized potatoes can only be described as a little slice of Nirvana.

I am a Rib Eye man myself, but my family doesn't love fat as much as I do, so this time I cooked New York strip steak. New York steak comes from the short loin primal, and can often substitute for T-Bones, Porterhouses and Rib Steaks if the marbling is right.

The thing about New York steak is that it's really easy to fuck up, since it's often leaner that other cuts and will burn and dry to a rubbery piece of shit if overcooked. There is no way in Hell a self-respecting, red-blooded human can process a well-done New York steak. Seriously, if you like your steak well-done, don't eat steak. Have a rat burger at McD. Char yourself some hotdogs; after all, they're nothing but lips and assholes.

So let's start with as many steaks as there are people on your table. DO. NOT. TRIM. THE. FAT. Seriously. Don't do it, fucker. I'm watching you. Season the steaks liberally with sea salt and coarsely ground pepper and set aside for a while.

Preheat your oven to 375°F. Take some crumbled bacon and dehydrate it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. It should be crunchy but not chared. Let it cool and place in the food processor with at least 2x as much sea salt as bacon and a little paprika (for color). Pulse it to combine until any fat left in the bacon is indistinguishable. Set aside.

Take at least 1 potato per guest and cut into 8 regular wedges. Nuke'em for 5-6 minutes, covered, and let them rest in the microwave while you prepare the rest of the meal.

Put a couple of tablespoons of fig preserves in a sauce pan. Add some dried cherries, half a bottle of your favorite red wine (in this case, Shyraz) and a good dash of balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over a medium high flame until thickened. While you're at it, take a large pan (preferably cast-iron, and heat it over a very high flame.
Home-made, of course

As the sauce simmers, take the potato wedges out of the microwave and add a decent amount of olive oil, pepper and parmesan cheese. The heat and moisture from the potatoes will melt the cheese and make it stick to the wedges, giving you that all-natural MSG goodness that can only come from parmesan. Place them on a single layer on a cookie sheet and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until browned.

 Once the potatoes are nice and browned, take them out of the oven and sprinkle them with bacon salt.


Glutamic acid is the most abundant non-essential aminoacid found in foods. Monosodium glutamate was first synthetized in 1908 by japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda, who patented it and sold at as Aji-no-Moto (Essence of flavor), Professor Ikeda also discovered the elusive 5th flavor, umami, elicited by the activation of glutamate receptors on the tongue mucosa. All aged, dry cheeses contain vast ammounts of glutamic acid, which makes them excellent flavor enhancers. The infamous "Chinese Restaurant Syndrome" is nothing but the result of a single anecdotal report by a man called Robert Ho Man Kwok, and it has been extensively disproved.

Now add just a little olive oil to the heated pan and place the steaks (always laying them away from you, or risk grease splatter), never overcrowding the surface. Do not fucking touch them again for 5 minutes. Seriously, don't. You need them to char on the surface to develop maximum flavor. Use tongs and a large spatula to flip them. Puncturing them with a fork will only render the juices out, this creates steam and hinders  caramelization. Steaks should only be flipped once. And it's not some snobbish dick shit about knowing your meat. Steaks can be equally well cooked flipping them once or flipping them frequently. It's just more practical to leave them be and let residual heat work its magic.

Take the steaks out of the pan and add a dash of red wine to whatever browned bits were left in the pan, scrape them and add this liquid to the balsamic reduction.The steaks must rest for 5 to 10 minutes, loosely covered with aluminum foil, so that the protein relaxes and the juices are not forced out when you drive your knife through it.

Now plate, eat, and be happy!

This is my sister, a woman that despises adding fruit to anything other than a smoothie. She fucking loved it
Printer-Friandly version:
New York Steak with Dried Cherry Balsamic Reduction and Bacon-Salted Frites
Serves 6

6 New York Steaks, about 5Oz each

Balsamic reduction:
2 cups dry red wine
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup dried cherries
3 Tbsps fig preserves
Salt and pepper

Bacon salt:
1/3 cup cooked bacon, dehydrated in the oven and cooled
1 cup coarse sea salt
1 Tbsp paprika

Civilized Frites
6 medium Idaho potatoes, cut in wedges
Olive oil
Parmesan cheese

  1. Season your steaks profusely with salt and pepper and set aside
  2. Simmer all the sauce ingredients over a medium high flame until all of the alcohol has evaporated and the sauce thickens
  3. Pulse the bacon, salt and paprika in a food processor until combined and set aside.
  4. Parboil the potato wedges in the microwave, then toss with olive oil, parmesan cheese and pepper. Lay on a baking sheet and brown for 10 minutes in a 375°F oven
  5. Heat a large skillet and sear the steaks for 5 to 8 minutes on each side, or until interior temperature reaches 65°C if you have a meat thermometer.
  6. Deglaze the pan with a splash of red wine, then add the browned bits to the sauce.
  7. Season the frites with bacon salt to taste, then plate with the steaks covered in sauce
  8. Stay fucking awesome