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2023-07-08 09:07:25

Why I Flavor My Butter, NOT My Steak

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I am hardly a grill master .

But this easy summertime meal of grilled steak and vegetables .

I've got this down to a science .

The secret flavor , the butter , not the steak .

I'll start with maybe half a stick of softened butter .

You can speed softened butter by putting it in the microwave on low power .

Nuke it for 10 seconds .

Give it a quarter , turn another 10 seconds , another quarter , turn .

You do that three or four times and it will be nice and soft but not melted .

Now , I'll chop up a few cloves of garlic .

Also chop up a bunch of parsley or whatever herbs you want .

The trick to easily chopping herbs is to bunch them up on themselves .

Then you can just mow through them garlic and parsley go into the butter along with a ton of pepper and stir it all up .

That's way more solid ingredients than people normally put in a compound of butter if you want more butter go for it .

But I'm mostly in this for the garlic .

Now that will get better as it just sits around for a while , which is why I do it first .

If you put it in the fridge though .

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Don't forget you'll need to soften it up again before you grill .

Successful grilling is all about planning and having everything that you need right at hand .

Ready to go .

Here is the undisputed champion of charcoal lighters .

The chimney starter .

Nothing else comes close .

I use natural lump charcoal .

It burns far hotter than reconstituted briquettes and the flavor it gives is amazing .

Fill it up most of the way .

Then you need some kindling to get it going .

Many things could work , but this never fails me .

I take a cardboard paper towel tube , cut it in half and then jam a paper towel inside each one .

Put those on the lower grill , grate and light them up nice dry thin material with plenty of air flowing around it .

Perfect kindling .

Make sure they're really burning before you layer the chimney starter on top .

Give that 10 minutes and it will be a glowing tower of fiery doom back inside .

Now for our last minute prep zucchini is a perfect grilling vegetable .

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Shout out if you call it a courgette .

There is a secret special way to cut it though .

Get rid of the ends , cut it in half lengthwise , then into quarters , then stand the quarter up on its side and cut off the triangular point .

That's where the seeds are and that's the part that always goes slimy when cooked .

I just toss it .

What we have left is a solid piece with uniform thickness that'll have a firm crunchy texture when cooked and that will lie flat on the grill grates .

When I started doing this , it gave me a whole new appreciation for zucchini .

I never liked that slimy core .

One zucchini per person is probably fine .

I'm going with two because I love vegetables and these are so easy and so good .

All right , I put them into a big plastic bin light and easy to carry out to the grill .

Now , steaks for about four people .

A couple of nice rib eyes , an inch thick at most .

I think both very thick and very thin steaks are much more challenging to grill .

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Speaking of thick , here's one of those absurdly thick pieces of tenderloin that butchers always cut .

You gotta be really good at temperature control to successfully grill a steak that thick .

So I just cut it in half .

There you go .

21 inch thick filets .

Lauren will want one of those all steaks in the bin .

Here's a metal baking tray where I will put all of my finished food .

I'm going to take a spoonful of my garlic butter and smear it onto the side where I will lay the freshly grilled steaks that will flavor their undersides and their residual heat will take the edge off of the garlic .

Now , just a splash of oil goes on .

The zucchini looks like a lot , but that's a lot of zucchini , lots of pepper lots of salt .

You can do lots of other seasonings too .

I like a splash of some vinegar .

I'll just toss that around and get everything coated .

Everything must be ready to drop onto the grill before it goes out that back door .

Otherwise you're going to have a bad time to that end .

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Just the tiniest bit of oil goes on the stakes just enough for a super light coating all around .

I'll show you later what too much oil would do enough salt and pepper to cover all the steaks .

If you were definitely going to use my board sauce method , there wouldn't be much purpose in seasoning these now , but seasoning immediately before cooking does give you the option of serving the steaks whole with a nice crust .

Just toss those around in the seasoning .

Everything goes outside and uh , oh , shooting the video down my prep and my charcoal burned down a lot .

I guess I was inside for about 25 minutes .

I'm going to layer on a bunch of fresh charcoal to compensate .

I would normally layer on about half this many fresh chunks at this stage .

No problem .

They'll still light right up .

Grill .

Great .

Goes on and yeah , that's pretty yucky from my previous grill session .

No problem .

You just let it heat for a couple of minutes and then you can scrape it clean with a wire brush comes right off and you want to give that great .

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A couple of minutes to get hot anyway , otherwise the steaks are more likely to stick to them .

Hey , real quick .

This recipe is sponsored by audible .

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That's like getting three months for the price of one .

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And you can listen to the amazing new audio cookbook .

Our Harlem by Marcus Samuelsson .

This is an audible originals production that a colleague of mine from my radio days helped to make .

Hi , Martha .

The book explores the cultural heritage of this iconic New York neighborhood through its food .

Each chapter is a day of the week in which Samuelson explores themes like the great migration Spanish Harlem all in conversation with Harlem personalities like Bevy Smith , dapper , Dan and Jelani Cobb .

This is the most iconic dish in the African American community .

You can have all the dishes you want on the menu , but if you don't have a good fried chicken , you might as well not open the restaurant .

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Seriously , it's so good and you can only hear it on audible to get that big discount .

Go to audible dot com slash Adam Ragu or text Adam Ragu to 505 100 .

You'll pay just 4 95 per month for your first three months .

And after that , it's just 14 95 per month .

That offer is only good during this month .

July link is in the description .

Thank you .

Audible .

Now let's grill .

Ok .

The rib eyes are bigger , they'll take longer .

So they go on first .

If you don't hear sizzle , your grill is not hot enough yet .

Now see that flame licking that one steak a little bit , you want to avoid that direct flame char on meat tastes burned and more significantly it can be carcinogenic .

One solution is to use your tongs to rotate the grill grate to get the meat away from the flame .

After two or three minutes , they're looking ready to flip .

Under ideal circumstances , they won't stick when you're ready to flip .

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But if they do seem like they might , you can take a metal spatula and just scrape it underneath to release , then they'll flip right over and you won't lose any precious crust bits that would have stuck to the bars .

Now , you might like a darker crust on yours for what it's worth when I grill my steaks as dark as I would get them in the pan .

They tend to taste a little burned to me .

I have learned through experience to be more conservative with the color when I grill .

Oh , by the way , for safety purposes , after you've flipped the still raw meat , just hold your tongues down into the fire for a second .

That will definitely kill any germs on there .

Now , this is where it really pays to have practiced cooking steak enough that you can judge doneness by feel a lot of the visual cues that I would normally look for when cooking inside .

Just don't look the same out here on the grill .

And because the temperatures are so extreme , I find it really hard to get an accurate thermometer reading .

So I'm just poking , medium rare is soft but it bounces back at you .

Rare is squishy .

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It's been three minutes since I flipped them .

They're almost done .

So it's time for the garlic butter smear a big spoonful onto each one .

If we had put that garlic directly on the steak , it would have burned black by now .

The butter is a really effective convenient way of delivering a ton of flavor right at the end .

So it only gets the minute of cooking that it needs .

Now , check this , see those crazy flame ups I'm getting , that's what would have been happening this whole entire time .

If we had put too much oil on the stakes , fat is fuel .

It's biodiesel , it bursts right into flames when it hits the coals .

Another reason to put the butter on at the very end off , they come onto the tray that we smeared with more garlic butter .

We'll let those rest .

Well , we dump on the whole bucket of zucchini .

Those nice big pieces are so easy to handle on the grill .

I'll just arrange them so they're cut side down and perpendicular to the grill grates .

The cut sides brown better than the skin man .

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Those are pretty after they've been on for two or three minutes and they've gotten nice grill marks .

I just slosh them around to give the skin side some cooking time but not much when they're just kind of floppy like that .

They're not done , but they will be done by the time you pull them off , cut them up and eat them .

I want to make sure that they're crunchy and not slimy off .

They come to the other side of the tray where they will mingle with the meat juices and the melted garlic butter .

Yum .

We're done back inside now .

People could just grab a steak and a few zucchini pieces and cut them up on their own plates .

I like to pre slice everything here is my surprisingly controversial method for carving rib eye .

I just peel that delicious cat muscle off the not quite as delicious eye muscle and that allows me to shave off the big bits of un rendered fat that live between them .

I love fat , but I love melty or crispy fat .

Not a big fan of big blubber hunks and I'm hardly alone in that with those bits out .

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I can just chop it all up into bite size chunks .

Same deal with the filets depending on where they were cut from .

Tenderloin steaks can actually have a lot of gristle running through them .

Lauren doesn't like that .

So pre cutting the meat allows me to get in there and trim out all of the stuff that she won't eat anyway .

Pieces all go back on the tray along with any of the precious board juices .

Then the zucchinis , if they're all lined up like that , it's really easy to just hack them into bite size bits back onto the tray and I turn on the burners under the tray to their lowest settings that will keep all of this food warm indefinitely , which makes this meal really great for like a little buffet situation .

If you have friends over now , I'll just toss all the pieces in their own juices and the melted garlic butter .

Each piece is just soaked in summery , smoky buttery , garlicky deliciousness out onto the plate .

It comes , I would squeeze a little bit of lemon over all of that .

And no , it does not look fancy all chopped up like that .

If that matters to you , then you don't do it .

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But in this form , you can just take a plate and a fork out onto the front porch .

You can stand around and maybe light some more things on fire while you eat Happy Independence Day to my American viewers and to my British viewers , I say Courgette , I did a good job .


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