Cooking with TiDi: High Steaks Gaming

2017-02-01

The Pound of Flesh

Uncooked Steak

This is where we begin, beyond all else a steak should have approximately these qualities:

  • The Meat is bright red with no graying or excess blood
  • The Cut of the meat is even and ideally flat for searing
  • There should be no smell or other signs of rot on your meat
  • Try to aim for no more than an inch and a half in thickness unless you like your steak very rare

One of the mistakes I made was not having my butcher form this delicious mass into a thinner pair of steaks. The meat I used above is about 1.3 pounds of Rib Eye. This was a lot longer of a cook time than I liked from start to end about half an hour from seasoning to consumption. I am a hungry spy.

Spices and Salt

The simplest method to use for a pan steak is simple

  • Salt of your choice liberally on the outside of the meat
  • A few quick coarse grinds of pepper
  • A light spread of oil just to make the meat look barely wet

You can do more than this but the reason for the oil is to spread the heat evenly when we sear both sides of our steak. The searing process prevents the juices from exiting the meat like cauterizing a wound. The salt and pepper, or what ever seasonings you choose, are burned into the meat in this process or get pushes out quickly by the heat, which is why it is recommended to use a fair amount.

The fat or oil you use needs to be able to withstand over about 435 degrees Fahrenheit. Peanut, canola, safflower, anything like that works. Using a lighter oil will just burn, making the steak kind of nasty and tasting like burnt oil.

Fire to Flesh

Steak on pan

To sear your steak, your pan needs to be hot.

How hot? as high as you can get it. The simple test for stupid hot pan, take a drop of water, drop into pan. If it vaporizes on contact it should be good to go.

You will turn down the heat after the searing process is done. Don’t just leave it on high and wonder why your steak is charcoal.

Set a timer for 30 seconds, press your steak gently into the pan and leave it alone until your timer goes off. Your steak should look similar to the steak above when you flip it for another 30 seconds on the raw side. Also use tong’s to turn your meat, burning yourself is not recommended.

After the last side is seared, turn your steak over and reduce your heat to medium. From this stage you have a few options I will list later below. Otherwise, leave your steak on medium flipping it once every 60 seconds to your preferred level of medium rare. At this stage adding butter, garlic, or mushrooms is up to you. (You may be mocked for this.)

A Fairly Rare steak looks like This

Cooked Steak

Getting Fancier

If you use an oven safe pan, like cast iron, take it pan and all to a 500 degree oven or 475 degree broiler. Leave it for 2 minutes, then flip it in the oven for another 2 minutes. You can check the meat’s temperature at this point and the center should be around 130-140 for medium rare. After this remove steak from heat and let rest for 3 to 4 minutes so it doesn’t bleed everywhere when you cut/devour it whole.

Resting

Whatever method you use to warm your meat resting is typically a good idea. This lets the meat juices settle down and not try to bleed from the meat when you cut into the muscle. This also keeps the crispy seared outside intact if it’s allowed to rest somewhere it can drip any excess fat or blood.

Meat Bag

For those nights of much longer fights consider a more low and slow method of cooking.  I submit the DeadTear-recommended method of food in a bag: cooking sous vide. If anyone out there would like to write about this way of cooking your meat, there’s definitely room for a user submission on the topic.

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Comments

  • Ryan

    I’m feeling awfully hungry after editing, reading, and posting this. What’s your advice and/or recipes for marinating a steak?

    February 1, 2017 at 8:26 AM
    • Terrible Goon Spy Ryan

      If you want marinated meat, I strongly advise looking outside the normal steaks, look for skirt steak or longer cooking time cuts. If you can, go search youtube for episodes of Good Eats, Alton Brown has a very good show on marinating and the kinds of things to do with flavored meats.

      February 1, 2017 at 8:51 AM
    • Libluini Ryan

      I suggest sprinkling it with raisins, because I hate those too. Then throw it in the trash and cook some real food next.

      February 1, 2017 at 12:41 PM
      • Loki Libluini

        What are your views on beans in chili?

        February 1, 2017 at 3:32 PM
  • chimpy

    It is my understanding that flipping the steak often is frowned upon by professionals. Although I tend to be a flipper myself. I believe that you are meant to cook it on one side until the blood starts to seep up out of the raw top side, at that point flip it once and cook until the steak is done. Also your picture looks far more medium rare than rare to me.

    February 1, 2017 at 12:12 PM
    • Terrible Goon Spy chimpy

      The lighting doesn’t show just how rare it was. The center was very rare.

      Blood won’t seep like that; steak’s won’t bleed if you sear it first. Making that method unwise. The blood won’t run out the side either because of the structure of the muscle fiber unless you cut it.

      Flipping it means it spends more time out of a penetrating heat, and more time being seared and direct contact heat. Imagine if you can, a hot knife cutting butter, the knife is going to melt what it touches first, then the melt off with slowly melt the rest of the butter around it. So the more you leave it to one side, the more that heat goes deeper, rather than staying and burning what it touches directly.

      February 1, 2017 at 1:17 PM
      • That’s the point, they don’t sear both side first. They put it on the heat on one side and wait until the blood starts to rise out of the topside. They flip it once and then cook till it’s done. Some Do the fatty edge before anything else to get a nice char on the fat too. I myself am a flipper because I have little patience, but the pros don’t flip it a lot, they do what I describe above.

        February 1, 2017 at 1:27 PM
        • Rhivre chimpy

          Usually we do what you are describing, leave it until colour has seeped halfway up, and there is liquid coming out of the top, then flip it

          February 1, 2017 at 3:20 PM
        • Terrible Goon Spy chimpy

          mmm, Depends on how much heat you are using at that point, but I have had limited variety in my prep methods. If i was using a charcoal grill, I tend to flip more, but thats a whole different process altogether.

          February 1, 2017 at 5:53 PM
      • That’s not blood.

        February 1, 2017 at 8:34 PM
  • Ashtryian

    As a note, a resting steak will rise about 10 degrees, so be sure to account for that when resting, and throwing a tab of butter on top of your resting steak won’t hurt.

    Also, if you are cooking a New York be sure to also sear the fat cap on the side, this renders the fat that wouldn’t otherwise when searing a steak, and the fat is where the flavor is.

    February 1, 2017 at 5:26 PM
  • kirtar

    I don’t see much spinalis on that ribeye

    February 1, 2017 at 8:47 PM
    • Terrible Goon Spy kirtar

      it was about 30$, USDA rated. What more can you say?

      February 2, 2017 at 1:52 AM
      • That has to do with the cut not the grading. Either a) you selected/were given a steak from the end with almost no spinalis (ribeye cap) or b) your butcher cuts that off and sells it separately.

        February 2, 2017 at 5:51 PM
  • Duramora

    I used to have a pretty good sous vide recipe:

    Put meat in bag, season with salt, pepper, garlic, and butter. Cover with sliced onions and mushrooms.

    Close & seal bag (well, poke a TINY hole in the top to vent), put in 300 degree oven for 45-60 minutes- depending on thickness of steak. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.

    This doesn’t make it rare- but it turns London Broils into magnificent melt-in-your-mouth meat….

    Now I’m hungry, dern it.

    February 2, 2017 at 2:36 AM
    • Ryan Duramora

      Please write this up with plenty of photos and report on the taste!

      February 2, 2017 at 6:20 AM
  • OMGoutrage

    Rib eye is great – if you like fatty meat.

    February 2, 2017 at 4:08 AM
  • Gla Frite

    Thanks to INN, we now know what the truth is : neither Fozziesov nor Tidi will give you cancer : however, you may end up with diabetes, and it’s all CCP’s faullt boo-boo

    February 2, 2017 at 6:01 AM
  • kirtar

    Sous vide: Vacuum seal steak (preferably at least 1″ thickness) salt/pepper + aromatics if desired. Some people find that salting pre-cook with sous vide, particularly with longer cooks or storage, can make the meat taste slightly cured. As doing so before cooking may not always be desirable (I usually salt it). Meanwhile pepper can just burn during searing so YMMV. If complete pasteurization is the goal, 135 F for ~2 hours will give a pasteurized medium rare, although you can also do 130 F for closer to 3. If you don’t care about that then ~1 hour should be enough to get the steak to temperature from the refrigerator. Remove from bag, dry and season appropriately prior to searing by your method of choice. Unless your searing method sucks and takes too long to get a decent crust, resting should not be necessary as there is virtually no temperature gradient present in the meat.

    February 2, 2017 at 5:58 PM