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What to do with REALLY good beef

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Some friends of my parents own a small ranch and have a few head of cattle. They take very good care of their cattle and they have a diet of either grass (from grazing) or corn (which they are feed). Anyways, they are having one of the cows slaughtered and since my parents don't own a meat locker we are getting 1/4 of it (they are splitting it 50/50 with the owners.) My mother picked out most of the cuts and I am getting a lot of what us non-chefs would call "steak". Various cuts but for the most part I think New York Strip steaks.

My question is with a beef this good what is my best course? 99% of the time my wife has me use a marinade on the beef that gives it a very distinct flavor (worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Italian dressing and garlic salt) but I really want to have a good resteraunt quality steak. The last few steaks I have done I marinaded them with worcestershire, shallot, garlic and a bit of soy and they are really bringing out the "beef" flavor in the steak.
post #2 of 12
Really good steak doesn't need anything more than salt and pepper.
post #3 of 12
My feeling about marinades is that they are used to tenderize a tougher cut, or to give flavor where there is none.

With beef this good, I wouldn't mess with it more than a little salt and pepper just before grilling. Or Pan-frying. If your wife needs a marinade, buy her some supermarket beef! :rolleyes:
post #4 of 12
I agree. Of course it's not really good beef until it's perfectly aged. Are these cuts dry-aged for any significant period of time?
post #5 of 12
Agreed, hopefully the cutter hung the beef for the requisite 10-11 days before butchery. Assuming that is the case, the salt & pepper thing is best. However, what I do in my steakhouse is use toasted telicherry peppercorns instead of regular pepper. It imparts a unique, nutty flavor to the meat, and the roasting process takes most of the heat out of the pepper.

1# Telicherry peppercorns in a shallow roasting pan
400 degree oven
1.5-2 hours of roasting time. Stirring every 15-20 minutes.

The big variable here is the size of the pan. If the pepper is laying in a single layer, the time will be a lot less. Ideally you want the pepper to be about 1 inch thick in the pan. Don't worry, the pepper will start to smoke every time you stir it. This is normal. In the end, the pepper should be nearly coal black. Let it cool and crack it with a mortar and pestle, or grind very coarse in a grinder. Season as usual and enjoy.
It's Good To Be The King!
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It's Good To Be The King!
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post #6 of 12
One more thing, never oil your steaks before grilling. Oil your grill. Oil creates a vapor barrier on your meat that actually steams the exterior of the meat. Also, most people oil their steaks, then season them. Salt does not dissolve in fat, so the seasoning just floats on the meat. The only fat you need is maybe a nice brush of clarified butter right before service to make it shine and add a little richness.
It's Good To Be The King!
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It's Good To Be The King!
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post #7 of 12
What a marvelous tip, Montelago! That sounds so delicious. I just ordered some Telicherry pepper from my favorite spice place, Vann's. Im surely going to toast it!

I love learning new things! :smiles:
post #8 of 12
I was going to also agree wit hsome salt and pepper. nothing more is needed except a glass of wine or a beer
post #9 of 12
Wow, thank you, what a goldmine of knowledge here, I learned a lot today :)


Thank you everyone :smiles:
post #10 of 12
I totally agree with the "salt and pepper" statements made above, though I would also add just a hint of garlic also. Not too much or it will overpower, but just a hint really helps to round out the flavor. A good steak doesn't need any more than that, other than a nice hot grill!
post #11 of 12
Bear in mind that these well-cared for cattle may also be extremely lean, especially if they are primarily grass-fed. They may be a bit firmer to the tooth, and the flavor may not be as rich as what you're accustomed to, since there's a good chance it won't be well-marbled. Also, some people find the flavor of grass-fed beef to be somewhat gamey, or at least more strongly-flavored than supermarket beef. If you end up finding the leanness or game flavor too much, you may actually want to marinade it. If so, I'd use a good red wine or vinegar-based marinade, which will help the texture and the flavor.


Enjoy it!
Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.
-M.F.K. Fisher
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Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.
-M.F.K. Fisher
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post #12 of 12
Give it color in a pan, cook it to almost the desired temperature in the oven, pull it out and throw butter and thyme in the pan. Baste it with the butter until it is done. If you want some garlic flavor, make some garlic confit (just whole cloves cooked in oil), and mash one of them onto the steak before you start basting it.
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