I talk about cutting back on meat, being a weekday vegetarian, saving the planet and our health by not eating so much meat. But, I do occasionally like a great steak. I’m not talking about the Kobe Wagyu steak from Japan. Rumor has it that it is nearly impossible to get the real thing anyway. I heard a guy who had the $180 piece at Wolfgang Puck’s CUT and at first complained that it was very small. Then, when he bit into it he was relieved that it was so small because it was so amazingly rich that he couldn’t finish it. Rosengarden in his book The Man Who Ate Everything tells a tale about buying some, ruining it by cooking it too well and getting on a plane the very next day for Tokyo to try the real deal. These are all very amusing stories but have nothing to do with you and I having a steak.
Having said that, there is one similarity. It is very important what you buy and where you buy it. This is probably the most important aspect of a great steak. You need to find a butcher in your neighborhood and ask him for the best steak that he has. Usually he will give you a filet mignon or a rib eye. You may need to research your choice of butchers in the area. You might be surprised where you end up. If you are like me and only eat a steak once in a great while, the supplier is going to take on greater significance. It has to be perfect or why bother.
My favorite butcher in New York is called Esponito’s on the corner of 38th and 9th in Hells Kitchen. They have the best meat that I have ever tasted. One night I bought two small filets. We took them home, cooked them just right and experienced the best steak that I had ever eaten in my life. I was so blown away that I went back two days later (as I was still thinking about that steak). I told the guy that I just had the best steak that I had ever eaten and what was the deal? He said that it was an aged angus, grass fed from Nebraska. The next time you want a perfect steak, ask for that.
Here is how we fixed the perfect steak.
- 2 Filet Mignon (small)
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 Handfuls Arugula
- Olive Oil
- Heavy Pan with Lid
- Let beef come to room temperature.
- Salt and pepper both sides and let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Melt the butter in the pan.
- Add the steaks in the pan over med-high heat and cover, leaving the cover slightly askew.
- Flip after about 5 or 6 minutes and leave the cover off.
- Cook for about another 5 minutes, depending on the thickness.
- Take out of pan and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
- Prepare salad of arugula dressed with a squeeze of lemon and a drizzle of olive oil.
- Serve steak over arugula with a great Pinot Noir.