Augie and Sons Blog

How to Cook a (bleeping) Steak!

John Passanante - Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How to Cook a (bleeping) Steak

John Passanante, Jr. comes from a long line of butchers and meat-lovers who have lived their lives inside the industry. He knows what he is talking about. His father Augie would agree.

I promise not to curse. But you really should read Alex Balk’s hysterical take on cooking steak. I’m still laughing out loud. (If colorful language won’t bother you, go to How to cook a (bleeping) steak.

There is a lot of talk in culinary circles about the perfect way to cook a steak but honestly, this is really easy, especially with Augie & Sons' Prime Dry-Aged Kansas City Strip Steaks.

Why dry versus wet-aged?

First of all, most meat needs to age so natural microbes and enzymes can work their tenderizing magic breaking down connective tissue. In my grandfather’s day, before plastic bags, all meat was dry-aged. There were no plastic bags. Now, wet-aged beef stays vacuum-sealed in our cooler for 28 days. The plastic keeps moisture in, while the beef ages in its own blood, giving it that bloody flavor lots of people love. So does the meatpacking industry because wet-aging is faster and more profitable. The meat you buy in a store is almost certainly wet-aged.

At Augie & Son’s, we hang our beef to be dry-aged, out of the plastic, in a cooler for a minimum of 36 days. I’m a fan of the more the merrier. The longer it ages, the softer the meat. I control for humidity but allow a lot of air movement, so the beef can shed excess moisture and actually dry out on the surface. More than 50 percent is cut and thrown away before we get to the heart of the meat that has been protected by fat and bone. We specifically dry-age only on the bone and believe it makes all the difference. The flavor is hard to describe and I’ve seen words like “roasted,” “nutty,” “beefy” used. I call it delicious, melt-in-your-mouth perfect.

My grandfather used to say, “The meat is always sweetest next to the bone.” Kansas City Strip Steaks are bone-in with a tail that curves around a thin strip of fat. Named after the city of stockyards and slaughterhouses, this cut is my favorite. Not only does the bone give the meat more flavor but it will also protect the steak from drying out, no matter how you like your meat done. Steaks cook from the outside perimeter in, so the bone keeps the meat along that side tender. Heh, this cut also offers all the Fred Flintstones out there something to gnaw on.

  • Take your steak out of the cold. Let it warm to room temperature.
  • Heat up a grill or big heavy frying pan.
  • Make it really, really hot.
  • Toss some sea salt into the pan or right onto the meat.
  • Put the steak on the heat and let it sizzle: 3 minutes for rare, 5 for more well done. Don’t poke it.
  • Turn it to the other side and do the same.
  • Maybe sprinkle on some cracked pepper. Maybe throw on a pat of butter or crushed garlic clove. No stress here. Do your own thing and agree to disagree. Chefs like Gordon Ramsey add herbs. Others flip or don’t flip more often, forking and patting along the way. My advice: Take the easy road here.
  • Take the steak off the heat. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes, maybe 10, in warm place. It needs time to rest so juices and flavor can flow throughout.

Steak House Sides

Going out to eat is always great. My wife and I love it. But when we can’t get out, it’s not impossible to recreate our favorite sides at home, especially with all the recipes now online. Check out “Steakhouse Classics you can make at home” at http://www/finecooking.com

One of the funniest recipes for Creamed Spinach that I’ve seen is Deb Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen: Creamed Spinach

Loaded Baked Potatoes are all over the web but Closet Cooking with Kevin Lynch has a Fully Loaded Hasselback Potato that is sliced thinly throughout, baked with butter wedged into each cut so the outside edges are crispy like French fries while the inside is soft like a baked potato. Kevin adds melted cheese, bacon, sour cream and sliced green onions. Unbelievable.

Here at Augie & Son’s, we also love Asparagus with Hollandaise Sauce, Blue Cheese & Bacon Wedge Salad, Cowboy Beans, Onion Rings, Steak Fries, and Garlic Whipped Potatoes with our steak. You can’t go wrong with any side because the most important piece of your meal is going to be perfect: Prime Dry-Aged Kansas City Strip Steaks.

Order a copy of the classic Steak Lover’s Cookbook by William Rice (Amazon). The former food and wine editor of the Chicago Tribune, Rice really knows steak and his recipes are outstanding.