Lately I have been buying wonderful T-bones from 4505 Meats, both beef and pork cuts. Their email newsletter advertises from time to time specials on aged grass-fed beef or local pasture-raised pork cuts from a whole animal that they age and butcher themselves. The meat quality is divine.
But when one is presented with a 3″ or 4″ hunk of steak or monster pork chop, how on earth do you cook it?
Here’s my foolproof method that turns out meat that is perfectly cooked from edge to edge with a nice crispy sear on the outside.
I must say that this method is completely counter-intuitive to what I have been taught when preparing and cooking a steak but it is so simple and never fails.
Step 1: Bring Meat to Room Temperature and Season
Here is the two-pound beef T-bone from 4505 Meat that I cooked a week ago – what a massive steak!
It was about 4″ thick and a full 11″ long hunk of luscious, 28 day dry aged grass-fed beef. Talk about gorgeous meat!
I patted it dry and placed it on a plate and seasoned it with a dry rub. My dry rub had powdered smoked red onions and a dried chipotle from Tierra Vegetables, a powdered shitake mushroom, all of which I blitzed up in my food processor, then added sea salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme from a friend’s garden and some paprika.
For the pork T-bone that I cooked on Sunday I used a dry rub that came from Golden Gate Meats, which had dried onion, paprika, orange peel, sage and some other herbs. I added salt and pepper to the pork steak first, then the dry rub.
The meat came to room temperature snuggled under its savory seasoning for about an hour, meanwhile I preheated the oven to 275 F.
Step 2: The Slow Roast
Once the oven was hot and the meat was at room temperature I placed it on my roasting pan and anointed it with some olive oil and bunged it in the oven. I set the timer for 45 minutes and started some potatoes to roast in my convection oven.
After 45 minutes I checked the temperature of the meat with a digital thermometer. I was looking for 125 F for the beef which is for a medium rare steak. For this particular steak I roasted it for a total of 55 minutes.
The pork T-bone also weighed 2 pounds and roasted for 65 minutes until it reached 135 F.
Step 3: The Sear
I heated up my largest skillet under medium high heat and added a good splash of grapeseed oil and watched the oil until it started to shimmer. Using tongs I placed the steak in the pan to sear quickly on all sides, including the fat side and the bone side. It took about 2 minutes per side to get a nice deep brown.
Here is the pork T-bone getting its sear. Can you see the thick fat ring? It was 2″ thick of glorious pure white fat. Later I removed the fat and rendered it down for other nefarious purposes.
Once the meat had achieved the deep golden brown color I was looking for it was time for the final step.
Step 4: Resting the Meat
This may be the most important step in any meat cookery, letting the meat rest. I removed the T-bone from the skillet and set it on a heat-proof plate and rubbed the top with a thick dab of unsalted butter. I set a sheet of foil lightly on top of the meat, not sealing it with the foil but just letting the foil rest on top. Then I set a timer for 10-15 minutes and walked away; I had a glass of wine and left the kitchen while the meat rested.
Whatever you do, do not poke, prod, cut or otherwise molest the meat while it is resting! Just leave it alone!
When meat is cooked under direct heat the juices rise to the outside of the meat. If you cut open the meat without resting it the meat will look dry and almost dull in appearance by the time you get to the halfway point of consuming your portion. If you let the meat rest for the appropriate period of time, the juices have time to redistribute themselves to the center of the meat, ensuring a juicy and perfectly pink interior.
This resting stage can take 5 to 10 minutes for a normal steak, up to 20 minutes for a chicken and 30-45 minutes for a large roast such as a prime rib cut.
If you feel that the meat has cooled too much during the resting process, I have a trick to fixing that. I melt butter until it is very hot and then pour it over the cooled meat, just a tablespoon or two will do the trick. It will warm up the meat just enough and adds so much flavor. If you have ever wondered why the steaks at an expensive steak house taste so good, a lot of it is due to this final application of butter. If you have maitre d’hotel butter then more’s the better (I will post this recipe soon).
When the timer went off I dashed to the kitchen and grabbed my carving knife and voila! Perfectly cooked meat!
Feast your eyes on this perfect steak. It is medium rare throughout the entire cut, a perfect rosy pink and super juicy. You can see the rich fat on this beef T-bone and there is no grey ring or unevenness of any kind. It is a meaty miracle. I was too hungry on Sunday to snap a picture of the pork T-bone but it was pale pink, extremely juicy and tender, everything a perfect chop should be. And I ate it *all*.
This slow roasting cooking method is perfect for apartment dwellers like myself, or for cooking perfect steaks in the dead of winter when grilling outside is not an option.
So don’t be afraid of ruining a whacking great cut of meat like these monster T-bones, it is really foolproof and I guarantee your steak will come out perfectly.
San Francisco Ferry Building
Saturday market between 8 and 2
Thursday market between 10 and 2
Shop online at 4505meat.com
Golden Gate Meat Company
Retail shop at the Ferry Building
goldengatemeatcompany.com (catchy song too!)