Making Steak for the First Time…and Perhaps the Last
I don’t think I’ve ever cooked steak at home before. It’s expensive, environmentally unsustainable, not great for the heart and I don’t really crave beef much. But Mark Bittman’s column on a “Venetian Bath of Wine and Spice,” detailing an aromatic ancient Italian marinade for meat, tempted me.
We bathed the rib-eyes overnight in the cooked wine, infused with whole cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg and grated orange. I couldn’t find the pricey Amarone wine Bittman recommended, and plus it’s too expensive to waste on cooking. So I substituted a full-bodied Portuguese Dolcetto D’Alba made with port grapes, but with a dry finish. At $10, the price was right at our downtown wine shop.
The seared steak was perfectly moist, with a spicy sweet finish that needed salt and pepper. Keep it rare. The recipe comes from Frank DeCarlo, the chef at Peasant, one of Dan’s favorite (Italian, of course) restaurants in NYC.
But it still doesn’t feel right to cook steak at home. The smoking pan filled the kitchen with the stench of cooked grease. I’ll still have an occaisional beef hot dog or burger, and I love beef stew or a Vietnamese beef-papaya salad. But steak really isn’t my thing. Hey, I tried, and for steak lovers, this age-old one is worth keeping. Let’s just say my husband was glad I did.
You can watch a video of Mark Bittman preparing the steak recipe here.