BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Making Steak for the First Time…and Perhaps the Last

with 5 comments

Really Old-Fashioned Marinated Rib-Eye

Really Old-Fashioned Marinated Rib-Eye

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.

Written by baltimoregon

February 3, 2009 at 12:51 am

Posted in Uncategorized

5 Responses

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  1. Yeah, you need a good exhaust fan when you sear meat at home. Otherwise you’re smelling it all night, well after you’ve had your fill. I thought of that classic movie “Moonstruck” when Cher tells Nicolas Cage that she’s going to cook him a rare steak, like it or not, “to feed his blood.” Your husband probably needs that every once in a while, too.


    February 3, 2009 at 6:33 am

  2. Great line! Yeah, except that my husband chickened out, didn’t want it so rare and through the steak back in the pan.


    February 3, 2009 at 10:15 am

  3. Might I suggest NY steaks, grilled outside, four minutes per side over a hor fire. No smell inside, the perfect beef texture and not as fatty/greasy tasting as rib eyes. The hubby will be happy…and so will you!


    February 5, 2009 at 11:45 pm

  4. Guess I know what I am cooking you next time you guys visit. A nice prime rib crusted with a spicy rub, slow cooked on an grill outside, with some nice cherry wood smoking it to perfection.


    February 17, 2009 at 1:22 am

  5. Ooh! I love prime rib. What kind of rub do you use? We need to get a grill. What kind do you recommend? I love how all the McCandlishes are such foodies:)


    February 18, 2009 at 12:13 am

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