Once again I was inspired by an episode of Alton Brown’s Good Eats. This time the episode was called A Grind is a Terrible Thing to Waste and it was about grinding your own hamburger. Since it is now springtime in the United States, I wanted to try it. Best of all you don’t need a grinder, just a food processor.
You use sirloin for tenderness and chuck for the fat content. The burgers come out lean and tasty. They weren’t cheap at $5.00 a pound but they were worth it.
8 ozs. (230 g.) beef chuck
8 ozs. (230 g.) beef sirloin
½ tsp. salt
1) Put the metal blade into the food processor.
2) Trim off the excess outer fat and cut the chuck into 1 inch cubes and process using he metal blade by pulsing 10 times for 1 second each. Remove from work bowl and put on work surface.
3) Repeat step 2 using the sirloin.
4) Gently mix the two meats together with the salt.
5) Divide into four equal portions and gently form each portion into a ball.
6) Carefully flatten each ball into a disk. Make sure you don’t overwork the meat.
7) Grill over a very hot grill 5 minutes on each side (for medium rare).
I was at Costco a few days ago and saw a package of four one-pound U.S.D.A. Prime boneless rib eye steaks for $8.99 per pound. Since all I had ever purchased before were U.S.D.A. Choice I was curious to see if I could tell a difference. The verdict by both my wife and me is that, outside of a restaurant, we had never had a steak as good as the Prime. The reason is that the marbling in the steak bastes the inside as you cook it keeping it moist and flavorful. The result is a steak that literally melts in your mouth.
This cooking method is similar to ones the used in the best steakhouses (Ruth’s Chris, for example, sears it steaks at 1,800°. It is a technique from Alton Brown’s Good Eats (as so many of my recipes are).
- Do not use anything but a cast iron skillet. In particular, never heat a Teflon coated skillet in the oven.
- In researching this article I saw that you can get an even better price by ordering your steaks from Costco online (so long as you have room in your freezer / refrigerator for a dozen steaks).
Makes as many steaks as you can fit in a cast iron skillet (I use a 12″ skillet and can fit two).
- Boneless rib eye steak(s), at least 1 inch thick
- Olive oil
- Remove steak from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking begins.
- Rub steak with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Put empty cast iron skillet in oven and preheat to 500°.
- When oven reaches 500° remove cast iron skillet and place on cooktop over high heat.
- Place steak(s) in cast iron skillet. After 30 seconds, use tongs to flip the steak over (do not move the steak before the 30 seconds are up). After another thirty seconds put the skillet and steak back into the 500° oven.
- After two minutes turn the steak over and cook for another two minutes. The times are for medium rare; for medium, cook for three minutes on each side.
- Remove from skillet and let stand for two minutes. Slice and serve.