During the finale of Mad Men I was thinking, What Would Don Draper Eat? WWDDE, if I had to assign an acronym to it. The question crossed my mind even though I’ve never actually seen him eat anything on the show. Most of meals seem to be spent gazing at dinner through the bottom of a glass of Canadian Whiskey and a haze of Lucky Strike cigarettes. And even those moments were wedged in between seducing women and delivering smack your forehead genius advertising gems. BUT…if he did actually eat a meal, I would assume a Don Draper Dinner (Triple D…In your face, Guy Fieri) would consist of a big thick medium rare steak, a piping hot baked potato with butter and sour cream, and fresh salad with crisp, cold iceberg lettuce topped with a nice pungent bleu cheese dressing. And for dessert, he would probably skip it and just have another glass of whiskey and a couple of cigarettes.
|A Manly Meal|
When I want to grill something special, I start by visiting my local butcher. On this occasion I asked him to cut me a 2″ thick porterhouse steak. When the butcher returned with my custom cut steak and dropped it on the scale it was almost 3 pounds. He seemed to beam as he exclaimed “Now THAT”S a steak I’m proud to sell!” Yeah, I was proud to cook and it eat it, too!
|Now That’s a STEAK!|
When it comes to seasoning my steaks, I like to keep it simple…salt, pepper and garlic, which just so happens to be the ingredients in my Casa Seasoning. How convenient is that?
To cook a steak this big you can’t just throw it on the grates and hope for the best, the outside will burn before the middle even begins to cook. Nope, this was a $35 steak and I didn’t want to screw it up. A little reverse sear courtship was in order. I was going to be spending a bit of time with this beauty, so it was my intention to make the most of it. I set the stage by filling the Big Green Egg with mesquite charcoal and dropping in the plate setter and a drip pan with a little bit of water in it. I cooked the steak for about 90 minutes at 200ºF and let it just bask in the smoke. When the internal temp hit 100ºF I pulled it off, covered it in foil and let it rest for about 30 minutes while I set up my BGE for the sear. I like the long rest time, it helps me control the temp of the meat and not overcook it. Mrs. AlbuKirky gets really pissed off when I overcook her steak.
|The Perfect Steak Rub|
At this point, the only thing missing on this bodacious hunk of meat was that flavorful crust needed to bring it all home and make it plate-worthy. My cast iron plate setter was just the tool to get the job done. When searing I like to keep the lid open to keep the plate setter smoking hot and the heat on the bottom of the steak. If you don’t have a cast iron plate setter you can use a cast iron skillet. Besides putting a great crust on my steak the cast iron keeps the fat from dripping onto the charcoals which keeps the flare ups down.
After each flip I brushed the hot side of the steak with melted butter and crushed garlic.
I didn’t really keep track of the number of flips, I just kept working it until I achieved a nice dark mahogany color on the crust. There is a fine line between charred and burnt and I didn’t want to cross it. There’s a school of thought that you should flip your steak only once, but if that’s the case, you miss out on a lot the flavor created in the crust. At a certain temperature, the denatured proteins recombine with the sugars on the surface of the meat to create that “meaty” flavor we all know and love. This is known as the Maillard Reaction. Multiple flips ensure that most of the surface area of the meat will connect with the grates/grill at some point and maximize the potential for the Maillard Reaction to work it’s scientific magic, thus forming a bold, flavorful crust.
|Searing the Steak|
Let me start by saying, I did not eat this steak by myself, although it tasted so I good I could have eaten the whole thing, I did let Cheryl enjoy a few slices. The steak was perfectly cooked: a thin layer of delicious crust and almost 2 whole inches of medium rare beef. The slow cooking also allowed me to get more mesquite smoke infused into the meat. To round out our Draper-esque dinner we had a big baked potato with butter and sour cream and a cool crisp salad with some of Cheryl’s homemade blue cheese dressing. We decided to forgo the whiskey and cigarettes. Maybe another time.
|Dinner is Served|