(A note about “Spotlight Ingredients”… Sunday is my favorite day of the week to cook. I’ll grill, broil, saute or bake the entire spotlight ingredient. That means that I could have a pork roast in the slow cooker or I could be frying a large quantity of pork chops. Whatever it may be, I will cook it all at once and then immediately reserve portions for the next two nights. To some people it may sound like leftovers, but it really is not when you consider you’ve just cooked the base for making three entirely different recipes in the following days.)
Steak can be expensive and so we tend not to eat it as frequently as other meats. Understanding the different cuts of meat is helpful in order to know how to budget for them and ultimately how to cook them. Here are a few cuts of steak that you should know:
- Ribeye– I always new the steak, but never realized until recently that Ribeyes are steaks cut from prime rib or a standing rib roast. Hmm, of course! These steaks have a lot of juicy flavor. The more marbled the steak is with fat, the more the flavor. Just realize that if your a grilling this kind of meat, the higher fat content can lead to some flare ups, so be careful.
- T-Bone– The bone is pretty much the identifier to this steak. What is interesting about this steak is that it actually is two steaks in one. One side is the tenderloin and the other side is the NY Strip. You get the best of both worlds with this steak.
- Strip or Sirloin– It can get a little confusing here because there are many varieties that fall into this category of steak. Top loin. Kansas City Strip. NY Strip. Top sirloin. I think of these steaks as the middle of the road between a tenderloin and a ribeye. It doesn’t have as much fat as the ribeye, but it is not as tender as the filet.
- Tenderloin (filet)- considered one of the finest cuts of meats, this can be an expensive purchase. I always get it on sale and even if I do not have a special occasion to cook it, I’ll freeze it for another time. Buying tenderloin around the holidays can be very expensive and I have a tradition of making it in my Beef Wellington on Christmas Eve!
Here is my tip- you can get away with a cheaper steak if you sear it on high heat to lock in the juices. I mean high heat. (Wait until you see a little smoke coming off the pan.) You should hear the steak sizzle the minute it hits the hot surface. Depending on the thickness of the steak, I usually sear for 5 minutes on each side to get it medium rare.
I like to buy my steaks in bulk at Costco (or stock up on them when they are on sale at my local store) and then stretch them for three different meals. Depending on the size of the steaks, these recipes call for about 6 oz on the first day, and 3 oz on the second and third days. Grill all the steaks at one and slice the remainder into thin strips for the other two recipes.