Sophisticated Savories

Sophisticated Savories

Saturday, February 23, 2013

New York Strip

When cooking New York Strip Steaks, it can be a challenge to cook the meat tender enough to melt in one’s mouth. 


Whilst New York strip does have a nice chunk of fat that is typically lining the cut of meat, there is not a plethora of marbling throughout the meat. What this means is that New York strip is a learner cut of meat – not too much fat is actually present in the cut of meat. Translation: per 3 oz of meat (trimmed of all fat) – there exists 155 calories, 5g fat and 25g protein. From a health point of view? Brilliant. From a culinary point of view? Tricksy.

Whenever New York strip is on the menu for my classes at Sur La Table, I usually will sear the meat, then “finish it off” by roasting in the oven. Sauces that have a touch of citrus incorporated (lemon/orange juice) will aid in breaking down the proteins, making the meat more tender and less chewy. From a time constraint, this is one technique to help make the meat more palatable. (Sous vide also helps to tenderize the meat if there is a race against time).

Without time constraints, red meat possess two best friends: low and slow cooking temperatures. I will often sear the meat (about 2 minutes on each side – depending on the thickness of the cut of meat) – then deglaze the pan with wine and actually pour either chicken, beef or vegetable stock into the pan in order to tenderize the meat.

Why this entire process as opposed to simply placing the meat in a slow-cooker? Absolutely, that is most certainly an option. However, in order to impart the most flavor into the meat (and accompanying sauce), I will actually sear the meat (in order to have an initial “crisp” of flavors). Deglaze with wine in order to allow the brownings to be “set free” from the bottom of the pan (from the initial sear) – then pour stock in the pan to cover up to ½ the height of the cut of meat. Bring up to a boil, then allow to simmer with the lid on for hours. Believe me, cooking meat in this manner – although it takes time – is well worth the effort.

Melt in your mouth, I kid you not.

To accompany red meat, fruits are often brilliant. I also love pearl onions, although they also take time to cook. Ergo, make it easy on yourself and either sauté the pearl onions in order to caramelize them, or simply throw them into the pot with the meat – they will cook for hours and absorb the aroma and flavors of the protein (as well as release their own sweet astringency). Cook until the stock has reduced to a thick sauce… season with fresh herbs (love rosemary), as well as a touch of cayenne pepper. In order to add another dimension, add a touch of dark chocolate to melt into the sauce. Roasted figs are the perfect finalization.

A composition of flavors to create confidence in the kitchen.

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking, you’ve got to have a ‘what-the-hell’ attitude.” –Julia Child

Love y’all ♥

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