So the store had T-bone steaks on sale, so we had steak last weekend. I took the opportunity to try the ATK instructions for Grilled Steak. There were a bunch of suggestions for accompaniment sauces, but I decided to try a compound butter. So I used the book recipe for garlic herb compound butter. And I made creamed spinach for the side.
I actually don’t have much of a history grilling outside. We just recently got a gas grill when my in-laws upgraded theirs and I hadn’t used it yet. Most of the time when we have steaks I do them on my George Foreman. I think it does perfectly well for two steaks if you know how to cook on it. Other times we have grilled outdoors on little charcoal grills, but I’ve always hated the hassle and unpredictability of charcoal.
So the ATK recipe for Grilled Steaks is simple: salt and pepper to season, seared over high heat on one side of the grill and then finished over medium heat on the other side. I originally misread the recipe and thought that one side was cooked on high heat and the other on medium, but realized part of the way into cooking that I needed to flip the steaks while they were still over high heat. So one side got more seared than the other. In addition, I don’t have a working meat thermometer at the moment, so the doneness was a guessing game. One steak was more overdone than the other. The book had instructions on how to slice a T-bone to serve it to two people. Well, we had two steaks, but I still decided to try the slicing. After resting for 5 minutes, I sliced them up and added the compound butter. The advantage of slicing the steaks before serving meant that I could mix up the meat from both steaks so that we both got some that was medium and some that was a little overdone. The big problem with the steak was that it was cold by the time we ate. I rested it tented with foil, then sliced, then added the butter. I think it was the chill of the butter on the slices that overcooled the meat. Too bad, because it tasted great otherwise.
As for the compound butter recipe, it was a simple garlic, parsley, thyme, and sage mix. My husband watched the process of rolling it up in the plastic wrap and looked all impressed, though. There are a bunch of different butter recipes in the book, but I’ll only count it once towards the 1200.
The creamed spinach came pretty close to what I was afraid would be a disaster, but ended up getting an absolute rave review from Justin. The recipe starts the same as the ATK sauteed spinach recipe, up to draining and squeezing out the sauteed spinach in a colander. In the interests of getting the meal together at the same time I sauteed the spinach and then left it in the colander while I grilled the steaks. Then you cook garlic and shallots in butter. Except I didn’t have any shallots, so it was just garlic. Then you add flour and whisk in heavy cream. This was when it started to look like a big mess. Without the shallots in the mix it was just a big gloppy mess of a roux. It calls for cooking this for 3 minutes, but I couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be like a roux or a sauce. It didn’t exactly simmer. I added the spinach. Instead of taking it off the heat, I had to cook it longer because the spinach wasn’t hot. I added the parmesan cheese to the mixture as well, hoping it would improve the lumpy texture. It didn’t look promising. I left the pan on the warm (but off) burner while I prepared everything else and somehow by the time I turned back to it, it looked like creamed spinach. I don’t know how that happened. But it was good, if pretty rich.