Saturday, June 11, 2011

Chef's Choice Porterhouse Steak

Last year, I lamented in a blog post about the closing of an amazing butcher chop in Berea, Ohio.  For years, Chef Choice Meats was a great place to go if you were looking for Ohio-raised, grass fed beef.  Chef Choice Meats was also a great place for sausages and smoked meats that were prepared on the premises.  The man behind Chef's Choice was Kris Krieger, who I met a few times.  I would visit his store when I was back in the Cleveland area, usually to pick up some of his spice rub, which was great for pork and chicken, but also worked well with beef.  And, on a couple of occasions when I was cooking or grilling for my parents, I would buy the beef from Chef's Choice.

Each time I purchased beef, I would order porterhouse steaks.  Chef Krieger would personally cut the steaks.  Each steak was individually cut and weighed in at two pounds.   After cutting the steaks, Chef Krieger would bring them for my review.  The steaks were works of art, perfectly marbled with just enough fat along the edges.  I never had to trim any of the steaks when I got to my parents' house.  They were ready for the grill ... well, almost ready.    

Each time that I bought the steaks, Chef Krieger would ask, "do you know how to cook them?"  Although I thought I did, I would still ask him for his advice.  "Some salt, some freshly ground black pepper, and a little garlic, that's all."   And, he was right.  

It takes a little imagination, but it kind of looks like Ohio.
Unfortunately, Chef Krieger closed his butcher shop last year.  He was not getting enough business from the locals (and obviously could not survive on the business from out-of-town types like me).  However, his advice lives on whenever I grill porterhouse steaks.  Recently, I decided that I would take Chef Kris Krieger's advice and turn it into a recipe memorializing Chef's Choice Meats.  I kept it simple: one very large porterhouse steak, some kosher salt, some freshly ground pepper and a little finely diced garlic.  The best part, I was able to find a porterhouse steak that, when raw, vaguely resembled the shape of the State of Ohio.

I served this steak dish with grilled rosemary potatoes and grilled Vidalia onions.  And, as for the pairing, there is nothing better to go with a dish dedicated to a butcher who promoted Ohio beef than a craft beer from one of the best craft brewers in Ohio, Fat Head's Head Hunter IPA, which is brewed by brewmaster Matt Cole at Fat Head's in North Olmsted, Ohio.

Inspired by the advice of Chef Kris Krieger
Serves 2-3

1 two pound porterhouse steak
1/2 tablespoon of Kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon of freshly ground black pepper
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
Extra virgin olive oil, to coat the steak

1.  Add the rub to the porterhouse steak.  Mix together the salt and pepper.  Sprinkle the salt and pepper over all sides of the steak.  Rub a little olive oil on all sides of the steak and then sprinkle the garlic, making sure that the garlic is pressed into the meat.

2.  Grill the steak.  Heat the grill on medium high heat.  Place the steak on the grill.  Let it grill for about four to five minutes and turn.  Grill for another four minutes and flip the steak.  Repeat the process by grilling for about four to five minutes and turn to grill for another four minutes.  This procedure will create the grill marks on the meat.

3.  Let the steak rest, then slice and serve.  Remove the steak and let it rest for about ten minutes.  Cut the meat from the bone and then slice it.

Chef Krieger's advice would work with just about any steak, not just a porterhouse.  For example, strip steaks, ribeye steaks, and cowboy steaks.  The only thing is trying to find beef that is worthy of his advice. I almost always buy local, grass-fed beef.  Nothing less will do.


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