Herb Crusted Steaks

Heather says:

It has been unusually cool here near Charleston, SC, but our summer is just around the corner. Summer, in my world means grilling and not just steaks, but vegetables, too.

Herb grilled porterhouse with grilled tomatoes, squash, and zucchini. Pictured is the New York strip side of the steak.

Herb grilled porterhouse with grilled tomatoes, squash, and zucchini. Pictured is the New York strip side of the steak.

Our third and final installment of recipes from BeefItsWhatsforDinner.com take us out onto the porch where I fired up the grill to prepare herb crusted porterhouses with grilled tomatoes, zucchini, and squash. Don’t be dismayed if you feel sticker shock looking at the price of porterhouses, they are a rare treat and each steak is at least two servings. This rub will work for most grilled steaks. This rub will not take the place of a marinade if you prefer less tender cuts cooked over medium, for those steaks, you still need an acid to tenderize the meat.

If you are unfamiliar with cuts of beef, a porterhouse is similar to a T-bone steak, except it contains the tenderloin, the most tender part of a cow.  T-bones and porterhouses are both excellent for grilling, as the bone enhances the flavor and helps retain the meat’s natural juices. Remember that one porterhouse does not equal one serving. Each steak is at least two servings. I cut the steaks before plating so every family member gets both the strip side and the tenderloin.

Here is the original recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 beef Porterhouse or T-bone steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 1 pound each)
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground mixed peppercorns (black, white, green and pink)
  • Salt*

Seasoning:

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground mixed peppercorns (black, white, green and pink)

Instructions:

 

  • Combine seasoning ingredients in small bowl; press evenly onto beef steaks.
  • Place steaks on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 14 to 16 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 15 to 19 minutes) for medium rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.
  • Remove bones from steaks; carve into slices. Season with 1 teaspoon peppercorns and salt, as desired.

 

 

*In the future I would add some salt directly to the herb rub.

Now, here’s how the meal was prepared at Heather’s house.

Patiently resting steaks.

Patiently resting steaks.

Excellent steaks are not pulled from the fridge and slapped on a grill. A little patience goes a long way to improving the flavor of your beef. First, take the steaks from the fridge and allow them to rest at room temperature while the herb crust is made.

process-herb-rubThe original recipe suggested merely stirring the ingredients together, but I prefer to process the items on my cutting board first. There are oils in both the garlic and pepper that are distributed when you chop them with the thyme and parsley. There is a method behind my madness. I made more herb rub than specified by the original recipe, as I have a devious plan for the rest.

Herbs in olive oil

Herbs in olive oil

I set aside some of the rub in a small bowl and added a few tablespoons of olive oil.

herb-rub

Herb rub after processing.

Once your herb rub is thoroughly combined, press it into all sides of your steaks. Wash your hands and go light your grill. These steaks are meant to be cooked over direct heat, but if you use a charcoal grill, you need to wait until your coals are nicely ash covered. Do you remember the hand test for grilling?

When grilling, whether on propane or over charcoal, use a “hand test” to determine the temperature. This does not mean touching the grate! Simply hold your open palm about an inch over the grate. A hot grill means you can only hold it there for a second, medium 3 – 4 seconds, and medium low you would be able to hang in for 5 – 7 seconds. The hand test does not mean you try to play hero, remove your hand from the heat the moment it becomes uncomfortable, it is just a general guideline.

Place the steaks on the grill.

Place the steaks on the grill.

When your grill is ready carefully give the rack a quick spray with cooking oil. I especially like the kind made for grilling. It’s available in both name brand and knock-off. Place the steaks on the grill.

Turn the steak 90 degrees.

Turn the steak 90 degrees.

Since I’m using a gas grill and want the steaks a little over medium, I’ll give them a quarter turn after five minutes. When grilling, it is important to remember that less is more. Try to leave the steaks alone as much as possible. Poking, rearranging, and generally messing with the steaks will increase the chance of a drier steak through loss of moisture. However, stay close by in case of flare ups.  After another 4 – 5 minutes the these porterhouses  should be about halfway done, this time when I do the quarter turn, I also turn the steak over. The rotation ensures that each part of the steak is heated as evenly as possible. Every grill whether gas or charcoal will have micro zones that are hotter or cooler than other portions of the cooking surface. This systematic approach ensures the most even cooking possible. If you are cooking a different cut of steak, you will have to adjust your cook time, but keep the idea the same, turning at each 1/4 of the estimated time.

Resting off the grill.

Resting off the grill.

Just like roasts, steaks need to rest for 10 minutes before cutting. This lets the juices that are on the surface of the steak seep back into the center.

Cut the steak from the bone and serve.

Grilled vegetables are a great summer side dish and go well with many dishes. To complement steak, I used the herb rub to flavor the olive oil I used to brush the tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash.

Grilled Tomatoes

Grilled tomato with herbs and kosher salt

Grilled tomato with herbs and kosher salt

Firm but not over-ripe tomatoes.

Firm but not over-ripe tomatoes.

To grill tomatoes, wash firm tomatoes and remove their stems. Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out and discard the seeds.

Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.

Sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.

Brush the tomatoes with olive oil and place on the grill. Grill the cut side from 3 – 4 minutes and the bottom for approximately 2 minutes. I like mine slightly more done.

The grill marks are the best part.

The grill marks are the best part.

Grill other vegetables just as you did the tomatoes. If you don’t have a basket designed for vegetables, it’s a little tedious to flip each piece, but well worth the effort. Thinner slices will cook faster than the tomatoes and I wouldn’t start grilling the vegetables until the steaks were done.

How was the meal received?

The meal was excellent, but the steak did need salt at the table. In the future when I prepare the rub, I’ll add a teaspoon of kosher salt to the mixture before I process it on the cutting board. However, this change is mostly due to personal preference. Your own mileage may vary.

Now, a quick look at the nutrition information as provided:

Provided by BeefitsWhatsforDinner.com

Provided by BeefitsWhatsforDinner.com

Lean cuts of beef are a favorite in my house. We balance our meals by consuming beef with lots of vegetables prepared in a healthy manner, as well as using reasonable portion control.

Enjoy.



8 Comments

  1. Herb Crusted Steak Recipe. | All The Information You Need for a Great Steak on April 17, 2009 at 10:53 pm

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  3. Carol on April 10, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Oh yummy! That lost excellent. Now I want steak on Good Friday, isn’t that always the way??

  4. Kathy on April 10, 2009 at 8:48 am

    It’s only 8:30 am and I am hungry for steak. The recipe sounds delicious and the steaks look great. The steaks and grilled vegies look so yummy in your photos. Yummy.

  5. stainless kitchen sink on April 10, 2009 at 4:07 am

    This recipe is safe for those who are sensitive to gluten.

  6. Keter on April 9, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    My grocery store has very cheap sirloin steak, so steak is a staple here. I’ll definitely try the herb rub, but let me share my tip about salting steak.

    Set your steaks out about half an hour before you plan to cook them. With 15 minutes to go, heavily salt your steak on both sides. I use a salt blend that has garlic and onion in it. When it’s time to cook, brush off and discard the salt (I just use my fingers, and am not perfectionistic about it). Pepper the steaks thoroughly with fresh ground pepper and grill immediately. You end up with a steak that is tenderized, perfectly salted, and very juicy.

    The magic that happens when you salt your steak this way instead of after the fact is that the salt will actually penetrate the meat, where it helps hold the moisture inside. As it penetrates, it also carries the other flavors in with it, so those flavors also will be locked into the meat. The salt also very slightly dehydrates the very outside layer of the steak – once the steak hits the grill, this hastens the process of sealing the outer layer of the steak, and also helps hold the moisture inside the steak. Lastly, since you brush away most of the salt, you actually end up with less sodium than you would have if you salted your steak after it is cooked.

    Be sure to use cooking oil on your grill and clean the grate after cooking to prevent rust.

  7. Leigh on April 9, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    WOW! That looks amazing!!! I am drooling all over myself…

  8. Becca on April 9, 2009 at 4:09 pm

    That sure does look good…..are you available for hire?? Our family of seven only has three that would eat a steak (13 year old, J and myself) and only one of us would appreciate a medium done steak (versus well done) and that would be ME. This is what I get for marrying a yankee, I suppose. I might get myself the good cut of beef and a hunk of whatever for the well-done two (they’d never know the difference, I guess….burnt is burnt).

    You’d think, living in Phoenix, that we’d be grilling all the year long. But WE don’t. Maybe we should start, though. It was nice to see a grilling recipe and, perhaps, I shall go get the propane tank filled up in the spirit of Spring.

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