The Best Steak

We like Ribeye steaks.  You might like New Yorks.  We like bones, you might not.  No matter what, this recipe will work for you. Whichever cut you prefer buy at least USDA Choice.  If you have company coming over splurge and buy Prime.  There is a BIG difference.  Prime will be more tender and will have less imperfections such as gristle.  There are a lot of arguments about corn fed vs grass fed and organic, etc.  All of those things are up to you.  For most family dinners I buy the grocery store USDA Choice Ribeyes and I promise that our family dinners are better than most…

On the grill.  There are different schools of thought here to.  Tom Colicchio knows his way around a steak.  He doesn’t like flames near his meat.  (My favorite steakhouse in Las Vegas is his “Craft Steak” in the MGM).  I like char and flame.  A little burned is good for me.  Emeril likes them this way too as does Bobby Flay (and my second favorite restaurant in Las Vegas is Flay’s Mesa Grill in Caesar’s Palace).  For this reason I heat my grill to hot.  Nearly 600 degrees, before putting the steaks on.  I want a good crust.  Not burned, just nicely grilled and fire is a part of that process.  (It also helps me get in touch with my inner caveman … but that’s for another blog).

Ribeye Steaks, generally one less steak than you have people is enough.  (OK – like 2 for 3, 3 for 4.  I never grill less than two steaks).


  • 1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar:  Buy cheap balsamic vinegar at Trader Joes if you’re lucky enough to have one.
  • 2-3 TBs Dijon Mustard   That’s Tablespoons. More if you like mustard more.  Less if you like mustard less.
  • 1/2 tsp dried Thyme .  That’s like a healthy pinch.
  • 1 tsp Kosher Salt.   (a really healthy pinch)
  • 1 tsp Fresh ground black pepper.   (several hearty turns of the grinder)
  • 2 TBs Worcestershire Sauce.   (I only use Lea and Perrins because the flavor is nice and deep).
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil plus more for drizzling… (for this recipe it doesn’t matter if it’s Extra Virgin or Regular)

Snider’s Barbecue Seasoning  This is available at Barbecue’s Galore and many other places.  If you can’t get it nearby, get it online.

Heat the grill to HOT.  (If you have a thermometer between 500 and 600 degrees).

Remove the steaks from the packaging, rinse and pat dry.  Place dry steaks on a large sheet of foil.  Drizzle some of the oil on each steak and spread evenly with your hand.  For this method, using a “wet hand,” “dry hand,” technique where you only get one hand “dirty” with the meat and spice is a good idea.  Generously sprinkle the Snider’s seasoning on each side of the meat.  (Remember that a lot of this is going to burn off in the cooking process so don’t worry too much about too much … er – you get my point.)  Wrap the steaks back up in the foil and place in the refrigerator.

In a small mixing bowl whisk together all of the ingredients of the sauce accept for the olive oil.  Then add the olive oil to the sauce in a very slow even pour while you are whisking merrily away.  It is important that you are actually merry during this step or the sauce won’t work.  What will happen is that the olive oil and the other ingredients will combine into a single sauce instead of staying separate.  It’s called an emulsion – but that term tends to scare most guys as it’s too close to an emOtion, which is a much different thing.  Some guys get emotional about their emulsions.  But not me… Anyway.

When everything else is pretty much ready to serve it’s time to grill your steaks.  Use Tongs.  Not a fork or a spatula.  OXO Good grips makes great, long tongs that come in handy in the kitchen or on the grill.  They cost about $10.  Buy a pair.  Do not buy those silly oversized barbecue tongs.  They’re worthless.

On a clean (brushed) grill, add the steaks directly over the hottest part of the fire.  Close the lid.  Wait about 30 seconds.  Long enough for two considered swallows of your beverage of choice.  Open the grill.  You should have fire.  Do not panic.  Wait about 1.5 minutes and then flip the first steak, leaving it over the flames.  If it is nicely grilled go ahead and flip the other steaks.  If it’s a little light then let the other steaks sit for a little longer.  Once all of the steaks are flipped, use a basting brush to coat the tops of each steak with the sauce.  Shut the lid and wait for fire again.  Let the steaks grill for about another 2-3 minutes for medium rare to medium.  Do not cut the steaks, poke the steaks, or in any other way molest the steaks.  Leave them alone.  Turn them one more time, now resting them on a different part of the grill, and coat one more time with the sauce. Close the grill for another minute or so.  Open the grill and remove the steaks to a clean serving plate.

Let the steaks stand for at least five minutes before carving.  Carve across the grain into 1/4-1/2 inch strips. Put a little of the extra sauce in the bottom of your serving plate (which should be the same plate as the one you put them on when they came off the grill – with any accumulated juices) and then put the sliced steak on the plate.  Don’t be fancy.  This is steak.



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