About the Recipe
I'm not going to lie - I make a mean steak.
It's taken me YEARS of experimenting, but I finally have it down. And, surprisingly, a grilled steak is not my favorite. I LOVE a steak cooked in a cast iron skillet.
Now, usually I sear it first and then bake it in the oven to finish it off (I'll share that technique another time). But last night I found myself on my own and wanting a good steak.
I typically buy my steaks at Costco because they're amazing; they come in packs of 4 and I use my Food Saver vacuum sealer to seal them individually. I've also actually found great steaks at Walmart Marketplace lately - oddly enough my local grocery store doesn't always have what I want because they cut their steaks too thin. The key is to get marbled meat that's at LEAST 1 inch thick, preferably thicker than that.
Usually when I know I'm going to be on my own at night, I'll take a steak out midday and just leave it on the counter to thaw. But on this night, my steak was completely frozen because I didn't know I'd be home on my own.
I'd heard about this reverse sear technique and had always wanted to try it. It was AMAZING. The best part was that I didn't have to plan ahead. Everything I needed was in my pantry.
I know it seems weird, but give it a try!
Thick cut ribeye or New York strip steak, frozen
2 Tablespoons of butter
A few stalks of fresh rosemary (or a teaspoon of dried rosemary if you don't have fresh)
2 smashed garlic cloves
Coarse fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 275 degrees.
Place steak on a cooking rack set at 2 inches heighth on a baking sheet. Bake steak in the oven for 45-60 minutes based on steak thickness.
Remove steak from oven and pat it dry. Coat both sides of steak with a crust of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. (If you're using dried rosemary, sprinkle that on one side.)
Heat cast iron skillet to smoke point. Add butter and let it melt. Put steak in and add rosemary and smashed garlic (you don't want to mince the garlic because it will burn. Leave the garlic whole and just smash it a bit with a large knife so the flavor will come out without burning it).
Sear steak on each side 4-5 minutes. Place on cutting board and let it rest for at least 5 minutes.
What I'm Reading
I just finished Celeste Ng's new book Our Missing Hearts. It reminded me a little of The Handmaid's Tale in that it was absolutely terrifying because you could see how something like this could happen. This is NOT a light read, but would make for great book club discussion. Even if you're reading it on your own, it really makes you think.
Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving but broken father, a former linguist who now shelves books in a university library. His mother Margaret, a Chinese American poet, left the family when he was nine years old without a trace. Bird knows to not ask too many questions, stand out too much, or stray too far. For a decade, his family’s life has been governed by laws written to preserve “American culture” in the wake of years of economic instability and violence. To keep the peace and restore prosperity, the authorities are now allowed to relocate children of dissidents, especially those of Asian origin, and libraries have been forced to remove books seen as unpatriotic.
Bird has grown up disavowing his mother and her poems; he doesn’t know her work or what happened to her, and he knows he shouldn’t wonder. But when he receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, he is pulled into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of librarians, into the lives of the children who have been taken, and finally to New York City, where a new act of defiance may be the beginning of much-needed change.
Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can ignore the most searing injustice. It’s a story about the power—and limitations—of art to create change, the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children, and how any of us can survive a broken world with our hearts intact.