Friday, April 15, 2011

The New York Strip Steak

I can think of two times that I had a really good well prepared New York Strip Steak. One time was when I was in Austin, Texas...I went to a place called "You Are Cooks" , where they give you the cuts of meat and let you prepare it yourself on a steam table....The other time was when I was in New York City. It was years ago and I can't remember the name of the place now.  It wasn't any big time was actually a little bar and grill, but I had the best New York strip steak ever... That experience has never been recreated for me here in Philly unfortunately...but I'm going to give you some tips about how to cook yourself a great New York Strip
and hope that it helps you.


Your first task is to pick the best possible cut of New York Strip Steak you can afford. The United States Department of Agriculture, or USDA, grades meat based on its age and degree of marbling - the white fat found in beef. The younger and more marbled the beef, the better its flavor and texture. Prime, Choice, and Select are the meet cuts available to the general consumer with Prime being the best cut of meat.

Shop carefully. Not all grocery stores carry USDA Prime beef. Look for the actual title of "USDA Prime" and not a lower USDA grade disguised with a brand name. If you can't find Prime at your grocery store, try a local butcher or purchase from a reputable online source. You can get some of the best cuts of meet online and have them delivered to your door often at a discount to your local options.

Look for a New York Strip steak that is at least 1 1/2 inches thick. Steaks thinner than 1 1/2 inches will dry out more easily.

While Choice and Select grade meat can be prepared nicely at home, do not expect them to have quite the same flavor and bite as a steakhouse steak. Knowing how meat is graded, however, can help you find the best cut of these grades. Look for those with the most marbling and test the meat's age by pressing it gently with your finger. The younger the beef, the more tender it will be when pressed.

Now...Here are the instructions-

Pull the steaks out of the refrigerator and let them sit on a clean plate or pan for an hour before grilling. An even meat temperature will make for more even cooking.

When the hour is up, rub the New York Strip Steak with cooking oil (do not spray cooking oil on your grill) and follow with salt (kosher is best) and pepper (fresh, cracked). Do not put the seasonings on before the coating of cooking oil as it is believed salt will draw moisture out of the meat. For even more flavor, make a steak rub recipe using your own spices.

A marinade can also be used to add unique character to a steak. I've included some marinade directions and recipes further down this page. If you use a marinade, you should remove the steak from the marinade before letting it come to room temperature. When your steak hits the cooking surface, it will cook more evenly if it is dry.

Follow these instructions and enjoy yourself a nice steak with a baked potato and a glass of wine. As always , Enjoy!


Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.

1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website

Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household