Every now and again, I forget that I can go out and get an amazing cut of halal meat to bring home and make a great steak. In fact, it wasn’t too long ago that I basically put it out of my mind that it was an easy task to find the all-American style cuts of meat I grew up eating at popular steakhouses or at the local Ponderosa (and boy, was that a pretty good restaurant way back when).
My dad used to take us out often for steak and potatoes, and if we weren’t eating out someone made them at home on the backyard grill or indoors. Even as a young girl he let me pick out whatever it was that I wanted from restaurant menus or from the selection at home. Looking back, I had a pretty hearty appetite for good meats and my parents didn’t hold back on serving them.
At Ponderosa, I was guided by the photos of the steak cuts as you walked in to the semi-fast food family style restaurant where they served real meat and offered up some pretty aromatic smells for half the townsfolk in the area. I always got some sort of strip steak, and it was my first education about what a NY Strip actually was.
At the local Brown Derby restaurant which was more of a fancy-schmancy sit down restaurant surrounded by large glass windows looking out to a semi-pro golf course. I could sit in a leather seat that was bigger than myself, eating my sirloin tips with mushrooms and onions and buttery baked potato while watching the caddies, golf carts and golfers play their afternoon games. On the way out of the restaurant there were indoor tennis courts where I could watch competitive duos duke it out on the green turf. The whole experience was something to savor.
Not so when I started eating halal a little over ten years ago. Much of those experiences went right out the window. Don’t get me wrong, you could find beef. But most of the time you couldn’t find the butcher who understood how to cut an all-American style steak like the kinds I grew up eating. It was hard to explain things like wanting to make a dish of sirloin tips or rump roast or T-Bone and Porterhouse. Most of the time the only cuts offered were half the cow, the whole cow, ground beef for keema and stew cuts for…well, stew.
Thankfully, times have changed. Stores have evolved with butchers who are more familiar with American-style beef cuts. Mine even reads magazines like Bon Appetit and know exactly what I’m looking for, but that’s probably rare in general.
More importantly, there is one company I’ve recently learned of that hails from Australia’s Channel Country and offers quality organic halal beef cuts to us, the American consumer. OBE Organic is made available in fresh cuts of meat at Fairway Market stores in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. The video below from their You Tube Channel tells their story (you can even see videos with subtitles in other languages such as Arabic):
Because their meats are so fresh, I wasn’t able to try them first hand here in Chicago- I need to make a trip out to the east coast for that soon- but here are some of the cuts they provide- the bright red color in their meat with beautiful marbleization is testament alone that this is high quality 100% grass-fed meat, a great source of Omega’s 3 and 6.
The cattle range freely on completely pesticide-free pastures of the Australian Outback among sustainable agricultural and animal husbandry practices by long-time family farmers.
I simply can’t wait to try it.
In the meantime, I’m developing recipes in preparation for the chance I do get to cook with them and taste all of the goodness that describes them, including the one in this post.
If you’re fortunate enough to live in the NY, NJ or CT areas where you can purchase them at Fairway Markets, or are able to visit the area and try them, please do and let me know how you like the products. I know when I travel or am visiting family and friends, I like to scope out the halal products and see if I can give them a try.
So, let’s talk tips for making the best steaks ever- after all, it would be such a shame to ruin such beautiful, healthy meats so we want to do it right.
Here are the basic cuts of beef most butchers will offer. In the recipe below I’m making a NY Strip Steak, which is basically a type of cut that’s also referred to as boneless striploin (#7 on the diagram).
Photos below are not OBE Organic cuts- in fact, they are halal, but not verified organic or 100% grass-fed, so you can actually note the difference in color (less red).
Regardless, choose meats that are fresh-smelling and bright red or pink. No blood should be oozing or dripping out of the meat, which means it’s not so fresh.
It’s okay to have some fat on the side, if that’s what you like. It actually helps the meat to cook nicely on the grill without any added oils. It can be trimmed, of course, beforehand or after it cooks. Some people do eat it…
Remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature for about 30 minutes to an hour (not more than that, of course and definitely not if you’re outside in the heat). The reason for that is you never want to put cold meat on a hot surface, as it will tear the meat’s fibers and rip the steak apart- not very good for presentation. It also helps the meat cook better. Robert Levitt of Chicago’s Butcher and Larder explained to Bon Appetit magazine what happens if you don’t do this: “The Outside will be charred adn thei nsdie will be mostly gray meat with a little nugget of red in the middle.”
Next, salt the meat.
This is a very important step. Why?
Because the salt helps the cells of the meat retain water, which helps you get a juicy steak.
Before actually cooking, you’ll need to wipe away all the wetness with a paper towel then salt the meat again with another coarse salt.
I’m using an indoor grill here, but of course you can use your outdoor one (it’s the one I prefer, but don’t let it deter you if you don’t have one).
It needs to get hot. Very hot, before you add the meat. Remember, I’m using a cast iron pan which is a thick material and takes some time to bring to a high enough temperature to sear the meat. Mine takes about 10 minutes to get hot enough.
I like to use the side of the grill with grates so I can get some nice grill marks on it. I don’t turn the meat, just let it cook on high for about 6-8 minutes each side. 10 minutes maximum.
Meanwhile, you can get started on preparing the most delicious topping ever for this NY Strip Steak- buttery mushrooms and onions. Your house will begin to smell like a steakhouse soon.
You don’t have to get these large mushrooms like I did, but I got them because they make for large chunks of mushrooms and they have a deep, earthy flavor that I love so much.
If you can, get crimini mushrooms or these; otherwise just opt for the button mushroom varieties.
Saute in butter with the onions- onions go first to break them down a bit, then the mushrooms.
The mushrooms are actually so thick and meaty that their texture sits nicely on top of the steak and also goes well with it, too.
So, let’s take a look at the steak- it’s delicious and juicy with its juices running clear at this point (after it’s been cooked on both sides).
Looks great like this, but wait till you add the toppings.
Now we’re talking….
And, you can either serve the steak whole so it can be cut up by the person eating it,
or you can cut it up before serving–
but only after it has rested (covered) for several minutes first so that the juices stay inside the meat.
What’s your favorite way to top a NY Strip Steak? I can’t wait to read your suggestions!
check out their website: www.OBEOrganic.com
Subscribe to OBE Organic on You Tube and/or watch their videos
Like the OBE Organic Facebook page to get updates
To find a local Fairway Market, visit the store’s website.
This post was sponsored by OBE Organic. All opinions of their products are my own.
New York Strip Steak with Buttery Mushrooms & Onions
By August 29, 2013Published:
- Yield: 1 one-pound steak (1-2 Servings)
- Prep: 60 mins
- Cook: 16 mins
- Ready In: 1 hr 16 mins
Make great restaurant-style steaks at home with this simple but delicious recipe you can make indoors or out, any time of year.
- 1 (approx. one pound) boneless striploin cut of beef (New York Strip) by OBE Organic
- 2-4 tablespoons coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper + 1/4 teaspoon more for the onions and mushrooms
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter (1/4 cup)
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup yellow onions sliced
- 1 pound crimini mushrooms sliced
- Remove the meat from the refrigerator about one hour before actual cooking time. Salt the meat on both sides generously (about 1 tablespoon per side). Place the meat on a paper-lined baking sheet and set aside.
- Just before cooking the meat, heat the indoor or outdoor grill in preparation for grilling. Remove any liquids from the meat (both sides) by blotting with a paper towel or clean cotton dish towel.
- Salt the meat again with about one tablespoon per side. Add half a tablespoon of the pepper to each side of the meat, as well and rub it into the meat with your fingers.
- Place the meat on the grill grates and let it cook for at least 6-8 minutes on each side before gently turning only once to cook the second side.
- Meanwhile, prepare a saute pan for the mushrooms and onions. Heat the butter and add the onions once the butter begins to froth. Add the sea salt and the 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Add a little olive oil if necessary, to keep the butter from burning.
- When the onions become translucent, add the mushrooms. Cook down, about 5 minutes or until all of the liquid has evaporated from the dish.
- Remove the meat from the grill and set aside on serving plate or platter. Cover for at least five minutes to let it rest and retain juices.
- Pour the buttery mushrooms and onions on top of the meat just before serving. Cut the meat before serving, if desired.