Posted July 6, 2005 by Nick Lindauer in Recipes

The Ultimate Steak

After picking up the BBQ edition of Bon Appetit, the wife and I were eager to try out a recipe that the magazine deemed the “Ultimate Steak” – Could it be that there was an ultimate steak? I was doubtful, especially since we do not have a bbq or a place to bbq. Armed only with my cast iron grill pan I set out to cook myself up a huge side of beef ~ Ultimate style.

So what goes into an “Ultimate Steak”? According to Bon Appetit the recipe goes like this:
4 1/2 Bay Leaves
1 1/2 Tablespoons Hungarian Sweet Paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed chipotle chiles
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
(4) 1 Inch Tbones or rib steaks (or (2) 2 inch steaks)
1 Loaf Ciabatta, halved horizontally.
Olive Oil
1 cup creamy gorgonzola cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Now, since I don’t have a BBQ, I’ll give you the directions the way I did things. You can pick up your own copy of Bon Appetit if you want the “real” directions.

Step 1: Beef
Side of Beef
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I picked up these huge rib steaks Sunday morning, knowing they would be hitting the grill in just a few hours. Next time I’m going to try this recipe out with some T-bones, these rib steaks were just a little too thick. Start out your steaks by grinding the dry spices in a spice grinder, or if you’re like me, just clean out your coffee grinder and use that. I also used fresh cracked pepper and ground the salt myself, better flavor that way.

Once you have the spices prepared and set aside, salt and pepper your steaks and then begin rubbing them with your paprika mixture. Coat both sides of your steak and save the remaining paprika rub for later.

Step 2: Rub it
Rubbed Beef
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Using a cast iron grill pan, grill each side of your steaks for about 5 minutes, or until done.

While the steaks are grilling, prepare your bread by giving each piece a light coating of olive oil (use a brush). Once the steaks are done, immediately put the bread on the same grill pan, face down first. Grill each face of the ciabatta just until you get good grill marks, flip the pieces over and spread the gorgonzola on the front of each peice. This will allow your gorgonzola to melt, but not burn. As soon as your bottoms have good grill marks, remove the bread from the grill pan and prepare your plates. Place the ciabatta on the plate first, then sprikle with your fresh chopped thyme and a little of the paprika rub for color. Next, place the steaks on top of your ciabatta and serve.

Step 3: Eat It
The Ultimate Steak
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Changes I’m going to make to this recipe for next time: Use TBone steaks, different cheese (maybe Bleu?), no thyme (didn’t add any flavor, only coloring), and more chipotle pepper. But regardless to the changes that need to be made to the recipe, I would highly recommend you check it out and make it your own as well.

The rub in this recipe is what makes it, the sweet paprika adds a nice consistency to the coating and the dried chipotle pepper adds just the right amount of body. But this recipe definately needs more heat. I wound up adding Cholula and Loco Luna HOT to my leftovers, just spice things up a bit.

Nick Lindauer

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