Friday, June 08, 2007

Cooking disasters: tough steaks

Tonight's Menu

  • strip steaks on the grill pan
  • onions and baby bella mushrooms sauteed in butter
  • new potatoes roasted with thyme
  • fresh green salad
I swear, I am THIS CLOSE to never buying meat at HEB again. It's bad enough they offer the most generic cuts available, making it hard to find even beef short ribs or anything other than round steak, AND they substituted their woefully substandard "natural chicken" for the far superior Buddy's, but NOW they sold me NY strip steaks that were pretty much one big hunk of gristle. Of course, they cleverly HID the gristle in the middle of the cut, so it wasn't visible when I bought the steaks, or even when I seasoned them. Bastards!

I hate them. Seriously.


The potatoes were an experiment. I parboiled them for 15 minutes or so before tossing them in a baking pan with some EVOO, salt, pepper and dried thyme and chucking them in the oven at 450 degrees F. I honestly don't know how long they cooked altogether -- I stuck them in right before I started the mushrooms and onions, stirring them a bit and shaking the pan every 5-7 minutes or so. They were quite tasty but didn't get as crusty as I would have liked.

Bah, humbug!


BreadBox said...

Potatoes: try Michael Chiarello's (sp?) recipe for taking small potatoes boiling them, lightly crushing them then crisping the outsides in a shallow frying pan with hot oil in it. Our family swears by it (and almost never at it!)

On the megamarts-mess-up-steak-buying issue, gaaaawwwwdd, doncha just love the south? Wouldn't you think that the stores in Texas (!) at least would get all this right?


BreadBox said...

And actually, on the potatoes issue here, try cooking the new potatoes on a slow boil for 20 minutes, then slathering them in butter and fresh mint --- yummy, and had our guests last night coming back for more and more (until the potatoes were all gone, including those I was planning to use for Saturday morning home fries!)


Badger said...

That first method you describe is how we do our "chuffed" potatoes, only we use butter instead of oil. (Er, I am not using the royal "we"; the boy helps me make them.)

They are ALWAYS yummy, but I get a little bored with them. And also our stove burner configuration is such (number and btu-wise) than I really needed to finish them in the oven in order to cook the steaks and the mushrooms/onions on the stovetop.

I have GOT to get a six-burner stove.

BreadBox said...

Ah, the six-burner stove: we redid our kitchen two years ago, and decided that we couldn't afford to put in a new stove at the same time, and so we are stuck with the standard low btu GE gas stove (at least it is gas!) I've occasionally had the opportunity to cook on a high-btu stove, and the difference is amazing:: especially for things like wok-cooking.
We end up having to write down timetables of who is going to cook what when whenever we entertain --- and make compromises about some things being cooked earlier than we'd like.

Anonymous said...

I do potatoes like that on the grill, but I don't parboil. Just take one of those tinfoil "pans", put some EVOO on the bottom. I add crushed garlic, cilantro, and some onion salt (there are people who live here with hunk-o-onion issues).

Cover with tinfoil, and give them about 45 minutes when I have them on the middle rack of my grill at Med. Less time and a turn involved if they're on the grill proper.