When it comes to large expensive slabs of red meat, I am a purist. "Heat, meat, eat." That's kind of my motto. I don't believe in taking a beautiful steak and drowning it in some store bought marinade, and grilling the eff out of it until you can use it to file through prison bars. Steak should speak for itself as the main entree and just let the sides accompany your palette when the steak is gone.
For all these reasons, I have a very strict "Don't let anyone touch the steak but Berta" rule when I make my "famous" NY Strips. I call them famous because anyone who tries them this way, is certainly going to ask for the recipe and tell everyone they know that they had the best steaks ever at my house. This often leads people to believe I know more about cooking than I do. I attribute Food Network, My parents, and Top Chef for the majority of me knowing anything at all about making food taste better. It all comes down to listening, taking the information, and running with it. Learning the laws, and breaking the rules.
I digress, below you will find my step-by-step, picture-by-picture, dramatic reenactment of how to make said "famous" steaks.
Start by finding some GOOD meat. When I make these I usually use a NY Strip. Strip steaks are super tender because as wikipedia says (and don't we all listen to things we hear on the internet;) that "the strip steak consists of a muscle that does little work". All I know is, they are big enough to share, and are more than worth the extra dollars per pound. A steak like this, in a typical to moderate steakhouse will cost you upwards of $25. I found my strips for $11.99 lb. Instant savings!!
If you don't plan on eating these steaks tonight or tomorrow, hold off on buying them. I wouldn't even put these puppies anywhere NEAR a freezer. Have the butcher wrap them up for you and when you get home, if you plan on eating them tonight, leave them out, if you want them tomorrow, stick them in the fridge. If for some crazy reason you shop at 9am and don't plan on eating them for a good 8-10 hours, you can put them in the fridge, just make sure you take them out an hour or 2 (depending on how warm or cold it is in your house) before you cook them. Steaks should be around room temperature before you cook them to ensure that they cook evenly on the grill.
The "marinade" I use is very easy to make. While the steaks are coming to room temperature, take out some olive oil, FRESH garlic, salt and cracked black pepper. Mince or press your garlic. For the sake of this I usually press when I can because I'm flavoring the OIL and not so much worrying about the steaks. We didn't have a press on hand, so we smashed the garlic and finely minced it to ensure we released as much oil as possible.
Into a small bowl or marinating dish, add garlic and cover with the olive oil. Add salt, and cracked black pepper. Set this aside in the fridge or on the counter for about an hour to infuse the oil. I like to place it in the fridge for about 30 mins and then let it rest and come to room temperature for another 30. I'm not sure if this helps it or not, but I think it helps thicken it and lets the oils meld.
Use this hour to get the rest of your meal ready and work on timing for the finish. We prepared the fixings for The Heart Salad during this time. Our steaks were pretty big, so we decided for easier handling and more portions, since the rest of our meal was going to be quite large, to cut the steaks in half. This step is TOTES OPTIONAL. I just can't eat 12 oz of beef in one sitting.
Once the steaks are softened and the marinade is done, go ahead and roll your sleeves up and get ready to massage you some raw meat.
Using the marinade, take a steak and rub the oil into the meat. This is done simply by massaging the steaks with your hands and rubbing it all over the meat. This step helps tenderize and flavor the meat before cooking. You can do this step before the meat had fully come to room temperature, but it's easier if you wait.
Let the steaks rest a bit while you fire up your grill. The grill should be nice and hot before you even THINK about putting the steaks anywhere near it. Grill steaks according to the Finger Test if you're confused about cooking times. I like mine medium so I usually cook it about 5-7 minutes on each side.
This part is totally optional but it makes them look very pretty, and you might impress someone if you're cooking for them. To make those pretty "cross hatches" on steak, simply, turn 45* half way through the cooking time on each side. Let the grill marks sear the meat for roughly 3-4 minutes, turn and sear again. Repeat on each side and you should have pretty steakhouse style grill marks.
It's important after the steaks come off the grill to let them rest a few minutes before sticking your face in them and digging in. This helps the meat to cool and kind of locks in those yummy juices. Enjoy with a nice glass of red wine. I enjoy a Pinot Noir with my medium steaks.