Saturday, February 07, 2009

What's on the Grill #115

A reverse sear Porterhouse with beer reduced onions and twice baked horseradish potatoes!  Zoë was off with some friends last night, so I was left to my own culinary devices.  As many of you know, Friday is typically Ribeye Friday.  Nothing closes a work week better than some fine grilled meat.  Well in order to mix things up a little bit, I set my eyes on a Porterhouse at the store and decided to try a reverse sear. 

Porterhouse with...

The idea behind the reverse sear is to promote even cooking.  To do so, cook the meat indirectly (or in an oven) at a low temperature until the meat’s temperature hits about 90-100 degrees.  Then, finish off the meat by searing it over high heat.  This is a process that works well with large cuts of meat, not wafer thin steaks.  The difference is that if you try to cook a large piece of meat over high heat you will have a very pink center with rapidly browning color as you approach the outside of the meat.  By using a reverse sear, you will have more pink throughout the meat because of the immediate lack of direct high heat pounding on the surface.

I have found success using this process with large tenderloin filets for Zoë.  She likes her meat well done, as I have sadly documented before.  In order to cook a large filet for her without butterflying, the reverse sear works great because I can cook the meat evenly until it hits 140 degrees internal and then finish it off over high heat to pretty it up. 

Reverse Sear

I placed my rubbed (Salt, Pepper, & Paprika) Porterhouse on a cast iron skillet over indirect heat.  The hood temp was about 300 degrees, which in hindsight was a little high.  Using a temperature probe, I cooked the steak until its internal temp hit 100 degrees.  I then moved it over the direct high burners and seared it for about 2 minutes a side…I think.  I was running around with my head cut off trying to get everything else done!

The Sear

Ideally you would let the meat rest about 10 minutes undisturbed.  I of course have to molest my meat by taking a bazillion pictures.  By the time I finally sat down to eat, I found it a nice medium pink throughout.  I much prefer medium rare, so I should have gotten my act together sooner…or at least checked the temp to see if I was there.

I have seen reverse sear discussed a number of other places, including America’s Test Kitchen and Good Eats.  For me, it is something that warrants further experimentation.

Oh, I almost forgot the onions.  I thinly sliced a yellow onion and then sautéed it in a cast iron skillet with 3 tablespoons of butter.  I then added a bottle of Sam Adams Irish Red beer.  I cooked the beer and onions until it was reduced by half.  I would have preferred a stout, but I was out.  I didn’t want something too hoppy either, so I choose the Sam Adams, the most malty-ish beer I had.   It worked pretty well…although I may have used a tad too much butter.  Of course in my world that is just an oversight, not a crime!