In this week's episode of Cooking Channel's Good Eats: Reloaded, Alton Brown is back to recap a 2003 episode all about "The Chow of the Rich & Famous." He educates us on how we the average folk can cook up a sirloin on a budget. In typical Brown fashion, the tutorial includes a 14-step journey but the result is always rewarding. Now I am someone who doesn't eat steak and recently stopped eating meat altogether. That said, I can still appreciate a well-cooked, juicy steak and see its appeal. More so, to be able to revive a week-old frozen steak is impressive, even if there are so many processes at play.
I wonder if today's Brown would get on all fours to demonstrate the juiciest parts of a cow? Probably not, would be funny to watch though. Everyone probably knows that the middle of the cow produces the best cuts, but how many of us can afford that? For our beef steak bargains, Brown suggests properly cooked budget cuts: top sirloin, top butt steak, center-cut sirloin, and hip sirloin steak. I had no idea there were so many varieties. I took away a lot from the food science but no running to the kitchen for me this week.
Most of us typically cook on a variety of different oils; for steak, Brown suggests (presses, encourages, or forces, depending on how you take it) sprinkling avocado seed oil and then toss salt on the pan. Cooking on salt? I don't think I've ever seen that method of madness and I watch a lot of cooking shows. To properly cook a steak: salt on a rack, 30 minutes, lube the steak with oil, throw salt on a pan, 2 minutes, then 30 minutes, hold the steak on a side, aluminum foil, let it sit, flip, flip again, wrap in foil again. Okay, by now I'm sure you realize these are not the exact instructions but you get the picture. The steak must be prepared very efficiently to stay true to its flavor and bring out the best possible taste.
My biggest take away: freezing your steaks is fine if done properly and cooked correctly. Of course, there is the stream-lined garden hose slicing. Sorry, I mean steak slicing, always across the grain though I might need to rewatch that process again. Brown is a joy to watch, especially the comedic "before-n-after," though he does make me feel a little bit insecure about my cooking skills. Feels like I might not be the only one, and that might be one of those things that keep us coming back.