Open Range (Running Press, 2012), by Jay Bentley and Patrick Dillon Scott, serves up generous portions of meat—including venison, quail, duck, elk, fish, pork and beef—in near-excess, and all manner of favorite local steakhouse sides to accompany the main dishes. From how the animal was raised to choosing, prepping, marinating, cooking and enjoying the meat, the authors share their considerable expertise to help you create satisfying, hearty Montana meals.
You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Open Range.
I insist on creating a crust on any steak I cook to add flavor and contain the juices. Normally this can be done over a hot fire, on a gas grill when you allow the flames to touch and sear the meat, or on a hot cast-iron sear plate sitting on a gas grill. Any of these techniques will work well. But what if you live in a place with long winters and you have to cook inside? Obviously smoke becomes an issue, particularly if, like me, you are stuck with a downdraft exhaust system.
So how do I cook a steak with the desired crust in the winter, with no smoke? Simple—I fry it like a piece of bacon. After all, doesn’t bacon get crispy if you fry it long enough? In this recipe I use 7- to 8-ounce tenderloins, and flatten them to a thickness of 1-3/4 of an inch thick. You can use rib-eyes or New Yorks, even top sirloin, just keep the thickness about the same.
• Fine salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 4 (8-ounce) tenderloin, rib-eye, New York, or top sirloin steaks cut and pressed to 1-3/4-inch thick
• 1 cup olive oil
• 3 fresh rosemary branches
• Quartered lemons, for serving (optional)
1. Generously salt and pepper the steaks, adjusting the seasoning to taste. Allow the steaks to reach room temperature.
2. Set a 10-inch to 12-inch sauté pan or a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil to about half an inch in depth.
3. Add the rosemary branches to the oil as it heats to just below the point of smoking. If the rosemary begins to burn, remove it from the pan.
4. Add the steaks and cook the presentation side (the tops) for about 8 minutes to allow a crust to form.
5. Flip and cook for another 6 to 7 minutes. Check for temperature either by meat thermometer, or by feel: you’ll want 125 degrees F for medium-rare.
6. Remove from pan, and cover with foil for 10 minutes.
7. Serve with fresh lemon wedges.
More recipes from Open Range:
Reprinted with permission from Open Range © 2012 Jay Bentley and Patrick Dillon, Running Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group. Buy this book from our store: Open Range.