Decadance, Part 1: It all started with the steak

November 15, 2006 on 8:20 pm | By | In Food Musings | 2 Comments

SteakWe don’t eat much red meat these days, but every once in a while I get a serious craving for a nice juicy steak. Given we’d be running 15 miles on Saturday, I figured it would be the perfect indulgence to not only celebrate my birthday, but also our accomplishment.

I’ve never been thrilled with my steak-grilling skills, so I decided we’d go out. I consulted CitySearch for the best steakhouses in Seattle and began my research. It wasn’t just about the steak; I also wanted a place that offered a selection of tasty appetizers and sides with great ambiance and an even greater martini.

While I found a couple that fit the bill I was flabbergasted over how pricey they were. I just couldn’t justify paying $45 for a steak, no matter how delicious it was. Add on appetizer(s), salad, sides and drinks and it would easily top $200. For what I’d pay for 1 martini I could buy an entire bottle of Smirnoff!!! (Yes, I tend to drink cheap booze).

Mind you, we’re not always such cheapskates. We’ve gladly paid $200+ EACH for dinner at the Herbfarm. Featuring 9 courses of incredible food — all accompanied by an appropriate wine — it’s always seemed worth it. That’s how I like to dine: smaller quantities with lots of variety. I toyed with the idea of ordering just one steak to share (leaving more room for appies and sides), but thought that might be rather tacky. So I decided I’d pick up a dry-aged ribeye steak at Whole Foods and take another whirl at grilling, using Steven Raichlen’s “The Barbecue Bible” as my guide.

But then I stumbled across a Slate article on the best-tasting steaks. The hands-down winner was grassfed beef from Alderspring Ranch in Idaho. Never having had grassfed beef before, I was intrigued. So I hopped online and ordered a couple of ribeyes, a couple of New York strips, some soup bones and some oxtails. Their next shipment was to be November 6; plenty of time to arrive before my birthday! Of course, I ended up spending more than $100 for the order, but since one steak is enough for the two of us, we’ll get plenty of meals out of it.

But alas, it wasn’t to meant to be (at least not for my birthday). Alderspring was inundated with orders as a result of the article, so I’ll have to wait for their next shipment on November 27. Back to square 1: Whole Foods. The meat department knows me well (I shop there 2-3 times per week), so they took good care of me. I left with a beautifully marbled 2″ dry-aged ribeye. Just before grilling I sprinkled it liberally with pepper and alder-smoked salt and served it with two compound butters: roquefort and red wine/shallot. The salad is a mix of butter lettuce, maple pecans, gorgonzola cheese and pancetta with pomegranate champagne vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Coupled with a dirty vodka martini with chipotle-stuffed olives, it was pure heaven!

Next up: the day before the day before my birthday

2 Comments

  1. Mmmmm… Buttered meat! It was absolutely beyond absurdly wonderful. Our cardiologists have forbidden more than one of these meals annually.

    Comment by Matt (Her sweetie) — November 16, 2006 #

  2. We had the best moose filet mignon the other night cooked by Dave. what’s even better is caribou steak that has next to nothing in the fat dept. but soo tasty.

    Kim

    Comment by Kim Rogers — December 20, 2006 #

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