December 21st, 2009

The 12 Meats of Christmas



Sometimes holiday classic tunes need a little updating.  And what better way to spend the 12 Days of Christmas than with the ones you love?

The foods you love, that is.

So here it goes . . . cue the carolers!

“The 12 Meats of Christmas”

On the twelfth day of Christmas, KC Steaks shipped to me:

Twelve roasts a-roasting,

Eleven pork chops sizzling,

Ten seasonings seasoning,

Nine strip steaks smoking,

Eight ribs a-braising,

Seven filets mignon-ing,

Six ribeyes marbling,

Five ste-ak-burgers, (pause, pause, pause)

Four T-bones,

Three prime ribs,

Two tenderloin,

And a hickory smoked tur-r-r-r-key!!!

Whew!  I’m tired.  And hungry.

Wanna send your own 12 Meats of Christmas?  Start here!

Photo courtesy of

November 18th, 2009

Tips for a Great Steak


So you think you’ve got it down, this whole grilling thing. I mean, you just fire up the grill, stick on your steaks, turn them and eyeball when they’re done, right?

You COULD do it that way. But you might be disappointed with the results.

Here’s a handy dandy tip center to help you get the most out of each cut of steak.  Did you know that cooking a filet mignon is a bit different than cooking, say, a T-bone?


The Kansas City Steak Company gives us some pointers on the best way to cook each cut of steak here.

Here’s a sample . . . read it, follow it, enjoy!

Preparing Filet Mignon

  • This cut is so tender that it should never be cooked beyond medium-rare. The longer you cook it, the less tender and drier it becomes 

  • Use a dry, high heat method such as grilling, roasting, pan-frying, or broiling 

  • Cutting into the meat to check doneness lets juice escape. Use the touch method. Touch the meat. If it feels soft and leaves an imprint, it is rare. If it is soft but slightly resilient, it is medium-rare. When it feels firm, it is overdone 

  • Filets are a thick steak, so grill the sides as well as the top and bottom

Excerpt and photo courtesy of

October 1st, 2009

A Gift for the Steak Lover


I was in Target this week and THEY HAVE HOLIDAY STUFF OUT ALREADY.

Christmas. Hanukkah. You name it. It’s out.

And I’m still getting over the fact that it’s not summer anymore. I’m slow.

So in honor of the tradition of starting the holiday season WAY too early, I give you these . . .


They’re earrings! And they’re so versatile.

Truly the perfect gift this holiday season.

Your favorite aunt can wear these BBQ T-bone danglers to work, to the movies, to a Bar Mitzvah, anywhere!

But get ‘em now before they’re all snapped up!

I know I’ll be wearing them to my husband’s office holiday party. Wait, I want him to keep his job . . .

. . .  on second thought, never mind.

Photo courtesy of

September 3rd, 2009

Chef Sandy’s Steak Primer



School is back  in session so what better time to brush up on a lesson that is near and dear to my heart?  Yes, class, it’s time for a lesson on steak.

Chef Sandy goes through the ins and outs of cuts for us here. And if you pay attention you might just get an extra recess.

I often get the question, “What kind of steak should I buy?”

Well, that kind of depends on a few factors…

            -What do you want to spend?

            -What sort of texture do you want?

            -What is the doneness level that you prefer?

            -What kind of fat percentage do you want?

            -What cooking method are you planning to use?

Here is a brief overview:

Many of the cuts of beef that are used for steaks are cut from the loin portion of the beef.

Most of us are well aware that filet or beef tenderloin (and Chateaubriand) are all part of the same very expensive cut of beef.  There is very little waste, very little work for the cook (little trimming is necessary) and it is appropriate for anything and anyone who likes steak, even at the fanciest meal.  The texture of tenderloin is very tender, and some say that the flavor is not assertively beefy enough, but that is really a matter of choice. 

Many times this cut of meat will be served with a sauce or an equally luxurious topping like a bleu cheese topping or it will be wrapped in bacon, all of which will enhance the flavor. This is the priciest cut of steak, but again, there is no waste, and not too much shrinkage, so what you buy (and pay for) is what you get to eat.

But what is the difference between a T-bone and a Porterhouse?  How about a KC Strip and NY Strip?

A Porterhouse is a steak with a T-bone in the middle, and a large portion of both tenderloin and strip loin.  A T-bone is the same steak, but the tenderloin portion is usually smaller than a silver dollar, or even non-existent.  The bone-in nature of this steak usually yields great flavor, and oftentimes at the grocery store the T-bones actually have a large filet portion (and should therefore be labeled as the more expensive Porterhouse — shh, we won’t tell). 

The difference between a KC Strip and a NY Strip is basically a marketing difference.  Depends on where you are from.  Either could come with a bone, but often not, and both are a generally oblong shaped steak, with not much visible marbling, but fat around the outside (non-bone side) of the meat.  Depending on where you shop, and what part of the country you are from, these steaks are often in the high-middle of the price range for quick cooking steaks.

A ribeye or Delmonico steak is well marbled with fat, and because of its high fat content, can be cooked more well done and still remain juicy.  This kind of steak will flame up on the grill, so it should definitely be watched carefully.  One trick I have used is to first grill the steak on the grate to get grill marks (and flavor) and then put heavy duty foil on the grill and put the steaks on top to finish cooking them without incinerating them.

Sirloin steaks on the other hand, may need marinating to become juicy.  They should not usually be cooked to more than medium doneness and oftentimes are sliced thinly against the grain for presentation to help ensure a tender dining experience.  Flank steak and skirt steak (fajitas) are also cuts of meat which should be marinated, cooked quickly to a med-rare or medium doneness and sliced across the grain for tenderness.

Round steaks are usually too tough to use a direct cooking method, and are better suited to another preparation method like braising — think Swiss steak.  Brown, then cook the steak until tender in flavor liquid (gravy) for a few hours.  Many different cultures have variations on this theme, and a thin round steak can also be used as a wrapper for flavorful ingredients, with the whole bundle braised in flavorful liquid for a delicious meal.  Italians call it Braciole (may also be made with flank steak) Germans have Rouladen.  Long story short, braise it for great taste and tenderness.

If you are making Chicken Fried Steak, the traditional choice is a tenderized round steak.  This is a piece of meat which has been put through a process which mechanically pounds the steak and breaks up the tissues with thousands of little blades.  This is the only way to use this steak in a quick cooking manner, otherwise you would end up with shoeleather.  I have seen Chicken Fried Ribeye and Chicken Fried Filet on some fancier menus here in Texas, and since these are more tender pieces of meat, no mechanical tenderizing is necessary. Tasty, and about as decadent as you can get…

If you have any questions about a piece of meat you are considering buying, just ask.  At many grocery stores or even Web site, sometimes they have flip guides to cuts of meat and preferred cooking method, and sometimes even stickers on the actual meat packages which say “Great for the Grill” or “Best for Braising” or some similar catchy tips.  Or better yet, try some new choices next time you go to your favorite steak restaurant, and make a note to yourself about what you like and the preparation methods you enjoy.

Then you can try them out at home!

Photo courtesy of

July 7th, 2009

A Reunion Deserves Steak


We recently had a family reunion of sorts — hosted at our house.

And what did we serve to celebrate the occasion?

Why, steak of course!!!


T-bones and boneless ribeyes crowded the grill. (Check out that big one there in front.)

We sat around the dining room table, laughed, drank wine and caught up. Just like it should be.

We even made t-shirts for the occasion. But I’ll spare you those cheesy shots.

This is the plate ready to head to the table — spatula and all.


That’s a lot of beef.

My hubby was thankful everyone came (well, it WAS his side’s reunion after all) but moreso because he had leftover steaks for the next 3 days.


That’s what summer days are all about at our house! :)

May 21st, 2009

Steak Recipe: Memorial Day Menu


Looking for an entire, ready-made Memorial Day menu?

Look no further than this little carb-smart baby here.

It includes an ENTIRE menu, shopping list and recipes for all of this . . .

  • T-Bone Steaks With Grilled Onions
  • Cucumber Bullseyes
  • Deviled Eggs
  • Sesame Green Bean Packets
  • Company Broccoli
  • Down Home Cole Slaw
  • Cauliflower Fauxtato Salad
  • Cherry Coke Salad
  • Georgia Peach Iced Tea
  • Cherry Lemonade
  • Couldn’t you just die? It all sounds so delicious I’m ready for Memorial Day to happen RIGHT NOW.

    Look, even President Obama would wait in line for some of this . . .


    So head on over to this link if you want to get crackin’ on your shopping list for Memorial Day weekend. Wheeee!!

    Menu courtesy of

    Photo courtesy of

    March 9th, 2009

    Where Can I Find a Steak in NY?



    So, it’s Monday . . . and this Friday my hunk-o-beef of a husband and I are traveling to NYC for a long weekend.

    We need it.

    Guess what we’re frantically searching for before we get there.

    The best steak in town.

    I know, it’s hard to believe.

    Since we know we won’t be able to grill up our own T-bones in the hotel room, a steakhouse will have to do.

    But where to go?

    We’ve done Sparks. Check out our experience here.

    And Peter Luger’s only had a 3:45 or 9:45 reservation time available.

    Neither sounds like “dinnertime” to me.

    So, we’re up a creek. In Manhattan. And that’s hard to do.

    It should be an interesting journey trolling the streets of Midtown in search of a steak without reservations. But we’re crazy like that.

    You know that thing called a “recession” we’re supposedly in? The steakhouses in the tri-borough area apparently never got that memo. They’re booked solid.

    Score one for the beef industry.

    Now, if I could just score a steak . . .

    Illustration courtesy of

    October 31st, 2008

    Have a Steaky Halloween!


    If I had really been thinking, I totally would have been this for Halloween . . .

    But alas, I’ll have to settle for next year. Maybe then my husband can walk next to me and dress up as a bottle of Teriyaki sauce. Yum!

    Have a great Halloween!

    Photo courtesy of


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    About Me

    Hi! My name is Dena P., and I love steak. In fact, I’ve been on a quest for the perfect steak for a few years now.

    I love experimenting with food and I like to get my family, friends and neighbors involved. They add a lot to my cooking experience by helping me perfect techniques and sharing recipes.

    Read More About Me »

    Steak Widget