4 bone in Strip Steaks (aka shell steak)
I was on my way to the beach this past weekend and as usual I made a quick stop at the butcher to see what I would be cooking on the BBQ.
He had some beautiful 28 day dry aged prime shell steaks and I just could not resist. Before I go any further, what does all that mean? Well 28 day dry aged refers to how the steak was aged.
Dry aged beef is typically hung in a cooler for a period of time (in this case 28 days) where the moisture escapes. The evaporation shrinks the beef and really concentrates the flavor. The opposite is wet aged beef. When beef is wet aged it is placed in vacuum sealed bags and allowed to age in its own juices in the refrigerator.
There is nothing wrong with this type of aging, but I find the flavor in dry aged beef superior. Majority of your high end steakhouses will typically serve dry aged beef. The other term referred to was Prime. Prime meat refers to the grade given to the beef regarding its marbling.
Only about 2% of beef produced in the US is given this grade. Lastly the name Shell Steak is simply a Strip Steak with the bone left in. Nothing beats a steak where at the end I can pick up that bone and chew every bit of meat from it.
Ok sorry to get long winded there but I wanted to point out how awesome these steaks were. That said you don’t have to have anything that fancy to make a great piece of meat on the grill so let’s talk about what we did to make these some of the best steaks I have ever had.
1. Fire up your BBQ and get it really hot. We want a grate temperature of around 500 degrees or higher. If you are cooking over charcoal you want a good bed of coals and pile them up high. If using a gas grill (nothing wrong with that but it truly is not the same as a bbq) put your burners on high and leave one unlit so you have a cool spot to move the meat to if you get flair ups.
2. While your BBQ gets up to temp take those steaks out of the refrigerator and get them on your counter. We want to let them come up in temperature. Add a light layer of Kosher Salt to either side. Don’t forget to hit the sides too.
After they hang out for a few minutes give a dusting of Dizzy Pig Cow Lick seasoning. This is a great seasoning for beef and I like it here. Look at the pics to see the coating I put on. Not too heavy. We don’t want anything taking away from the steak.
If you don’t have the Cow Lick seasoning you can go with a lot of other things. You could really just do salt and pepper if you want or even some Montreal Steak Seasoning. Remember the steak is the star so any steak seasoning you like will work.
3. Once your BBQ is up to temp and your steaks have been out of the refrigerator for 30 minutes (can go a little longer if you need to), you are ready to cook. Make sure to oil your grates before throwing that meat on.
For this I like to take a paper towel and get some canola oil on it, then use tongs to wipe it on the grates (or in my case since I have pretty much burned the tips of my fingers so much I can’t feel the heat, I just use my hands but I don’t recommend this).
4. Place your steaks directly on the grates. For a strip which is usually over an inch think I like to go 2 minutes in this position. After 2 minutes turn each steak 45 degrees (we want those nice grill marks). 2 more minutes and you are ready to flip. Follow the same procedure; 2 minutes, then turn 45 degrees.
5. After 8 total minutes these baby’s should be at a perfect medium rare. Your times will not be exact to mine for a number of reasons. First has to do with the thickness of the steak; second is your desired doneness; third, meat is done when it is done.
Some pieces take longer than others and that is just how it is. To make sure you have the desired doneness you can poke the steak with a meat thermometer. You will lose some of those wonderful juices though.
My preferred method is the finger test. If you don’t know what that is please check out this link: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/the_finger_test_to_check_the_doneness_of_meat/
6. Now that you have the steaks right where you want them we need to let them take a rest. I like to bring them in and let them sit on a cutting board with a piece of foil tented over the top of them. DO NOT WRAP THE FOIL TIGHTLY AROUND THE STEAKS.
Doing that will allow them to continue cooking and lead to an overdone steak. Before putting the foil over them I put a small pat of butter on each one. Let it melt while the steak rests (you can also add the butter on the last turn of the steaks while still on the grill.
7. Once the steak has rested for 5 to 7 minutes you are ready to dig in. For me that means everyone gets a whole steak on their plate and we get to work on it.
For you it might be the same or maybe you like to slice it and present it real nice like we are on the show Chopped. Either way it will taste amazing!
Nutrition facts: 1 serving is for a 14 ounce steak (pre-cooked weight and bone-in) Calories 534, Fat 37.8g, Saturated Fat 16.4g, Carbohydrates 0g, Fiber 0g, Sugar 0g, Protein 50g.