For many years, whenever we ordered steak, our cut of choice was always a Fillet, normally accompanied by a sauce of some variety, either a red wine reduction, pepper or horseradish cream. This was fine until a very good friend introduced us to the “New York Strip”. There is no rhyme or reason why we had always overlooked this cut but it suffices to say that once we sampled this steak we have never returned to our old ways, when cooked medium rare, the flavor seems to burst from this cut of beef from the first bite to the last and has no need to add sauce.
This cut is also perfect for the home Grill as it is very forgiving even for an amateur cook, as long as a few steps are taken, not only in the cooking process but also the selection of your steak. Our butcher of choice these days is our local Publix, Winter Park Village, who have great selections and knowledgeable butchery staff.
Steer clear of the pre-packaged steaks and talk to your server at the butchery counter, and if you do not see any cuts in the chill cabinet that meet your requirements they will be happy to cut one or more to your specification.
What to look out for:
Thickness – Choose your thickness (this will obviously affect the cooking time).
Marbling – Look for a decent amount of marbling (white flecks of fat on the main body of the meat) this will melt and break down into the meat during the cooking process and make a more succulent steak.
Back Strap – The Back Strap is a 1” thick ligament which runs along the top-back of the New York Strip. It is edible and can be left on, however, it is often removed for a better eating experience. In our opinion we leave the back strap on but should be no more than 1” thick.
Tail -Sometimes referred to as the “Chain”, the Tail is comprised of fat and connective tissue and is found at the tapered end of the New York Strip. Why should you care about the size of the tail? Well, the less tail, the higher quality. The Tail is most often the part left on a diners’ plate.
In terms of cooking the steak, the subject is so subjective and personal we are not even going to go there, as from weekend back yard grill masters to the more professional and experienced cooks, they will all have their opinion on temperature, method of cooking and what works for them.
What we will say is this, we have some simple steps that cannot be missed no matter who cooks the steak or what method is used.
- Allow the steak to come to room temperature before cooking.
- Season prior to cooking, simple salt and pepper will suffice.
- Let the steak rest after cooking – This is the MOST important step. Cover with foil for circa 10mins after cooking to allow the meat to relax and the juices to be absorbed into the meat.