That’s what my youngest brother Brandon (Sibling #8) contributed to our discussion on favorite childhood food. Ah, life in Canada must be good! When we were living in Asia the only steak we ever tasted were the bites we stole off our pregnant mom’s special dinner plate (yes, we were monsters). When it came to beef, we were more familiar with what are politely called “inexpensive cuts”. I’ve had liver every way possible, from fairly tasty—coated in cracked wheat and pan-fried, to the truly inedible—boiled. There was even a period where my parents tried, with modest success, to get us to like tongue.
Like the rest of the Stirlings Brandon eats practically anything served to him, but I have an inkling that he perceives starch and vegetables as squatters on real estate best occupied by succulent slabs of beef. Brandon is what I would call a “scrapper”. Quiet and rather small for his age but with a quick wit and an alertness that makes me think he’s simply counting the moments until his height catches up to his mind. A few more of these juicy steaks and it’s just a matter of time before I show up at my family’s front door and am greeted by a tall, gravely voiced young man with one arm swung lazily over a stacked hottie.
This simple method of cooking a steak is something I picked up from watching the meat cook at the restaurant where I worked. Although Brandon likes his steaks rare I timed this one to be about medium-rare. Simply shave off a minute in the oven if—like him—you prefer things bloody.
While writing this post I realized that the youngest Stirlings may have missed out of some key character building experiences such as trying to masticate an incorrectly cooked beef tongue. No worries. That can be easily rectified. On my next visit I will serve up some of the retro-Stirling culinary delights with my very best “back in my day” speech.
Thyme, still alive and growing on my balcony despite the recent cold weather
1 Ribeye steak (about 1-1½ inches thick) *See Cook’s Note
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, crushed—papery skins left on
2 sprigs of thyme
1 Tbs. butter
- Preheat the oven to 350°
- Dry the steak with paper towels. Season generously with salt and cracked black pepper
- Heat a skillet over high-heat until lightly smoking. Add a good bit of oil (about 2 Tbs.) Once the oil is hot add the seasoned steak to the skillet. Sear the first side for a minute and a half.
- Turn the steak over & sear for 1 minute. Add the crushed garlic, thyme & pat of butter to the pan (I like to place the butter directly on top of the steak).
- Place in the oven, on the center rack, for 3 minutes.
- Remove. Return the skillet to the stovetop over medium high heat and tilting the skillet towards you, baste the steak (spoon the butter & pan juices over the top) for 30 seconds.
- Remove the steak from the pan & let it rest for 5 minutes.
* Cook’s Note: It’s very important that you remember to take the steaks out of the refrigerator 15 minutes before you’re ready to throw them on the stove.