Labor Day: The Last Party of Summer
For many, Labor Day is bittersweet. We all love the long weekend, but we're sad to kiss the endless days of summer goodbye. For the perfect send off, why not grill up some super steaks?
Whether you're cooking for a couple or a crowd, steak is a great choice. Steaks require very little preparation and are easy to cook. With cuts like Kosher.com's rib steaks and kosher NY strips all you need is a little seasoning, a little oil and a hot grill. Place the steaks on a well-oiled grill at a 45 degree angle and cook over high heat for one minute. Then rotate the steaks 90 degrees and cook one minute more (the steaks will develop great grill marks). Turn your steaks over then turn down the heat to medium low or move the steaks to a cooler part of the grill so they can cook through without burning (about 4-7 minutes depending on desired doneness). Since the meat undergoes a certain amount of "carryover cooking" during the rest, it is best to take your steaks off the grill before they're done; undercook them by 5°F (see the temperature guide below).
Off the grill, steaks should rest, on a warm plate tented with aluminum foil, for approximately 10 minutes before serving. Resting also helps redistribute a steak's juices so don't cut into the meat until the resting is complete. There is nothing better than a juicy steak; cut your steak too early and all the juices will end up on the plate.
If you've got a lot of mouths to feed, choose a skirt steak, shoulder steak or London broil. Marinate the meat in an acid-based marinade of your choice for anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight. The marinade adds flavor and the salt, sugar and acid tenderizes the meat by breaking down the fibers. Remove the meat from the marinade, season, and cook on hot and well-oiled grill like you would any other steak. After resting the meat, slice it on the bias and serve.
Do pick thicker steaks over thinner ones. Denser meat cooks more slowly and evenly and you are less likely to overcook the meat.
Do use an instant read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of your steak, taking it off the grill about 5°F shy of the desired degree of doneness (see the temperature guide below).
Do serve plenty of appetizers like Guacamole and Chips to keep your guests happy and entertained while you grill.
Do throw some chicken cutlets on the grill and serve atop this fresh parve Sun-Dried Tomato Caesar Salad for those guests who might not like steak (as crazy as it sounds, these people do exist).
For dessert, do offer your guests something light and refreshing like a Tea Biscuit and Sorbet Tower.
Don't use sweet barbecue sauces; the sugars will burn leaving your steak tasting like carbon. If you plan to use barbecue sauce as a glaze, put it on during the last couple of minutes of cooking or, better yet, serve it as a condiment.
Don't overcook your meat!
Click here to see my video on how to make guacomole and chips.