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Morning Sun
  • Jim Hillibish: Choosing the right cut of steak

  • Selecting the right steak for your cookout can be daunting, and not just for price. There are six very different steak cuts of beef, each producing different results on the grill.

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  • Selecting the right steak for your cookout can be daunting, and not just for price. There are six very different steak cuts of beef, each producing different results on the grill.
    One thing to remember: Price is not a solid indication of quality. The most expensive filet mignon has little fat, making it easy to dry out over heat. Like it or not, you need fat for juiciness and flavor. In all cases, don’t skimp on size. Thin-cut steaks are cheaper but can be tough and impossible to grill to medium rare or rarer.
    Here’s what to look for:
    Filet mignon: Often the most expensive steak. It comes with no fat lining and slight marbeling. It needs a bacon wrap or some other added fat. Grilling can make it dry.
    Strip steak: These often are affordable steaks. Their rim of fat seals in juices on the grill. They are the easiest to grill and are tender rare to medium.
    Top sirloin: Often the most affordable of steaks, but they are the tough guys. A tenderizing marinade or rub is mandatory. Little fat and marbeling can dry them out on the grill. A good marinade is 1 part Worcestershire sauce, 1 part red wine, 1 tablespoon olive oil and a big dash of black pepper. Place in a food-plastic bag with the steaks and marinate refrigerated for six hours. Pat dry before grilling.
    Rib eye: Flavorful and tender, but you pay for it. They grill and sear well. These are most often cut in large steaks and can have too much fat on the outsides. You can trim that.
    Porterhouse: These can be expensive, but you get two steaks in one, a small fillet and a full strip steak with bone.
    T-bone: The Porterhouse’s smaller cousin coming with a bite-size fillet and a full strip steak with bone. Don’t buy thin ones because they quickly dry out. These take a lot of watching on the grill as they easily are overcooked.
    The beauty of steaks is you won’t need much else to complete your meal. Stuffed, twice-baked potatoes are perfect. Bake the potatoes, slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides. Mix them with cream, butter and Monterey Jack cheese. Place back in shells and garnish with butter and paprika. Bake 10 minutes to melt the cheese.
    Then you’ll only need a simple salad to complete dinner. Make a dressing of a half cup of sour cream, a tablespoon of milk and a teaspoon of dill. Place romaine lettuce on salad plates and a layer of cucumber slices. Spoon on the dressing. Serve chilled.
    For beverages, steak pairs well with most red wines, but you’re not limited to that. A rich Chardonnay white works well, too. Germans serve refreshing Riesling with many meats.
    Page 2 of 2 - Full-flavored lagers make good steak beers. Molson’s is the barbecue staple in Australia. Corona is an option for a lighter beer.
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