Grilling Like a Pro

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Any respectable carnivore anticipates grilling that perfect steak during our cherished and too-fast moving months of summer. Often however, something goes wrong – too much charring while raw in the center, or over-cooking caused by multitasking or distraction. The former is caused by contact with direct heat and the fat drippings causing constant flame on the surface of the beef, the later, well, there’s a lot to do when putting together a meal, and especially while entertaining. Timing is everything. To solve the latter problem, I tend to make sure all else is in order when it’s time to focus on a well-marbled Meiller Farm rib eye. The 1 ½-2-inch cuts are flavorful and tender, but they do require your care, attention, and respect.

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Here are some step-by-step directions to have you grilling like a pro!

For a gas grill:

1) The grill should be about 6 inches from the heat source. Place one side of the grill on high, leave the other on the lowest temperature, or even completely off. Have a spray bottle of water handy to extinguish any flare up that might char the meat.
2) Season meat with salt and pepper and place on hot portion of the grill. Cook for about 2 minutes, or until nicely seared; turn 90 degrees and cook another 1 to 2 minutes.
3) Move the meat to the other side of the grill, close the cover and allow it to slowly cook, about 8 to 12 minutes to desired doneness.
4) When it is undercooked it will feel spongy and soft; it will barely spring back when pressed lightly with a finger in the center. The meat will get firmer and springier the more it cooks.

If using a meat thermometer:
125-130 F = rare
130-135 F = medium rare
140-145 F = medium
155-160 F = well

Remove the steak from the grill and place on a cutting board and loosely tented with foil; let “rest” for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice steak across the grain to desired thickness.
Note: The same procedure can be used with a charcoal grill or even a wood fire, just make sure all coals are to one side of the grill so that you have a cool side to finish cooking the steak without burning.

And, voila!

While good beef, like Meiller’s, simply needs salt, pepper and some focused attention during cooking, a rub or marinade can only make it better. Here’s the mix we add to our Gigi rib eyes.

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Gigi Marinade

(Makes approximately 3 cups)
2 small bunches of fresh sage (about 2 ounces)
1 large bunch fresh Italian parsley (about 3 ounces)
3 large sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves striped from stems; stems discarded
4 large garlic cloves, crushed
3 to 4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
In the work bowl of a food processor or blender, pulse together sage, parsley, rosemary, garlic, and ½ cup of the olive oil. With motor running, pour remaining oil in a thin stream through the feed tube. When combined, but herbs still visible, transfer to a storage container. Store refrigerated for up to 1 week.

Happy grilling!

-Laura

About Laura Pensiero

Laura Pensiero is a nutritionist, chef, activist and writer for the next generation of American eaters. Her wide-ranging perspective on food and health continues to have an enormous impact, defining what a “healthy lifestyle” means today. Drawing from her work as a clinical dietitian in some of NYC’s finest teaching hospitals, as an owner of Gigi Trattoria – one of the first “eat local” restaurants in the Hudson Valley – and as the founding chef and partner for “Just Salad,” a health focused fast/casual global food chain, Pensiero has established her reputation as an authentic voice in the national dialogue about our food systems and how they impact our overall health. Her grounded, practical advice helps move people from intention to action and she champions the idea that each one of us should strive to be a “conscious and happy eater.”

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