Thursday, September 6, 2018

Cajun Seasoned T-Bone Steaks with Black Beans

[FTC Standard Disclosure] This post is sponsored by the Certified Angus Beef® Brand in conjunction with a social media campaign through Sunday Supper LLC.  All opinions are my own.

This past weekend I picked up a pair of excellent T-bone steaks when we were out brisket shopping and used one of them to make this Cajun Seasoned T-Bone Steak with Black Beans.

Cajun Seasoned T-Bone Steaks with Black Beans

Actually, these were labeled as T-bones but they were actually porterhouse steaks.  T-bone and porterhouse steaks both come from the short loin and both have the distinctive T-shaped bone in the middle.  Both contain an NY Strip steak on the longer side and a filet of tenderloin on the shorter side.  The difference is...
  • T-bone steaks have a tenderloin filet that is 1/2" to 1 1/4" across, as measured at the widest point.
  • Porterhouse steaks have a tenderloin filet that exceeds 1 1/4" across, as measured at the widest point.
It doesn't make that much of a difference, but I love getting the bigger portion of filet with a porterhouse.  Speaking of portions, this steak weighed in right about 30 ounces, so it was ideal for Alexis and me to share - a beautiful steak for two.

Courtesy of Certified Angus Beef® Brand.

Dry Brine

When possible, I like to give my steaks a dry brine to retain moisture and bolster flavor.
  • I wiped this dry and then lightly oiled it with avocado oil.  Canola oil or peanut oil would also work well.  
  • Then I seasoned it lightly with sea salt and a moderate coat of my NMT Cajun Beef Rub.  
  • I let that rest on a resting rack for about 75 minutes before grilling.  Resting on a rack keeps the seasoning on the bottom from sticking to a plate when you go to grill it.
  • The rest period at room temperature also lets the steak temper at the same time it is dry brining.
NMT Cajun Beef Rub recipe

Compound Butter

Since I had plenty of Cajun rub, I used it to make a compound butter for the steak.  I let half a stick of butter soften at room temperature and then mixed in about a 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of the rub and salt to taste.

Cajun butter for steaks, vegetables, and chicken.
The compound butter reinforces the bold flavor of the steaks.

To Be Up Front or Sear at the Rear?

I usually give my thick steaks the reverse sear treatment - where you slow roast the steak and then sear it over a roaring fire or scorching skillet at the end.  But I was getting hungry and wanted to hurry it along so I went with a sear/roast.  I grilled the steak 4 minutes a side, then switch the grill to indirect heat, and let it finishing roasting up to my desired internal temperature.
  • The reverse sear would have taken about 1 hour to roast, 15-20 minutes to raise the temp/rest the steak, and another 2-3 minutes grilling, so in total it would take between 75 and 90 minutes.
  • The sear/roast took 8 minutes to grill and another 30 or so minutes to roast, so in total it would take about 38-45 minutes.
I still think the reverse sear is my favorite and you get a more consistent doneness.  But the sear/roast method is perfectly valid and gets it on the plate faster.

How to grill a thick porterhouse steak on a Big Green Egg kamado grill.  The grate is a Craycort grate. #BestAngusBeef #Steakholder
Look at those gorgeous grill marks on that steak! Cast iron grill grates like these Craycort's can be "high maintenance" but it's hard to argue with the results they give.  If your grill has an option for cast iron grates, I suggest you get them. 

I planned to reseason one of my cast iron skillets in the grill after cooking.  So I just used the skillet as my indirect heat shield - two birds, one stone kind of thing.

How to grill a perfect T-bone steak on a kamado grill like Kamado Joe, Grill Dome, Vision, or Primo
I pulled this steak at an internal temperature of 124°f and let it rest for 5 minutes.

While resting, the internal temperature of the steak maxed out at just under 130°f.

Skillet Black Beans

Usually, we would start with dried beans the day before but this was a quick and easy version of black beans.  I sauteed about a 1/3rd cup of onions and 1/4 cup of diced red bell pepper in a smallish cast iron skillet.  I added a can of black beans, a half teaspoon of the Cajun rub, maybe a quarter teaspoon of cumin and a quarter teaspoon of coriander and let it simmer while the steak was roasting.  When done, I tasted and added a few pinches of salt.  

Letting the butter melt onto the steaks for a few minutes.

Grilled Cajun Porterhouse Steak with black beans
Spot on medium-rare, sliced and ready to devour.

Once the steak was done, I opened the vents and let the grill rip to burn off all the seasoning of the skillet so I could re-season in.  The grill was a wee bit HOT!

Brand The Barn

Alexis and I are so excited to be catering a lunch at a ranch next Wednesday for about 100 folks from Certified Angus Beef® Brand and Food City.  This is Certified Angus Beef's 40th anniversary and to celebrate, they are going across the country painting 40 barns.  Why paint barns?

Back before Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, the original social media advertising was often companies painting their brand on barns.  Barn tops across the South were painted with slogans like "See Rock City" or "See Ruby Falls."  The Certified Angus Beef® Brand is going retro and putting there mark on barns at some of the bucolic ranches that provide the top quality beef that goes into the Best Angus Beef.

Alexis and I will be serving green chile rubbed flank steak tacos, beef chorizo stuffed peppers, and more to help the teams from Food City and C.A.B. celebrate the 33rd barn painting of the year.  I'm flattered and honored that they asked us to be involved with this cool Brand The Barn project.