Sunday, September 16, 2018

NY Strip Steaks with Sweet Potato Fries

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] The Certified Angus Beef® Brand is one of our favorite sponsors; however, this is not a sponsored post.

On weekends, Alexis and I will often do a single mid-afternoon meal instead of lunch and dinner.  

I searched Google and saw terms like lupper, linner, and dunch but none of those really have the catchiness of brunch, do they?  Maybe it's because they don't come with Bloody Marys or mimosas?  Regardless, we like that single meal.  Fewer calories, fewer dirty dishes, and the timing just works for an activity-filled weekend day.  

We made these straightforward steaks and frites for halftime of yesterday's Florida State and Tennessee football games. 

Grilled Garlic and Herb NY Strip Steaks and Sweet Potato Fries. #BestAngusBeef #Steakholder

The Prep

Alexis picked up a nice pair of Certified Angus Beef® Brand NY Strip steaks from our Food City.  Before the game, we:
  • Patted the steaks dry.  Water is the enemy of the Maillard reaction (browning).
  • Lightly coated the steaks with a high temperature cooking oil.  Olive oil isn't good for grilling, it's smoke point is too low.  Go with something like beef tallow, canola oil, peanut oil, or avocado oil.
  • Seasoned it all over with a moderate to heavy coat of Meat Church Garlic and Herb Seasoning.  I didn't measure but I would guess about 1 to 1.5 teaspoons.
  • Placed the seasoned steaks on a resting rack at room temperature for an hour or so.  
    • The resting rack helps minimize the seasoning from sticking to a plate.  
    • Leaving it out of the fridge lets the steak temper.
    • The hour gives the process enough time so that the salt in the seasoning stops wicking out moisture from the steak and begins pulling back into the steak.  A very brief dry brine.

The Cook

My weapon of choice for this cook was my Big Green Egg Mini-Max set up with GrillGrates. A small kamado grill like this is aces for a pair of steaks.
  • I cleaned out the grill.  Shook the Kick Ash Basket to remove the ashes and put the used coal in a half steam pan.  I added a little Rockwood coal to the K.A.B. and topped it off with the used coal.  
    • That really isn't necessary, you can just shake the K.A.B. and add coal.  I just like my used coal on top so it doesn't pop as much when I light it with a MAPpro torch.
  • I heated the grill to 450f and got it stable.  I put the GrillGrates in after it was set and gave them 10 minutes to preheat.
  • Finally, I grilled the steaks 3 minutes and 45 seconds per side. I usually run 4 minutes per side but that's a guideline and these strips were a little shy in size.  
    • When the steaks came off, I lightly sprinkled some popcorn salt on them.  It is extra fine salt and dissolves quickly, so it fits as a finishing salt.
Big Green Egg Mini-Max kamado grill is perfect for two people.
A small kamado grill, like the Mini-Max, is the ideal grill for two people.  We probably use ours more than I use either of our large Eggs. Other brands include the Kamado Joe Jr, Vision Grills Cadet, or the Akorn Jr.

GrillGrates are more than just pretty grill marks, it is about maximizing the infrared heat for better cooking.
GrillGrates do lay down some gorgeous grill marks but beauty is more than skin deep. GrillGrates maximize your grill's infrared heat and infrared heat generally means juicier food.

Since this was a quickie, I didn't make sweet potato fries from scratch 😲.  I just deep fried some Alexia sweet potato fries for 4 minutes.  

I am still loving the new Big Green Egg Modular Nest system that we got from Mannix Pools & Grills (Winter Haven). The stainless insert rocks for things like deep frying - it is heat resistant, oil resistant, and cleans up easily.

When the fries came out of the deep fryer, I hit them with a heavy sprinkle of Gentry's BBQ Ham Bone Seasoning.  The flavor affinities of the allspice, brown sugar and cinnamon match up ideally with sweet potato fries.

Grilled Garlic and Herb Certified Angus Beef® Brand NY Strip Steaks

The steaks were just how I like them, the classic garlic and herb flavor profile worked nicely.  The fries were crispy and the Gentry's made them pop.