Monday, March 11, 2013

chili rubbed steaks with lime butter

Ed complains (not too often, but frequently) that we don't eat a lot of steak. I'm all for a good hunk of beef every once and a while, but not only is it expensive, more and more studies are coming out against red meat. So, I try to limit our consumption to maybe once a week, either pork or beef. Since I've started this blog, I've only posted about 8 red meat recipes, the rest being chicken, fish or vegetarian.
But I do heed Ed's calls for red meat occasionally- usually when the beef is on sale. These thin cut steaks were one sale for 3.99/ lb so I snatched them up. As you can see, some of the steaks is bright red, some is darker red and another part is more of a brownish red. This happens a lot with grocery store packaged beef because certain parts of the meat receive more oxygen than others, especially when the meat has been layered in the packaging. The color difference is just an effect of oxidation, so no worries.
I recently watched an episode of the Pioneer Woman on Food Network and she mixed her spices together in a Mason jar and I thought it was genius. So much easier than tossing together in a small bowl! I think I may be doing it this way from now on.
You can use whatever chili mix you want, and I think cayenne would be awesome. Cayenne is one spice that I don't have in my house- dried chipotle either. The reason for that is there is a small barbecue place in Savannah called Angel's Barbecue that some of you may have heard of. When I say small, this place is TINY. It has 3 tables inside and 1 outside.
The only marker that distinguishes it as a restaurant is a small flag that hangs out front with BBQ on it. They were featured on an episode of Man vs. Food a few years ago, so that's it's national claim to fame. For Ed and I, it's the best barbecue place in the city- and the best barbecue I've ever had. They have a spice blend that they use in their super spicy Voo Doo Juice barbecue. The spice blend is made with ghost and chilipin chilies, some of the hottest peppers on the planet. They combine those with chipotle and others and sell it for $12. I though this was a bit pricey, but Ed bought it and we've been using it for over a year now. I have a feeling we'll be using it for years to come- the same container! You seriously only need a tiny pinch to create that heat- I'll use 1 pinch in an entire pot of chili and it'll spice the whole thing. It's the kind of heat that's smokey and spicy and tasty, but not terrible. That is as long as you don't use too much.
I cooked our spice rubbed steaks in a pan because our grill is out of gas (oops) and it was super windy that night, with leaves blowing everywhere. I still managed to achieve a nice crust on the steaks by being sure to only flip them once. Remember to always let your steaks have time to rest before you slice them up, so that you don't loose all your juices.
There's a steakhouse in Orlando, Florida called Charley's, and it's consistently ranked as the top steakhouses in the country. Ed's family and I started going there 3 years ago during the annual trip to the timeshare in Orlando. They broil their aged steaks and really don't do much to them- that's the secret to their success. Just salt and pepper. They do offer spices, cheeses and butters to accompany those steaks just for variety, however. Last time I was there I got their Cajun butter blend and it was delicious. Since then, I've enjoyed adding compound butters to my steaks. It's the perfect compliment to the already buttery beef.
Lime Compound Butter
1/2 stick butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic, minced

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients. If using immediately, allow to sit at room temperature. If using at a later time, lay out a sheet of plastic wrap. Deposit compound butter into center. Roll plastic wrap around butter into a log shape. Keep refrigerated, or frozen.

Chili Rubbed Steaks
2 thin cut steaks
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon dried chipotle
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Combine all spices in a small bowl or mason jar. Liberally apply spice blend to steaks. Preheat pan or grill with oil to medium heat. Cook steaks on medium heat for 2-3 minutes on either side to achieve medium. Allow to rest 2 minutes before topping with butter, and another 3 minutes before serving. Enjoy!