As I sit here reminiscing about Mother’s Day and the fabulous brunch we had at a local restaurant with 11 family members – five moms in the group – I have a few thoughts I would like to share.
First, I am very thankful for the hardworking restaurant owners, their wives, family and staff who give so much of their time to make the world around them a better place. They work tirelessly with a smile on their face to make your day and my day better. Their brunches were amazing, the desserts divine and the service splendid! They work the long hours when we are all celebrating.
If you are looking for some folks who deserve some extra thanks, please remember how hard they work to make your holidays wonderful.
Second, I am eternally grateful to all mothers out there who have done the same since they gave birth and never stop when the children leave home. They love unconditionally and sacrifice much for the safety, well being and happiness of their families. Our world is a better place because of all our mothers.
Third and finally, I want to tell my wife that Mother’s Day is over and now it is time to warm up and get ready for another truly important holiday – Father’s Day!
Father’s Day is a polar opposite of Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day involves fancy brunches and dinners at restaurants, flowers, maybe some wine and chocolates, mimosas and all things that mothers seem to want. Really, they deserve whatever they want.
Fathers, on the other hand, really just want to grill out and drink a few beers with whoever feels like hanging with them. Being a father myself of two teenage boys, I can say that this is truly, next to Fourth of July, my favorite day. It is a day where steaks are the main thing and I am left alone to grill while the rest of the work is taken care of by others.
And what am I grilling this year, you ask? Well, thank you for asking!
I will be doing a reverse sear method of cooking steaks, thick-cut filet mignon to be precise. I tried the reverse sear method recently on a few thick tomahawk ribeyes and it was a wild success. Now, time to try it on my preferred cut, a 3-inch-thick prime filet mignon.
But Karl, what is this reverse sear you speak of? Ah, well, it is the exact opposite of how most of us have cooked steaks in the past. Old school thought has you cooking steak by searing it first over a hot flame or hot cast iron pan with butter to seal in the juices, then cooking at 350 degrees or so for an additional 8-10 minutes until it comes to the desired, finished temperature.
The reverse sear method calls for you to slow-cook the steaks with indirect heat at about 225 degrees until it reaches approximately 110 degrees, which can take up to 45 minutes depending on how big a cut you have. This is a perfect job for a Traeger pellet grill and for a temperature probe inserted into the meat.
What the reverse sear method does is dry out the exterior surface, while giving more even doneness. Moisture is the enemy to perfect char crust and all steak lovers know that perfect crust makes the ideal steak.
Once the steak reaches between 100 and 110 degrees, it is time to execute the reverse sear. Have a cast iron skillet heated up as high as possible, done on any grill at maximum heat. This is where a second grill is handy so you can do this outside, as it will kick up some smoke.
Add butter, garlic and herbs like thyme and rosemary just before plopping the steak into the skillet and sear it for just a minute or two per side. Tilt the pan during this process and spoon the butter and herbs over the steaks. Use an instant read thermometer to measure doneness and remove at 125 for medium rare, 130 for medium. The filets will continue to cook 5 degrees more as they rest on a plate and are loosely covered with foil for five minutes.
Tips: season generously with course salt and fresh ground pepper just before cooking and buy the best steaks you can afford. Well, marbled, USDA Prime is the best. You can always cook the steaks more, but you can’t “undo” doneness! Practice makes perfect!