Salt ‘till ya Drop


We’re doing something “rare” today.  It’s a guest commentary on the Salt Steak I posted on a while back.  This Fredericksburg Flash fella knows his stuff and must have very low blood pressure…  Read the comentary and enjoy the mouth-watering photos below.  Thanks, Flash!

16 September, 2008 , by Fredericksburg Flash

As an avid follower of NotHemmingway, my curiosity was stirred by the post on “Salty Steak”. Now I like a good steak, but in order to have decent flavor and fork tender fare, you must buy prime grade.

After reading the complete article several times, I thought “What the Heck, I’ll run my own test on this process” On my next trip to the local market I spent considerable time perusing the steak section of meat counter. I thought I hit the jackpot when I came upon a very large London Broil cut. It was 1.5” thick and had no fat or marbling. It was marked “Select”. That is just a grade above “Canner and Cutter”. PERFECT for my test.

The steak was too big for two of us for one meal, so I cut it and put half in the freezer. Now to be sure I was doing everything exactly right, I re-read the article again. Next out came the box of Morton Coarse Kosher Salt. (This is also great margarita salt) The steak was covered with salt on both sides until red meat was not visible. Due to the thickness and lack of marbling, I opted to let it “work” for 45 minutes. In 15-20 minutes I saw water being pulled to the surface. Good… this is what is supposed to happen.

I had planned what I felt was going to be a fine meal, and started off with a couple Moscow Mules, while I watched the salt do it’s magic. At 40 minutes into the process, I lit the gas grill, and set my Weber on high. By the time I got back to the steak it was about 47 minutes. I put down my second “Mule’ and washed the meat well under cold running water, then patted it dry with paper towel. The steak had a more flexible and pliable feel than before salting. Bet you’ve never heard a steak described as flexible, but you know what I mean. I was starting to get darn near excited!

I always grill steaks on high heat for a rather short time, especially since we both like ours Rare. I’ve gotten pretty good at judging how much time in each side. This baby was thick so I went for 4 minutes per side. There was no fat so no flareup during grilling. Perfect!

I brought it in and let it breath for a couple minutes. I think this is important to seal the juices. First test… It cut like a dream, nice and rare too. Time to pour a glass of Charles Shaw Shiraz, you know “Two Buck Chuck”. What the heck, cheap steak… cheap wine. Actually I have done some blind tests and Shaw always ranks very well. The winery has won many awards in California. Try it and you will be pleasantly surprised. You have to go to a Trader Joe’s grocery store to buy it.

Now the final test. Don’t get ahead of me! It cut easily, not fork tender, but no sawing needed either. It was really easy to chew and had good flavor..I think. Sadly the salt was much too prominent. We don’t salt our food much, but I think this would be salty to anyone.

I have not given up on this idea. Remember I said I put half of it in the freezer? Next time I will use a little less salt and reduce the time by about 10 minutes. I suspect it was the time and not the amount of salt. All things considered, it was a fun project and a darn good meal!

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. I think you really did put too much salt on! is it kosher salt? I can’t tell from pic. Perfect medium rare

  2. Fredericksburg Flash says:

    Yes, I think it was just too much salt, and a bit too long. It was Mortons Coarse Kosher salt. I like the technique, and will try it untill perfected.

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