Words by Tara Pepper
Ever wonder where restaurants buy the steaks they have on their menus—you know, the really pricey ones? Is it possible to have restaurant-quality steaks in the comfort of your own home? Of course you can!
Bobby has discovered Burton Meats in the Sherwood Forrest Plaza on Dundas Street. This place has the best steaks in Mississauga—at least he and I think so. They offer dry-aged 1855 Black Angus beef strip loin steaks that are to die for.
Dry aging is a process that allows the beef to dry slowly over a period of weeks in a special aging room, causing the excess moisture to escape naturally and in turn concentrating the subtle flavours of the meat. It really does make all the difference in a really good steak.
Are they pricey? Yes. But are they worth it? Absolutely! These steaks are juicy and tender with a bold and beefy flavour. And when they’re cooked just right—which is medium rare, as far as I’m concerned—they really make for a memorable meal.
It’s not difficult to cook a good steak. First, bring the steak to room temperature. Heat the grill, and sprinkle the steak with generous amounts of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the steak on the grill and don’t touch it! Steaks about 1.5 inches thick need to cook for about four minutes on one side and five minutes on the other to be done to a perfect medium-rare. If you want them a bit more cooked, then add a little bit of time to my estimates but don’t ever cook them to well done. Please, never well done—especially these steaks!
Flip the steak only once and don’t spear it with your utensils; the wonderful juices will just run out, leaving you with dry, tough specimen. When done, remove from grill to platter. Cover with aluminum foil and let rest—that is, don’t touch them—for at least 5 minutes; if you can wait for 10, even better. This allows the juices to remain in the meat and will provide you with a fantastic, tender piece of steak. Add a baked potato (with butter, sour cream and chopped chives) and roasted root vegetables and you have a meal made in heaven.
Roasted root vegetables are my new favourite thing to do when I don’t want to work too hard. Take a brimmed baking tray and line it with parchment paper or spray generously with oil. Chop your veggies to the same size; I prefer inch-sized pieces. For vegetables, I like carrots, parsnips (which taste like candy when roasted), squash or pumpkin, peeled garlic cloves (so good when roasted!), pearl onions, red onion and fennel cut in thick slices, mushrooms, broccoli, asparagus, zucchini, peppers and/or cauliflower. Pick your favourites and use as few or as many as you’d like.
Spread the cut veggies on the tray in single layer and toss with extra-virgin olive oil (about three tablespoons for a large tray). Sprinkle with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add your favourite aromatics. I like fresh thyme but you could use marjoram, rosemary or any other hearty herb you’d like; about two tablespoons of fresh herbs. Dried herbs would be OK too—in that case, I’d choose basil—but not too much; about a tablespoon would be enough. Toss all of this together to blend and put in a 425°F oven for about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until the veggies are soft and nicely browned. Then serve.
There you go: restaurant-quality meals in the comfort of your own kitchen! Be daring and give it a try!
’Til next time,
1900 Dundas St. W.