With chef Edward Lee at the helm of 610 Magnolia, the people of Louisville, Kentucky, are some lucky eaters. This is how he describes his food: “Farm to table, field to fork, soil to mouth, local-global, new Asian, new Southern, new anything.” Blending his Korean-American heritage with French training and Southern influences, you end up with a hodgepodge of eclectic, appealing recipes in this great book, Smoke & Pickles, like a giant, meaty T-bone, which has a fiery, fresh Asian marinade that’s killer (and only takes 20 minutes). Good luck resisting the crusty bits that fall off the meat.
T-Bone Steak with Lemongrass-Habanero Marinade
Feeds 4 normal people or 2 very hungry ones
Every once in a while, I like to dig into a big, fat, bloody steak. I might feel terrible the next day, but it’s so tasty when I’m eating it. One problem I find with a big steak is that after a few bites, it starts to taste dull. So I like to add a bright acidic marinade for a contrast with all that meatiness. The acid actually accentuates the umami element in the steak and gives it a punch that is quite addictive. Serve with Collards and Kimchi (page 200) and a glass of Circus Boy from Magic Hat Brewing.
6 garlic cloves
3 lemongrass stalks, trimmed to within
2 inches of the root end and finely minced
2 habanero peppers, halved and seeds removed
Juice of 1 lemon
Juice of 1 orange
2 tablespoons Asian sesame oil
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Two 10-ounce T-bone steaks, ¾ inch thick (see note)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 teaspoon peanut oil
1. To make the marinade: Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blitz on high until well blended.
2. Generously salt and pepper the steaks. Place in a glass baking dish and pour half of the marinade over the steaks. Marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
3. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the butter and peanut oil over high heat until just barely smoking. Add the steaks, cover the pan with a lid, and cook for 3 minutes. Uncover, flip the steaks, and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the steaks, uncovered, for another 2 minutes or so. Do the steaks look caramelized and moist and shiny from the marinade? Good, they are ready to eat. Remove the steaks from the pan and let rest on a cutting board for 2 minutes.
4. Spoon the pan juices over the steaks; serve immediately. (The other half of the marinade should be reserved. It should be spooned onto the cooked steak along with the pan juices before serving.)
NOTE: A T-bone steak is a decadent cut. You can easily substitute 8-ounce rib-eye or tenderloin steaks. Or, try this with sirloin cut into thin strips and stir-fried, using the remaining marinade to deglaze the pan.
Excerpted from Smoke & Pickles by Edward Lee (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013.