Your Steak Could Use a Shot of Bourbon

© Anthony Tahlier

By Elyse Inamine Posted September 06, 2016

A brilliant, boozy grilling technique from chef Giuseppe Tentori on opening day of his new Chicago steakhouse, GT Prime

Giuseppe Tentori may have grown up a farm boy tending to his grandmother’s land outside of Milan, but the 2008 Best New Chef was always a fan of the iconic American steakhouse.

“When I was very young, I used to love those big spaces and those 18-ounce steaks,” Tentori says. “When I finished them, I was so satisfied.”

Today he unveils his ode to the Windy City steakhouse (and one of the city’s most anticipated openings), GT Prime. It's a 130-seat behemouth of a restaurant with a daily changing menu of six beefy cuts.

“We don’t want people stuck with one big cut of meat,” Tentori explains. “When they go to a steakhouse, it’s to celebrate. It’s an event. I want to throw an event in a different way.”

That means wet-aging the meat in-house and cooking on the kitchen's wood-burning grill, under the broiler, in a cast-iron pan or sous-vide, methods chosen after rigorous testing. And it means smaller portions of meat, so you can try the broiled wagyu sirloin, 5-day aged duck, delicately wood-grilled venison, bone marrow flan and more.

However, when it comes to grilling meats at home, Tentori takes a different approach, honed under Charlie Trotter and inspired by an ancient Japanese technique. The trick: Give your steak a shot.

“It seasons the entire piece of meat," Tentori says of his foolproof marinade technique.”“Even my wife can do it. Even my friends can do it.”

Bottoms up before you fire up the grill:

1. Rub-a-dub. Rub 3 tablespoons of rock salt all over a 2-inch-thick ribeye steak, then throw it on a very hot grill and cook for one minute on each side.

2. Pick your poison. Remove the steak from the grill, and give it a drink. “I wash the steak with white wine, sake or even cheap bourbon,” he says. “It has to be cheap though. You don’t want to waste good bourbon.” Place the steak on a sheet pan and pour enough booze to rinse off the salt, then grill for about 4 minutes per side.

3. Splash some soy. One final rinse: Remove from the grill and drizzle soy sauce over the meat on the pan, then place it back on the grill until it reaches desired doneness.

The Dish
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