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Old 01-12-2014, 12:35 AM   #1
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Question American Steak?

Hi Everyone,

I have a question which I hope the broader (and international) community can help me with...

I'm from Australia, and recently met a close friend's new female partner. Over lunch, she complained that compared to back home, she cant find a good steak here. I find this quite puzzling, as we have good beef, and we like to think we know how to cook it.

Being a decent cook (and patriotic Aussie), I see a challenge.

So my question is this: How do Americans from the south like their steak?
(this is more a question of style of preparing and cooking steak)

The facts that Ive gleaned from her so far:
- She's from the deep south (Louisiana?)
- She's made the comment "back home, we season our steaks"
- I think she leans towards marinades and rubs

As my partner and I will likely be cooking for this couple in the near future, I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction.

Many thanks...
Alf

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Old 01-12-2014, 12:45 AM   #2
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I run a steakhouse in the US and most steak seasonings run heavy with salt and then lightly flavored with a mix of garlic, white pepper and paprika. The ratio is a personal preference.
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Old 01-12-2014, 01:04 AM   #3
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They do have a recipe that is quite popular all over the south. It is called Chicken Fried Steak. It is a thin slice of steak, dredge in seasoned flour and sautéed in preferably bacon fat. When cooked to medium rare, they are removed from the pan, the leftover seasoned flour is then put in the frying pan into the bacon grease making a roux and over low heat, cooked until light brown. Then slowly add water or milk stirring constantly until the consistency of a loose gravy. Return the steaks to the gravy and reheat. The flour on the meat will additionally thicken the gravy. That's why you want a loose gravy. You can sauté some onions in the bacon grease prior to adding the meat. Leave them in when making the gravy.

The flour can be seasoned with just salt and pepper or other herbs of choice. Depends on personal taste. Taste the gravy and adjust any needed seasonings. The steak is usually from a chuck piece of meat or roast. We do season all our meats prior to cooking.


One trick we have is to season the steak with salt the day before it is to be cooked. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge. Remove the steak from the fridge one hour before cooking and allow to come to room temperature. This draws out the juices and then they go back into the meat with the salt. So the whole steak is seasoned inside and out. This steak us usually a steak of an expensive cut. Makes for a very tender and flavorful steak.

There are many grillers here who make steak all the time along with other meats. I am sure they will have more information for you along with recipes.
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Old 01-12-2014, 07:44 AM   #4
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Chicken-fried steak is popular here, but unless it's specified, I wouldn't assume that's what she wants.

I agree with WD about the seasonings, although I grew up in the Midwest where steaks are seasoned with salt and pepper, period The first time someone marinated a steak they were cooking for me, I was appalled

I would ask her what cut and what temperature she likes her steak. There may be language differences and she may be asking for the wrong cut and asking for the wrong preparation for it, i.e., if she's asking for a chuck steak by mistake and having it prepared medium-rare, she will be disappointed.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:14 AM   #5
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Point blank ask her if she knows what seasonings were on the steaks back home. The most highly seasoned steak that I know which originated in LA, is blackened.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:57 AM   #6
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Louisiana, Got to go with Cajun seasoning.
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Old 01-12-2014, 08:59 AM   #7
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Oz and Texas share a lot of traits...including our love for ranching and grilling. I have complete confidence in my upside down brethren to cook a good steak. I imagine this might be a little home-sickness. For BBQ'ing, those in the "Deep South" use dry rubs, where we use wet sauces...but you don't use on that on a steak, as it cooked at really high temperatures. Other than the mentioned Cajun blackening...I can't really think of an alternate way to cook it used in that region.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:01 PM   #8
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"South" sounds like the keyword. I have been in SC now for over 30 years and I can count on one hand, the people that like their steak rare or medium rare. In fact it would be less than 5 people.
Its puzzling for sure as overcooking a good steak is to ruin a good steak. But this is how most southerners like there steak. Ruined. Over done with a bottle of ketchup.

My brother in law even goes as far as to tell the server to "burn it" when he orders the steak. Not sure if he really means to actually burn it, or just to make sure the whole table knows he wants his well done. Or "done" as they call it.

They think I'm nuts for eating rare beef. My wife will not eat rare meat either, not will anyone I know here.

OP. Don't worry about her steak preferences. She has no clue.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:12 PM   #9
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I'm thinking Cajun seasoning too. The steak would not necessarily need to be blackened, maybe just use the seasoning as a rub or sprinkle. New Orleans is famous for food, I've eaten medium rare steak there, Louisiana may be a different kind of South.
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Old 01-12-2014, 12:47 PM   #10
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Although I like "chicken fried steak" as Addie described, I don't think of it as a "steak", and my guess is that she doesn't either.

In my travels in other parts of the world I've missed the "American Steak House" steak as I describe it. I'm no stranger to cooking perfectly acceptable steaks at home, but I've yet to produce one with the flavor and or technique of a great "American Steak House".

This might give you some ideas..
http://greatsteakofna.com/
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