Labor Day weekend brings grills out in force in this country, and I'm definitely going to be cranking up my decrepit Weber Kettle on Cape Cod (Note to self: replace the Kettle next summer). Though my wife Vicky is going to be after me to grill something healthy like fish or boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I'm afraid I'm leaning toward steak, specifically my friend and sometime co-author Tom Douglas' Rib Eye Steak with Garlic Bruschetta and Aged Balsamic Vinegar. It comes from Tom's cookbook, Tom Douglas' Seattle Kitchen. This recipe is easy, quick, and will have your guests moaning with pleasure. Tom calls for boneless rib-eyes, but if you can find bone-in rib steaks buy them. The bone imparts a little more flavor and helps keep the meat moist and juicy. And remember, the tastiest part of the rib eye is the spinalis dorsis, that tender, super-marbled outer ridge of a ribeye usually set off from the eye by a thin layer of fat.
Four 14-16-ounce rib steaks, about 1 inch thick 10 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves roughly chopped (about 2 tablespoons) 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus more for grilling Black pepper Kosher salt Four 1/2-inch-thick slices rustic bread Balsamic Vinegar
1. Fire up the grill. 2. Place the steaks in a single layer in a shallow dish. Sprinkle 6 cloves of the garlic and the rosemary on and around the steaks, reserving the rest of the garlic for the bruschetta. Pour the 1/2 cup oil over the steaks and coarsely grind pepper over the top. Let marinate in the refrigerator for a few hours, covered with plastic wrap. 3. Scrape off any excess oil before placing the steaks on the grill to prevent flare-ups. Heavily season the steaks with salt and pepper. Grill over direct heat with the lid off to the desired level of doneness, turning often with tongs. A 1-inch-thick steak will take about 8 minutes total for rare. 4. Rub each slice of bread with a smashed clove of garlic. Generously brush the slices with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the bread over direct heat with the lid off until golden and crusty, about 45 seconds to 1 minute per side. 5. Place a garlic bruschetta on each plate. Place a steak on each bruschetta, partially covering it. Drizzle each steak with balsamic vinegar and some more extra virgin olive oil.
I serve this steak with some corn on the cob and this time of year, a sliced tomato, basil, and mozzarella salad.
Tom knows a lot about wine, and he recommends drinking any of the following with the steak: a full-bodied Barberesco from Northern Italy, a super-Tuscan red composed of any or all Cabernet Sauvignon, Sangiovese, or Merlot; or a Washington Nebbiolo.
What are you going to be grilling this weekend?
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