Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Secret to a Great Steak

Barbecuing ("grilling" to our southern friends) is something men seem to either love or hate.  Either it's easy, fun and laid back - or too much trouble no matter what.  I know several men who won't go near a BBQ, and would rather starve than cook on one.  But in general, ever since some Neanderthal stumbled on a woolly mammoth cooked to perfection (medium rare, of course) by a lightning-induced forest fire, man has loved being an omnivore.  (And don't let anyone tell you vegetarian is what we're meant to be.  Those canine teeth - and I'm an expert on them - aren't there for grinding berries!)  Now I'm not a fancy BBQ chef.  In fact that's using the term a little too loosely.  (For true grilling expertise click on the Adventures in Cooking With Beth link at right.)  I only do easy stuff: steaks, chicken, kabobs, burgers and the like - anything about an inch thick.  But I have discovered what I consider the secret to successful barbecuing, at least for simple hunks of meat individually-portioned.  Yes, I need a really hot grill, my fave spice mix, a cold beer, and some background music, preferably Texas Swing on a warm summer evening.  (If coerced, I'll brush on "BBQ sauce", although real men prefer the taste of the meat itself, unbastardized by "goop".)  But my secret is in the suds - a single bottle of beer.  You see, as in many endeavours, timing is everything.  That beer is my timer, when it's gone the meat - whatever it is - is done.  Don't believe it?  Try it.  I wouldn't apply the same timing method to a roast though - you might be "done" before the meat is.