Beef connoisseurs will tell you that the only way to cook a steak is by adding a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper. While this may be true – salt and pepper bring out the flavors of the meat – there’s a growing trend for flavored steaks to enhance the taste and take beef to a whole new level.
You have to be a bit careful here. You don’t want to hide the flavor of your steak under layers of herbs and spices. Many marinades and steak rubs do just that. The taste of your steak gets lost in the overpowering blend of other flavors that don’t complement the meat.
Rib n Reef steakhouse is known for is perfectly spiced, quality aged steaks. Having said that, there are some interesting steak flavorings that add just that extra bit of zip to your steak dinner.
Sea salt basics
Let’s start with a basic flavor enhancement – sea salt. Sea salt on its own is great on a steak. Combine it with other flavors and it’s fantastic. Some ingredient options to add to the salt are ground coffee, herbs, spices, or wine. Even bacon. Yes, bacon. Coarsely crumble fried bacon in with the sea salt before grilling a rib eye steak. The bacon taste will be there but subtle enough so the steak is still the star.
The heat of chili
If you like a bit of an aggressive spice, a chili rub will add a touch of heat without ruining your palate as you dine. A rub is a dry spice mixture that coats the steak before it’s grilled. There are many variations on a chili rub, with other spices and flavors added to the mix. An up and coming flavor combo is chili and espresso powder. The end result is a smoky flavor that brings out the best of a New York Strip steak.
Floral notes on your steak
You may not think that lavender goes with steak. But this twist is surprisingly good and growing more and more popular among steak experts. Lavender adds an earthy, floral flavor and pairs beautifully with a juicy, tender steak cut such as a Porterhouse or Rib Eye. Just remember that a little goes a long way. Lavender is strong and if too much is used, can quickly overwhelm any other flavors. The perfect way to season a steak – combine a pinch of lavender with ground pepper corns and a touch of salt.
Whiskey ‘n sugar
What can go wrong with whiskey, brown sugar, and steak? Not a thing. You’ve heard of steak topped with a whiskey butter. Leave the butter behind and instead toss together some whisky and sugar. You get the deep, smoky taste of whiskey sweetened with just a touch of brown sugar. It’s all about a full steak experience with just a hint of a new flavor combination.
Distinctive flavor of Chimichurri
Sticking to its Argentinian roots, a chimichurri rub can brighten up any cut of steak with its distinctive flavor. Dried herbs – cilantro, oregano, parsley, and garlic – are blended with a small amount of olive oil. A Flank steak or Filet Mignon doesn’t need much else to take it to perfection.
Herbs de Provence
Herbs and more herbs really are a classic flavor combination that you see used with many foods, particularly in French cuisine. There’s a reason for this. Merge together aromatic herbs and spices and you get a delicate flavor explosion. There are different versions of Herbs de Provence depending on what herbs and spices you’re using. The perfect mix for steak: marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme.
There are a lot of other up and coming flavors that are being used to bring out the great flavor of steak. Next time you order your steak, be bold and daring…and try something a little different. Nothing will ever beat a classic rib eye but every now and then it’s okay to add some new character to your beef.