Four New Takes on Steaks

Posted On: November 3, 2013

A big thanks to our friend Russ Crandall from The Domestic Man for sharing this post with us.  We love Russ’s perspective on food and the Paleo lifestyle and are very excited to share some of his unique takes on grass fed steaks.  See the bottom of this post for more information on Russ and some of the exciting things he’s doing – including an upcoming Paleo cookbook!

Most days, nothing beats a good, plain steak.  Minimal seasoning allows you to truly appreciate the natural beauty of grass-fed, humanely-raised, and antibiotic-free beef.  But let’s be honest: variety is the spice of life, and sometimes adding some special preparation to your everyday steak can take it to a whole new level.  Here are four examples of how to quickly and easily prepare steaks in unique ways.

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Turkish Grilled Steak (Izgara Bonfile)

  • 8-16oz steak (sirloin preferred)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp each cumin, thyme, black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

Combine all of the ingredients and marinate for 4 hours.  Shake off some of the yogurt marinade, then grill to your liking on direct, high heat, about 3-4 minutes per side.   Rest for 5 minutes then serve.

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Steak with Caprese Salsa

  •  8-16oz steak (ribeye preferred)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • kosher salt and ground pepper to taste (approx. 1/4 tsp each)
  • 1/4 lb tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 10 grape tomatoes)
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped into strips (about 6 leaves)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp each olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice
  • 1 pinch each salt and pepper

Rub the steak with garlic, then sprinkle a generous amount of kosher salt and black pepper on top. Allow the steak to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  To make the salsa, combine all of the remaining ingredients, cover and put in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

Grill to your liking on direct, high heat, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Let rest for 5 minutes.

As the steak rests, drain your salsa of most of its liquid and spoon it over your steak. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the salsa liquid, mind you, but a wet steak is not very appealing.

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Harissa-Marinated Steak

  •  4 large dried Anaheim chilies
  • 1 bird’s eye chili or piri piri (fresh or dried okay)
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp each salt, cumin, ground coriander seeds, ground caraway seeds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  •  8-16oz steak (sirloin, ribeye, or strip preferred)

The recipe as you see it above is only slightly spicy; to increase the spiciness, add more bird’s eye or piri piri chilies.  Soak the chili peppers for 30 minutes in warm water, until soft, then remove the stems and seeds. If you are using a dried bird’s eye chili or piri piri you should soak them, too.  Blend the softened chilies with the remaining ingredients until smooth.  This recipe yields 4 tbsp Harissa, enough for 4 steaks.

Spoon 1 tbsp of the Harissa onto the steak evenly, then let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  Grill to your liking on direct, high heat, about 3-4 minutes per side.  Let rest for 5 minutes, then serve.

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Cacao-Rubbed Steak

  • 1 steak (tenderloin, rib eye, sirloin, or strip preferred)
  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp each paprika and chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/2 tbsp ghee or coconut oil

Pat the steak dry then let it rest for 10-15 minutes to come to room temperature. While it rests, combine the seasonings together (only combine 1/2 tsp of the kosher salt, set the other 1/2 tsp aside). Add the cayenne pepper if you want a little extra kick.

Rub the steak evenly with the cacao mixture, then sprinkle a light salt crust over it using the remaining 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Set it aside as you prepare your skillet.

Warm a cast iron skillet on med/high heat until hot, about three minutes, then add the ghee or coconut oil. Heat the oil until it’s shimmering, about 20-30 seconds, then add the steak. If you have a lid or splatter screen, loosely cover the skillet to avoid splattering. Brown on one side for three minutes, then flip the steak and cook it to your liking, about 3-4 more minutes.  Let rest for 5 minutes, then serve.  Mix any accumulated juices with some barbecue sauce and serve with the steak.

About The Author

Russ Crandall is the talented home chef behind The Domestic Man , a leading food blog in the Paleo, gluten-free, and whole foods communities. In his 20s he suffered a number of life-threatening illnesses, was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune condition, and sent home with a lifetime’s worth of medications. Disenchanted with modern medicine, Russ started searching for his own answers and quickly discovered that eating a gluten-free, nutrient-rich diet instantly alleviated most of the medical issues that had plagued him for years.

Taking cues from his undergraduate studies in history and his travels around the world, Russ quickly discovered that traditional dishes—those that people ate just a few generations ago—inherently embody healthy principles because they were created at a time before processed foods existed. During the day he serves as a Russian translator in the U.S. Navy, and in the evening he can be found tinkering in the kitchen. He and his family live in Baltimore but consider Hawaii home.

His first cookbook, The Ancestral Table: Traditional Recipes for a Paleo Lifestyle, will be released on February 11, 2014, and is available for pre-order.

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