February 10, 2021
Valentine’s Day might look a little different this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the day special. Dress up, put some flowers on the table, light some candles and share a delicious home cooked meal of steak and lobster a deux or with the whole family. (Barry White optional.)
The Perfect Steak
While there are many, many different ways to prepare steak, we like the reverse sear method. This technique allows for more tender and flavorful steaks, with more even cooking and better browning than traditionally pan-seared and grilled steaks.
The key to this technique is high quality cuts of beef such as those found at your local Co-op meat department, cooked low and slow to bring the meat to temperature without causing it to toughen. If you need a recommendation or advice, don’t hesitate to ask your butcher. You can’t go wrong with a flat iron steak which is beautiful on its own for a special dinner, or sliced up over salad for a lean and tasty lunch.
No grill? No problem: use the Reverse Sear method
To find the perfect steak look for a cut with lots of marbling (white, fatty patterns in the meat), that’s about 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick. Purchase your steak a day ahead of time, and leave it on a baking rack in the refrigerator uncovered overnight so that it can dry. This drying reduces the moisture on the surface of the steak and helps produce better browning when you finally sear it.
About a half hour before you begin cooking, take the steaks out of the refrigerator and season with salt and pepper, and preheat the oven to 275. Place the steaks on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and roast them to almost your desired doneness; pull the steak out of the oven when you are about 10 to 15 degrees away from your desired final temperature. Final cook temperature for steaks is usually 120 degrees for rare, 140 degrees for medium, and 160 degrees for done. You can periodically check the internal temperature using a thermometer, or use a probe thermometer and set it to alert you when you have reached the preferred temperature.
When you’re nearing the point of taking the steaks out of the oven, start heating a skillet for searing. A cast iron or triple-clad stainless are the preferable option, but any skillet will work.
You want the temperature to be quite hot, and a good way to test this is by splashing a few drops of water into the pan. If they sizzle and evaporate quickly, the pan is ready to sear. Add a bit of high smoke point oil (like avocado or canola oil) and sear the steaks a few minutes on each side, until the perfect level of browning is achieved. Serve immediately. A crisp green or Caesar salad is an ideal complement.
The Perfect Lobster
Lobster can be intimidating, but it is quite easy to successfully prepare at home, particularly if you let Co-op do the work of breaking it down and cracking the shells!
Choose Co-op’s lobster claws, and serve them dipped in lemon butter just as they are, or add the meat to a decadent recipe. If you need inspiration, our Flat Iron Steaks with Lobster stuffed Portobello Mushrooms recipe is perfect for a special occasion, or the Rosemary and Garlic Flat Iron Steaks with Butter Poached Lobster is another classic. If you’re spending Valentine’s with the family and need a feast that’s special for everyone, these Flat Iron Tacos are a surefire winner.
Set the mood
To get into the Valentine’s Day mood, set the table in a way that recognizes the occasion. Buy some fresh flowers, turn the lights down low and light a few candles. Put on some nice music to lightly play in the background to help create a relaxed atmosphere. If you’ve got the kids joining you, have them make place cards and cut out hearts from cardboard paper to round out the décor.
Whether you want to linger over a decadent meal, or you need something more suited to the whole family, Co-op has you covered.
Flat Iron Steak Tacos
1lb. Cal & Gary's flat iron steak
1Tbsp. chili powder
salt, to taste
canola oil, for cooking
soft flour or corn tortillas
chopped tomato, onion and avocado
salsa, guacamole or sour cream
1. Rub the steak with chili powder and if it came from the fridge, let stand at room temperature for 10-15 minutes.
2. Cook the steak on grill preheated to high heat for 5 minutes, until char-marked with a deep golden crust.
3. Flip and cook for another 3-4 minutes for medium-rare, or until done to your liking.
4. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes.
5. Slice the steak thinly across the grain.
6. Serve in tortillas with chopped tomato, onion and/or avocado, salsa and cilantro.
Although it’s pretty tasty on its own, most meat definitely benefits from some extra flavour, but it’s all about getting the balance right.
Now that spring is nearly here, with summer just around the corner, that means that burger season is nearly upon us.
There is nothing else quite like bacon. It has that distinctive rich, welcoming aroma when cooked, and that crispy texture and umami flavor when eaten.