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Video: Grill the perfect steak

updated 9/10/2008 11:00:55 AM ET 2008-09-10T15:00:55

Interested in learning how to master the perfect steak? The secret is in the salt.

John Schenk, executive chef for Strip House restaurants, shares his secret grilling recipes for that perfectly moist and tender steak. Learn how to get your meat perfectly charred on the outside and at the desired doneness in the inside, with some delicious sauces to top it off.

Recipe: Strip House steak (on this page) Recipe: Béarnaise sauce (on this page) Recipe: Steak sauce (on this page)

Recipe: Stilton sauce (on this page)

© 2013 MSNBC Interactive.  Reprints

Recipe: Strip House steak

Most people think the char on the steak comes from cooking it over very high heat. What's really important is to have the right combination of salt and pepper, grilling the steak at a high heat and, like a roast, letting it rest before serving and cutting. Lots of people know the importance of letting the meat relax when you roast indoors. It's the same with outdoor cooking. To make the meat properly tender and juicy, it must rest a few minutes. In this recipe, it rests 8-10 minutes.

  • 4 strip steaks (1 lb. each)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt (per steak)
  • 2 tbsp. freshly crushed black pepper (per steak)

Let the meat rest out of refrigeration for about 10-15 minutes. Lightly oil with a blended canola-olive oil or straight canola oil. Season strip steak with kosher salt and fresh-ground pepper. Have the grill on high heat and start the meat on the hottest point. Let the steak char on one side and flip to char the other.

Once both sides are charred, move meat to a less hot part of grill and cook on each side for about 5-8 minutes. Remove steaks from the grill and let them rest for about 5-8 minutes.

Just before serving, lightly re-oil and quickly heat on hot part of grill to sizzle the steaks’ surfaces, then serve.

Serving Size

Yields 3 ½ cups

Recipe: Béarnaise sauce

  • 3 each egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tsp. tarragon vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp. chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 Tb. minced shallots
  • 1 cup hot melted butter
  • 1 pinch cayenne

Sauté the shallots in a small amount of the clarified butter until tender, but before they color.

Add the tarragon vinegar and tarragon. Remove from heat.

Place egg yolks, lemon juice and shallot-tarragon mixture in a blender and pulse. Turn blender on maximum speed and incorporate the hot butter in a steady stream.

Season with salt to taste.


Recipe: Steak sauce

  • 3 each peeled shallots, sliced thin
  • 5 each cloves of garlic, sliced thin
  • 3 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup Worchestshire sauce
  • 2 ounces red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tb grated horseradish
  • 1 Tb molasses
  • 2 Tb dark brown sugar
  • 1 Tb ground coriander
  • 2 Tb smoked paprika
  • 1 Tb onion powder
  • 1 Tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tb ground black pepper

Sauté the garlic in a bit of olive oil until it starts to lightly brown.

Add the shallots and cook until they are tender.

Combine the Worcestershire sauce, molasses and horseradish in a sauce pot, bring to a boil and reduce by one half. Add the cooked shallots and garlic and all remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer. Cook for five minutes. Remove from heat and purée with a hand blender or kitchen aid blender. Refrigerate and serve.

Serving Size

Yields 3 ½ cups

Recipe: Stilton sauce

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pound Stilton cheese
  • 1 1/4 Tb. sherry vinegar
  • 2 ounces roux
  • 4 ounces butter
  • 4 ounces all-purpose flour

Make a basic roux by melting 4 ounces of butter and then whisking in 4 ounces of flour.

Cook for a minute, remove from heat and reserve.

Heat the heavy cream and milk to a simmer.

Whisk in 14 ounces Stilton cheese.

Whisk in 2 ounces of the roux to thicken the sauce.

Remove from heat and incorporate the sherry vinegar.


Just before serving, sprinkle the remaining 2 ounces of Stilton cheese over the sauce. Serve.

Serving Size

Yields 4 cups


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