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Steak Bites with Blue Cheese, Fig and Bourbon Jam

Steak bites with blue cheese and fig jam
Yosef Herzog / TODAY


Steak bites
  • 1 strip steak
  • Kosher salt
  • High-quality butter
  • Fig and Bourbon Jam
  • 7 ounces dried figs
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 baguette, sliced and toasted
  • Blue cheese
  • Chef notes

    Steak for the win! Everyone's going to love this flavorful gourmet appetizer featuring crostini with grilled steak, blue cheese and fig jam.


    For the Steak:


    Remove the meat from packaging, and pat it dry using paper towel. Season generously with the salt. Seasoning should only be done right before you're ready to put the meat on the grill. Fun fact: I tend to only add salt because pepper can burn.


    If you're using a charcoal grill, once the coals are hot, dump them into your grill making sure they are all on one side, leaving the other side empty. You don't need to wait for the grate to heat up here as you normally would, because we're trying to cook the steak gently to start, not sear it. Once your coals are in, place the seasoned meat over the cool side of the grill.


    To ensure an even cook and also keep an eye out for hot spots, flip the steak over every 5 minutes or so, not only flipping end to end, but also side to side. Keep it as far from the heat source as your grill will allow.


    The most crucial piece of equipment here is going to be your thermometer (I use and recommend Thermapens). Once you're 15 or so minutes into the cook, you'll want to start paying attention to the temperature and checking it regularly. The very center will be the last to warm up, and you might find the edges will be 10 to 20 degrees hotter. While a finished medium-rare steak is about 130 to 135 F, we'll be working with lower temperatures to account for the extra heat added when we sear it.


    This is a really neat step that lets you enjoy a hot steak! Instead of resting at the end of the cook, you can actually rest the meat right before the sear, which means you can eat it as soon as it comes off the grill, nice and hot. So, when the center of the steak hits 125 to 135 F, pull it off the heat, and cover with foil, at least 10 to 15 minutes.


    Many guides will tell you to simply use the coals that are in the grill to finish your steak, but that's how you end up with a pretty underwhelming sear. If you want to finish it high and fast, you need to bring the heat! Half-fill the chimney starter until the coals ash over, then add them on top of the existing coal pile. Give the grate 3 to 5 minutes to heat up with the fresh coals.


    Place the steak directly over the searing hot coals, turning over after a minute to sear the other side, then holding the fat side over the coals after another minute. If you haven't got the char you want, you can flirt with another 30 seconds on each side.


    I recommend finishing with a sprinkle of salt flakes, a knob of excellent quality butter, and slicing it fairly thin for maximum enjoyment.

    For the Fig and Bourbon Jam:


    Cut the hard nub off the stem of the figs then place in a large saucepan. Add enough water to cover. Add the bourbon and lemon juice.


    Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until figs have softened. It may help to break the harder ones up with a spoon a little as they cook.


    Using caution because the mixture is hot, transfer it to a blender and blend thoroughly until there are no large chunks of the figs' skin.


    Return the blended mixture to the saucepan set over low heat. Add the sugar. Stir to dissolve the sugar and cook until it thickens to a paste/spread consistency.

    To serve:

    Layer each crostini with a thin slice or crumble of blue cheese, sliced steak, and a dollop of fig jam.  Enjoy!