electronic Gourmet Guide

Steak, Planked

Serving Size: 2
Preparation Time: 0:15


1 lb Steak, Porterhouse, T-bone, or Club—3/4" 1 recipe Pommes Duchesse 1 recipe Carrots Glazed 1 recipe Peas minted 1 each egg yolk 1 tbl water pinch salt 1 tbl butter 1/4 bunch watercress

plank steak

Marinate steak. Get a very hot fire. You should not be able to hold your hand 5 inches from the fire for more than three seconds. Sear the steak on one side. Rotate it 45 degrees and sear it some more so that there are grid marks in both directions, crossing. When you see any blood driven up around the cut bone surface, (about 3 minutes for a 3/4 inch steak) turn it over and cook two minutes on the other side. It should be underdone by at least one degree of doneness, i.e. rare for medium rare. Even a little less is OK.

Prepare the Pommes Duchesse, minted peas and glazed carrots and have them ready when the steak comes off the grill. Have your oven set at 500 degrees, or set it on broiler, with the rack 5-6 inches from the broiler.

Set the steak, grill marked side up, about six inches down from the top of the plank. (Directions for the plank are at the end.) Pipe the potatoes around the steak, and make two compartments at the top with potatoes for the carrots and peas. You could make it look like a chefs hat by piping 4 lines instead of 2, and doing stripes of carrot and peas. You can be as fanciful as you like with the decoration, but I find that simple works best for me. Keep the vegetable warm, while...

You put the plank in the oven and brown the potatoes lightly. The egg wash browns quickly, but if you like your steak more done, you can omit it and the potatoes will still brown, but in a longer time. If you have a very thick steak, leaving out the egg wash and using a 400F oven will give the heat more time to penetrate. For a thinner steak, use egg wash and broiler. 5. Bring it out. Brush the steak with soft butter or a flavored butter, and fill in the veggies. Hold the Steak still with your fork, and with the tip of your knife, bone out the tenderloin and the eye muscles. Slice the tenderloin into four slices. Carve it in the empty space at the bottom. Slice the long eye muscle against the grain on the short axis, For presentation, replace the slices around the bone, naturally, showing the ruddy interior. Serve half of each set of slices per person. Spoon out the vegegetables and potatoes onto the plate. Garnish with watercress, or whatever suits your fancy.

To prepare the plank, buy 18 inches x11"x3/4" clear white oak plank. You may have to buy 2 running feet, so you can use the 6" piece for fish. Oil it well with olive oil, or walnut oil. I use walnut. Bake it 4 hours at 200 F, 4 hours at 250 F. Longer won't hurt. This baking dries the wood and keeps it from warping, and creates a waterproof oiled surface. After use, wipe with a clean moist cloth. Re-season it from time to time. It gets better with use. If you are concerned with sanitation, 4 hours at 200F with a just wiped clean board ought to do. If you are handy at woodwork, trim it on a bandsaw to an oval, and rout out a well and tree design before seasoning. Use separate boards for chicken or fish. This kind of wood costs about $8 a running foot. You can use a maple carving board, as long as it doesn't have rubber feet. Ask me why! I did it once, but only once. Never leave a board wet, it will warp. Dry it in a slow oven.

I was taught that this recipe is good to learn mise en place (the advance preparation for the meal) and timing. With out these two skills of planning and coordinating, you cannot hope to be better than a cook. My own personal take is that it is an easy recipe to make a good impression with, because it presents so well, and shows off my favorite skill of carving at the table, in front of guests. Not for the faint of heart, but if you are the kind that likes ruffles and flourishes...it is Sir Loin.

Suggested Wine: Any big red. Or beer.

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This page originally published as part of the electronic Gourmet Guide between 1994 and 1998.

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This page modified February 2007