In this meat-and-potatoes town, steak could be considered a dietary staple -- maybe even more so this time of year when the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo rolls around.
It's when we dust off our boots and polish our turquoise before heading out to the coliseum after a nice steak dinner.
The scene may inspire you to perfect your own steak-making skills at home, so we asked three superstar chefs to share their signature recipes, along with crucial prep tips.
Just like the Stock Show, in this town, steaks can be legendary.
Chef Jon Bonnell
Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine, Fort Worth
Chef Jon Bonnell's buffalo tenderloin peppersteak is one of the most popular dishes he has ever served, he says. Though it's technically not true buffalo, he says American bison meat is similar in anatomy to beef, but much richer.
"It really takes well to generous amounts of black pepper," he says.
For any steak preparation, Bonnell recommends using plenty of seasoning first. "Salt and pepper is a great way to start," he says. "Season well on all sides and allow to soak in for 15 to 20 minutes while the steaks come up to room temperature." (See recipe on 3D.)
Chef Gerard Thompson
Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, Glen Rose
An extremely hot oak wood fire is key to preparing the perfect steak, says Rough Creek Lodge executive chef Gerard Thompson.
"I build the fire in a corner of the grill, so the grill is very hot in that area and cooler in other areas," he says. "Once the steak is seared real well on both sides, I can move the steak to a cooler part of the grill to continue cooking without charring it too much."
Rough Creek's dining menu changes nightly, but Thompson says the 20-ounce premium gold Angus rib-eye steak, seasoned with sea salt and his namesake spice rub, is a popular dish for hungry guests.
"I always let the steak rest for five to 10 minutes after cooking, before slicing. This seems to give the juices a chance to redistribute throughout the steak, keeping the meat moister and more flavorful."
Chef Tim Love
Tim Love has his fair share of impressive, high-end steaks, from his roasted garlic stuffed beef tenderloin to his Wagyu tomahawk, both featured at his Lonesome Dove Western Bistro.
But Love also has an infatuation with the more affordable skirt steak. Most commonly used for preparing fajitas, skirt steak has become a center-of-the-plate meat for Love. He's serving it with fries at Love Shack in Denton and will do the same at the Fort Worth So7 Love Shack by spring.
Love lets his steak rest for at least 10 minutes after searing and then brings it back to temperature briefly on the grill or in a hot oven.
Buffalo tenderloin peppersteak with smoked whiskey cream sauce
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1 8- to 9-ounce buffalo filet (found at Central Market)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/4 ounces (ri)1 Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (found at Majestic Fine Wines & Spirits)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1. Mix the salt and cracked pepper together and spread on a large plate. Press the filet down in the seasonings to coat both sides well.
2. In a hot skillet, brown the steak on all sides in canola oil. Place the pan and steak in a 350-degree oven and finish cooking until desired temperature is reached (130 degrees, medium rare, is recommended). Remove steak from pan and allow to rest while finishing the sauce.
3. In the same pan, add the butter and finely chopped shallot and garlic. Saute until lightly brown, then add the whiskey, which will flame briefly when added to the pan. Be careful to not pour any whiskey directly onto the stove flame. If using an electric range, add the whiskey, then light it with a match and stand back.
4. After the whiskey has burned out, add the cream and reduce to a slightly thick consistency that will coat the steak. Pour the sauce directly over the cooked filet, allowing the sauce to run down all sides.
-- Bonnell's Fine Texas Cuisine, 817-738-5489, www.bonnellstexas.com
Nutritional analysis per serving: 770 calories, 44 grams fat, 6 grams carbohydrates, 66 grams protein, 299 milligrams cholesterol, 742 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 58 percent of calories from fat.
Salt and pepper skirt steak
1 16-ounce skirt steak
1 to 2 teaspoons peanut oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring steak to room temperature.
2. Brush with peanut oil. Season well with salt and pepper.
3. Sear in a skillet on high heat for one minute on each side. Remove from pan and rest for at least 10 minutes.
4. Bring to desired temperature on the grill or in a 400-degree oven, approximately 3 to 4 minutes. Slice across the grain and finish with a squeeze of lemon.
-- Love Shack, www.loveburgershack.com
Nutritional analysis per serving, based on 1: 852 calories, 52 grams fat, 6 grams carbohydrates, 88 grams protein, 231 milligrams cholesterol, 451 milligrams sodium, 1 gram dietary fiber, 55 percent of calories from fat.
Oak-grilled rib-eye steak
4 20-ounce bone-in premium gold Angus beef rib-eye steaks (found at Central Market)
1/4 cup chef Gerard's spice rub (recipe follows)
1/8 cup sea salt
For the steaks:
1. Set the steaks out and bring to room temperature (approximately 30 minutes).
2. Build a fire in the corner of your wood-burning grill with oak wood. Let the wood burn down to the point where it is glowing. The fire should be around 500-600 degrees.
3. Season the steaks liberally with Gerard's spice rub. Place the steaks on the hottest part of the grill to sear in the juices. Cook on each side for 3 to 5 minutes. Move to a slightly cooler part of the grill, away from the fire, and continue to cook to desired temperature.
4. Remove from the grill and let rest five to 10 minutes before slicing to give the juices a chance to redistribute. Sprinkle with a little sea salt before serving.
Nutritional analysis per serving: 981 calories, 53 grams fat, 3 grams carbohydrates, 117 grams protein, 277 milligrams cholesterol, 3,915 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 50 percent of calories from fat.
Chef Gerard's spice rub
Makes about 1 3/4 cups
1 cup ground ancho chile powder
1/8 cup ground cumin, toasted
1/4 cup sea salt
1/8 cup ground ginger
1/8 cup freshly ground coriander
1/8 cup freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
Mix all ingredients and store in an airtight container. May be used to season pork, beef and poultry.
-- Rough Creek Lodge and Resort, 888-670-1223, roughcreek.com
Nutritional analysis per 1-tablespoon serving: 18 calories, 1 gram fat, 3 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram protein, no cholesterol, 850 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber, 34 percent of calories from fat.