By Riki Shore
One of the best things about homeschooling is that we can do what we want when we want. Last year Rob travelled about every eight weeks and we almost never tagged along because of Stella’s school schedule. This year we decided to change that.
When Rob began planning a week in Washington, DC, I started plotting out a week’s worth of free museums and monuments, and visits with cousins.
Last week in DC we managed to see the Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial, the White House, as well as the Hope Diamond at the Museum of Natural History, the Hubble 3D IMAX film at the Museum of Air and Space, and more.
As we packed our bags and got ready to head home, Rob decided to stop at Belmont Butchery in Richmond. Tanya Cauthen opened her artisanal butcher shop in 2006 following extensive training as a chef and caterer. Her goal was to bring restaurant quality meats to the average consumer in a town lacking in butcher shops.
We picked up whiskey and herb bacon (which was delicious on its own, in bacon and onion omelets, and roasted with broccoli), house ground beef for burgers, rabbit rillettes, Tuscan red wine sausage (indulgent for breakfast) and two steaks.
The Las Vegas issue of Saveur featured the tagline “Dining Like a Rhinestone Cowboy”, featuring a photo of the most delectable steak you’ve ever seen. I immediately wanted to don my rhinestones and eat like a cowgirl.
Besides the photo tease, steak is one of the easiest weeknight meals, coming together in under an hour. It pairs well with all kinds of sides and sauces, and is generally a crowd-pleaser.
We’ve recently adapted a method of cooking steak from Nathan Myrvold‘s Modernist Cuisine. In his recipe, Myrvold advocates freezing the steak for an hour, then pan frying it in a thin layer of oil, then finishing it in a low oven.
We usually don’t have the forethought or patience to freeze the steak for an hour, so we’ve adapted the slightly quicker method below. It produces delicious steak every time, but be sure to use a digital oven probe thermometer for the best results.
2 1-pound porterhouse steaks
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Unwrap the steaks and place them on a sheet tray and freeze for 20 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Season the steaks all over with salt and pepper.
3. Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat until very hot. Add a thin layer of olive oil so that it coats the bottom of the pan. Add the steaks and sear until golden and crispy.
4. Flip the steaks and place the skillet in the oven. Insert a digital thermometer into the thickest part of one steak and set it to 126 degrees. Alternately, cook the steak for about 15 minutes.
5. Allow the steaks to rest 10 minutes on a cutting board, then serve.