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Do you know what it’s like to have to bake a steak in the oven? 

I cannot stand broiling steaks. I absolutely hate it. Steak are meant to be grilled. They’re meant to have lines charred on their flesh from touching the incredibly hot surface of the grill. Do you know what causes that, by the way? The charred, delicious bits on the steak? It’s from the natural sugar in the meat being seared. Either way, it makes for a quite delicious steak, which will not happen if you broil your steak or stick it in the oven at 400 for nearly an hour.

Thus is why I rather enjoy the warmer months of the year: April all the way through   November (if dad can get away with it), we can grill steaks without freezing our bums off.

Tonight was no exception, of course. I wasn’t even in the door all of two minutes before Dad asked me to throw the steaks on the grill. So, I set my stuff down, washed my hands and took the steaks out to the grill. The heat radiated from the surface of the grill, nice and warm  in spite of the crisp, chilled air. I had no problem opening the lid of the grill and placing the steaks on; watching the way the fire blazed up through the grill’s rack, licking at the beef. A few years earlier however, I wouldn’t open, or go near the grill to save my soul. It scared me because I was constantly afraid I’d drop something in-between the rack and it would burn, or I would burn myself, you get the idea. After grilling steaks before, or even making burgers and dogs, this was no big deal. Closing the lid to the grill, I walked back inside with my eye on the clock. The steaks would need six (6), maybe seven (7) minutes on each side. Seven minutes, and a few pages later, I walked back outside and opened the grill, flipping the steaks. They looked and smelled absolutely delicious. Closing the lid of the grill, I walked back inside, picked the book back up again and waited.

The smaller steaks were done at 6. By done, I regret to inform you, they were a bit… over cooked for my liking, honestly.

The smaller steaks

Then again, I do like my steaks medium rare or medium instead of well done.

By 6:05, however, the largest of the steaks had finished cooking, and smelled simply tantalising.

That's right fellas, I grilled that steak. My father didn't do it, my mate didn't do it, nor did any other man grill those, I did them.

Once everyone had sat down and we began cutting into the steaks and I assembled my plate.

Clockwise: Salad, strip of the big steak, small bit of mashed potatoes, and broccoli with cheese.

As I mentioned above, I like steaks medium rare. Hand me a filet Mignon and so help me there had best be pink in the center; same thing with a London broil, it’s not an expensive cut of beef, but don’t over cook it. Even though the steak was over cooked for my preference, it was still really good. The charred bits melted in my mouth and it certainly wasn’t dry or like shoe leather. As a rule, I won’t use steak sauce, as I figure if the steak is good enough it won’t need it. This rule didn’t fail me tonight. There was a subtle hint of teryiaki, perhaps the seasoning my grandmother marinated the steaks in overnight.

When I eat salad, I’ll usually take it with the whole nine yards: hard-boiled eggs, halved/wedged; chopped walnuts, wedges of ripe tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, onions (but only if they’re sliced really thin and not in abundance, I find they can be overpowering), and if they’re on hand: wedges of bell peppers. Normally, my preferred salad dressing is zesty Italian, or Caesar (if it’s a Caesar salad). That was… until my grandmother handed me a bottle of dressing that she insisted was good. She wasn’t kidding, it was refreshing on the leafy greens and when some of it mixed with the steak, it gave the steak a great flavour also. I thought about how it would make for an interesting marinade for chicken before cooking it, but that’s another thought for another day.

House dressing with whole cloves of garlic, vinegar cider and unknown spices. Absolutely divine.

All in all, I’m pretty happy grill season is back as there really is no better aroma in the air than that of meat cooking on the grill.  Maybe next time I’ll be able to convince the family to grill some scallops or shrimp kabobs as well…

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