It's time to bring out the big guns — or in this case, the big steaks. T-bone and porterhouse steaks make for a dramatic presentation and are a great way to feed a group of hungry meat-lovers. Both steaks are cut from the short loin of cattle and have a T-shaped bone. Two cuts of meat flank the bone: a strip steak cut and a tenderloin filet.
Porterhouse steaks have larger filet sections than T-bone steaks and are therefore pricier. Porterhouse steaks are also cut thicker, at least 1 1/4 inches or more. T-bones are slightly less expensive and usually top out at 1 inch thick, but they are no less indulgent. Whichever steak you choose, you are guaranteed a meaty feast, and there's no better way to cook them than on a hot grill.
In this recipe, a simple balsamic and red wine reduction creates a light sauce. It's puckery and winey, braced by the kick of balsamic vinegar and perfumed with woodsy rosemary. Add merely 1 tablespoon of butter to give it a little body; for a richer sauce, add 2 tablespoons. With that said, the sauce is an embellishment and is entirely optional, since a good piece of meat is stand-alone delicious.
What is not optional, however, is the salt. Yep, salt is the key to enhancing the flavor of the meat, so be generous with the seasoning, and serve additional salt on the side.
Grilled T-Bone Steaks With Balsamic Sauce
Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 to 6
• 2/3 cup full-bodied red wine
• 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
• 1 large garlic clove, peeled, smashed
• 1 (2-inch) sprig fresh rosemary
• 1 to 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
• 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 T-bone steaks, each 1 inch thick
• Olive oil
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• Sea salt flakes for serving
1. Make the sauce: Combine the wine, vinegar, garlic and rosemary in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then continue to boil until reduced by about half, 12 to 14 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and discard the garlic and rosemary sprig. Whisk in the butter 1 tablespoon at a time until smooth. Season with the salt and black pepper.
2. While you make the sauce, let the steaks stand at room temperature. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat.
3. Lightly brush the steaks on both sides with oil and generously season with salt and black pepper.
4. Grill the steaks over direct heat, with the grill lid closed, 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare (or to your desired doneness), turning once or twice. (An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the steak, without touching the bone, will register 125 degrees for medium-rare.)
5. Remove the steaks from the grill and let rest for about 5 minutes. Cut the meat away from the bone, then cut the meat across the grain into thick slices. Serve the steaks with the balsamic sauce for drizzling and salt flakes for sprinkling.
Lynda Balslev is an award-winning writer, cookbook author, and recipe developer based in northern California. Visit TasteFood at TasteFoodblog.com.