Our longtime director at the Eyeopener, a man I’ve worked with for 6 or 7 of the 32 years he’s been at CBC, is retiring this week. Every Tuesday when I go to the studio, his first question when I walk through the door is – “got steak?” Generally I don’t (although he didn’t complain when I had prime rib instead), but this past Tuesday, being my last day with him in the director’s chair, I made steak.
I brought him a nice, triple A, well-marbled ribeye to cook on the grill, but I also made steak bites – easier for everyone to eat in the studio first thing in the morning, and inspired by the steak bites I had at the Steakout truck a few weeks ago (you’ll find them parked beside MEC most of the time), which they served with a garlicky soy aïoli.
I’ve had a recipe for Rockin’ Ronnie Shewchuk’s “Easiest, Tastiest Steak” on my to-make list for many years now, and it seemed to me that a salty, gingery, garlicky marinade would do well on little bites of meat you dip and pop into your mouth. It’s an intense marinade – not one you’d want to bathe your steak in for too long – but it was perfect. After a dip, you cube your meat, crank up the heat under a skillet and sear the pieces in butter, which creates a wonderfully meaty browned-butter dribble to pour over your steak bites after you cook them, which only takes a few minutes.
Cooking steak bites is less stressful than a whole steak – once they’re nicely charred on all sides, they’re perfectly done in the middle. And with all that extra surface area, every bite has crispy bits.
Plus: it’s a perfect opportunity to hone your mayo-making skills and whip (literally) up some garlic aïoli for dipping. (But no one will mind if you cheat and add crushed garlic to a jar of mayo.)