Basted T-bones & Giardiniera

With the heat we’ve had lately, any excuse not to fire up the stove is a good one. I found these two t-bones lurking in the bottom of our freezer and decided to grill them both up so that we could have plenty of leftovers for steak salad.

My dear wife made a big batch of giardiniera (pickled veggie salad) well in advance so that it was nice and cool and all the flavors had drawn through. It can be ready to eat in 25 minutes, but making it a day ahead (and making enough to snack on through the week) is the way to go.

Giardiniera adapted from Eating Well
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets
2 cups green beans
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, bay leaf, and 1 teaspoon each crushed red pepper and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.

Add the veggies and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid, then drain.

Transfer the vegetables to a medium bowl. Stir in oil, pepper, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each crushed red pepper and salt and the reserved cooking liquid. Refrigerate for at least 25 minutes to chill. Stir and serve with a slotted spoon.

Butter Basted Steaks
2 t-bone steaks
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Remove the steaks from the fridge and give them a good dusting with some ground sea salt and black pepper. Then set your grill up for a direct cook at slightly sub-nuclear temperature (about 600°F).

While the grill is getting up to temp, make the butter baste. Combine the butter, oil, thyme, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a shallow baking pan (I use a 9×13 disposable foil pan) and heat it up right on the grill, stirring to combine everything as the butter melts. Then set the pan beside the grill to keep it warm.

Sear the steaks for 60 seconds on each side, then move them off into the butter sauce. Flip them a couple of times to coat both sides with all that herby/buttery wonderfulness, then back on the grill for another 30 seconds on each side. Keep flipping every 30 seconds or so and start checking for doness – I like my steaks medium-rare, so 125°F internal. These steaks took just over 2 minutes per side total.

Move the steaks off into the butter sauce and give them another flip. Let rest for 10 minutes, then move the steaks to a cutting board. Reserve the butter mix and keep the pan warm.

Trim off any fat or connective tissue from the steaks and then slice the meat on a diagonal into 1/4-inch slices. Put the sliced steak and any accumulated meat juices from the cutting board back into butter mix. Give the pan a shake to coat the meat.

Serve with the giardiniera on the side, or over a mixed green salad.

The Verdict: ★★★★☆
The t-bones were mostly ribeye, so the meat was rich and tender. I got a nice char on them, and I love that contrast between the crisp, almost bitter outside and the smooth and meaty inside. The butter baste is the icing on the steak. You could live without it, but it does add lots of juiciness and more layers of flavor.

The giardiniera was a great accompanying dish with plenty of bite and a little heat. Feel free to double the recipe and use whatever veggies are fresh. This dish also makes a great appetizer, or bump up the olive oil and add some cheese and salami and you’ve got a light antipasto lunch.

The Nutrition:
If you trim it, t-bone steak is 5 points for 3 ounces of meat. The baste and the giardiniera adds about 3 more points for the oil. Go heavy on the veggies and it’s all good.

ONE YEAR AGO – Pulled Picnic

TWO YEARS AGO – Apricot-Glazed Pork Chops with Peanut Noodles


2 thoughts on “Basted T-bones & Giardiniera”

    1. You are most welcome. If it were just up to me, I’d add some more oil. If it were just up to my dear wife, she’d add some pepperoncini or jalapeno slices. Either way I’d go with a little finer chop on the veggies for sandwiches. Let us know how it turns out.

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