Please do not try this at home…
You go to Burwell’s, and it’s an amazing, transcendent steak. You go home and try to reproduce it with less than stellar success. What went wrong? How does Burwell’s and the other great restaurants get their steaks so tender, so flavorful, and so perfect?
The Grade: The best steakhouses have access to the best and highest quality grades of beef. In the United States it is known as Angus, Prime, or Wagyu (all three cover the menu at Burwell’s). The demand for this high quality beef makes it hard for you or I to just pick it up at the regular grocery store. Since you probably can’t easily find this, you can look for a Choice grade beef for your steaks. It is often still very good, if you have an understanding of what follows.
The Aging: Most fine restaurants age their beef to intensify the flavor and improve the tenderness of the cut. Aging is done by letting the meat sit (in very controlled conditions) for several days or even weeks. This is a difficult process for the average person to perform because the risk of spoilage can be very high. We have a custom cooler for this specific process, and have the highest standard for excellence. You can also check with your local meat markets to try and find a source for aged beef.
The Seasoning: Great steaks need little seasoning. However, every great steakhouse seasons the steaks they cook. We typically season our steak with coarse ground black pepper and sea or kosher salt. You can also brush them with butter. Yes, Butter. We’ll get to the butter later, but it finds its way on to a number of steaks, but you have to add it at just the right time. Or, you can incorporate it into your steak sauces developed from Bourbon or fresh herbs. We have several Signature Sauces fashioned this way.
The Equipment: Most big steakhouses broil their steaks. Yes, there are a few “radiant grills” out there, and can grill steaks in a way that you would recognize. However, great restaurants have access to equipment that produces very high temperatures. Burwell’s uses a “wood fire” since it can produce incredibly intense temperatures. While you can buy similar equipment, it isn’t absolutely necessary for a great steak. What you do need is incredibly high heat in direct contact with the meat.
The Stone or Pan: A basic, inexpensive cast iron skillet is the steaks best friend, as is our Signature volcanic rock, heated to 800 degrees. Heavy on the metal or solid rock, able to hold a lot of heat, these “flat grills” can make the perfect steak. Infrared burners can radiate a lot of heat, but only by having contact with that intense heat can you cook the steak hot enough and fast enough to make it perfect. The basic process is to preheat the pan or rock as hot as you can get it. Our Hot Rock: What happens is that the blistering hot rock sears the surface of the meat and immediately begins melting the marbling. This rendering fries the meat’s surface causing caramelization. This makes the sweet of the meat even sweater. What you get is a premium, sweet, more flavorful steak.