Cooking steak directly on the coals gives you meat that’s moist on the inside and pleasantly charred on the outside. Be sure to use hardwood lump charcoal (not briquettes) for this recipe. It will burn cleaner, hotter, and faster than traditional charcoal. Recipe from Steven Raichlen.
- Four 1 1/4-inch-thick porterhouse steaks or New York strip steaks (each about 16 ounces)
- Coarse sea salt
- Coarsely cracked whole black peppercorns
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 fresh poblano chiles, seeded, cut into 2-by-1/4-inch strips (see note)
- 2 red bell peppers, cut into strips
- 1 yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 2 large shallots, thinly sliced
Prepare barbecue (high heat) using hardwood lump charcoal (see kitchen tip below). When charcoal is orange, spread out in even layer on lower grill rack. Use newspaper to fan excess ash from coals.
Sprinkle steaks generously with coarse sea salt and cracked peppercorns. Arrange steaks in single layer directly atop hot embers and grill until cooked to desired doneness, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Using long tongs, transfer steaks to plate. Using natural-bristle brush, remove any embers and loose ash from steaks. Tent steaks with foil and let rest 10 minutes.
Add oil to 12-inch-diameter cast-iron skillet. Place skillet directly atop embers in grill. When oil begins to smoke, add chiles and all remaining ingredients to skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until vegetables begin to brown, 2 to 5 minutes, depending on heat remaining from embers. Using oven mitts, carefully lift skillet from barbecue. Season pan-fry with salt and pepper. Pour over steaks and serve. Serves 4.
Note: Fresh poblano chiles (often called pasillas) are available at some supermarkets and at Latin markets.
Kitchen tip: Hardwood lump charcoal is made from pure wood (with no additives or fillers). As the name suggests, this type of charcoal comes in irregularly shaped lumps, unlike the uniformly shaped charcoal briquettes. Look for hardwood lump charcoal at natural foods stores, grill shops, and online at sites such as kindlin.com and wickedgoodcharcoal.com.
Per serving: 788 calories; 50 g fat (13 g saturated fat; 57 percent calories from fat); 10 g carbohydrates; 188 mg cholesterol; 444 mg sodium; 73 g protein; 3 g fiber.