Steakhouse Surf and Turf
It is time to sample and report back on another mouthwatering steak from Holy Grail Steak. I hope you have had a chance to try one of the many steaks I’ve reported on from this premier meat purveyor. Holy Grail Steak. If you haven’t tried one yet, I think this will be one that inspires you!
Let me introduce you to the Tajima American Wagyu New York Strip steak. The strip steak comes from the short loin of the cow which is behind the rib section and in front of the thigh section.
The Tajima American Wagyu New York strip steak is a cut for those who want an experience that falls between A4 and A5 Japanese Wagyu. It is around 7 to 8 on the Japanese marbling scale, which is much more precise than Prime, Choice, etc. The strip steak weighed sixteen ounces and was about an inch and a half thick! I couldn’t wait to try it.
To create the ultimate steakhouse surf and turf, Holy Grail also sent me two New Zealand skin-on salmon fillets. Freshwater salmon is considered one of nature’s superfoods. The New Zealand salmon is rich in healthy omega-3 fatty acids, has a balanced fat content, and is free of antibiotics, vaccines, and pesticides.
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If you read my blog, “Twice-Smoked Salmon on a Bagel,” you already know how I feel about the salmon…it’s delicious!
Preparing the Steakhouse Surf and Turf
I ordered a second Tajima American Wagyu New York strip steak and a second pack of the New Zealand salmon fillets since my wife and I invited friends to join us for the surf and turf dinner. Based on our previous experiences with the steak and salmon from Holy Grail, we knew this would be a dinner worth sharing.
I wanted to season and cook the steak and the salmon without interfering with the natural flavor of each. I didn’t want to add any overpowering seasonings or marinades to either. I decided to cook the strip steak and salmon over a charcoal fire with wood chunks to create a subtle smoky aroma without masking the true flavor of the strip steak and salmon.
To prepare the strip steak, I painted it with olive oil and simply seasoned it with kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. I ground whole peppercorns in a spice mill and kept the pieces of pepper large. The large salt crystals and the black pepper would help the steak to develop a crust as it cooked. The salmon was lightly coated with olive oil, seasoned with kosher salt, freshly cracked pepper, and then topped with lemon zest and dill, classic seasonings for salmon.
Cooking the Steakhouse Surf and Turf
Due to the thickness of the steaks, I decided to reverse-sear the strip steaks so they would cook evenly. I set-up my Big Green Egg XL (BGE) for indirect grilling, added three wood chunks, and heated it to 250 degrees. The strip steaks smoked for 25 minutes and reached a temperature of 100 degrees.
I set up the BGE grill for smoke-roasting and increased the temperature to 400 degrees to cook the salmon. The salmon cooked over the deflector plate (indirect) while the steaks rested. As the salmon cooked, I spritzed it with a combination of lemon juice and white wine.
The salmon cooked for 20 minutes. I then removed one of the half-moon deflector plates so I could direct grill the steaks while the salmon finished cooking. I briefly cooked the salmon over the direct heat to help crisp the salmon skin.
The strip steaks cooked for 2 minutes. Then I gave each steak a quarter turn and cooked for an additional 2 minutes. I repeated the process on the opposite side. I was aiming for 125 to 130 degrees internal temperature on my instant-read meat thermometer.
Some steakhouses will finish their steaks in a pan and baste with melted butter seasoned with garlic and fresh herbs. To keep with the steakhouse theme, I made a garlic-thyme butter to melt on top of the steaks while they rested.
The strip steak developed a crispy crust due to the seasonings and the high heat of the charcoal grill. When the steak was sliced, I could see it was evenly cooked due to the reverse-sear method. The Wagyu strip steak had a luscious mouthfeel due to the marbling. My sister called it “melt in your mouth” tender. I enjoyed the contrast in textures created by the crusty-charred exterior and the tender inside of the steak. It didn’t need it, but the thyme and garlic butter added another level of flavor. Everyone at the table went silent with their first bite of steak, and then the oohs and ahhs and superlatives started. The steak also obtained a subtle smoky flavor.
The salmon skin crisped up due to the high heat of the grill. And yes, I eat the crispy skin. Remove it before serving if you’re not a fan. The lemon and dill enhanced the freshness of the salmon. To finish the salmon, I squeezed the juice of grilled lemons over the top of each fillet. If you have been hesitant to try salmon, this is the salmon to try. Each bite of salmon was fresh, light, and delicious next to the beefy and juicy steak.
To create a true steakhouse experience, I prepared a lemon and grilled asparagus risotto to accompany strip steak and salmon. The lemon and grilled asparagus balance the richness of the risotto.
I’m not sure sharing my surf and turf story really explains how delicious the steak and salmon were. But, I hope my account motivates you to create your own surf and turf dinner with the Tajima American Wagyu New York strip steak and the New Zealand salmon. You should experience it for yourself.