While a steak night out for a family of four can top three figures, the same meal rustled up at home can cost less than half that.
One of the best ways to save greenbacks during a sputtering economy is by trading in the tony bistros for simple home cooking. Not only can you save money, but you can choose the healthiest—read organic—meat for your grill. While a steak night out for a family of four can top three figures, the same meal rustled up at home can cost less than half that.
We’ve taken dishes commonly ordered at popular steakhouses and tweaked a few things so they’re no longer calorie and saturated fat landmines.
Pssst … they’re also bursting with flavour despite cutting the fat, so your family steak night at home is sure to garner rave reviews.
Here is your next fantastic four course steak meal.
- Teriyaki Flank Steak
- Baked Coconut Shrimp with Apricot Dipping Sauce
- Caesar Salad
- Herbed Sweet Potato Fries
- Lemon Tofu Cheesecake
Beef up your steak
Serve up a perfect steak by employing these expert tricks.
Give it a bath: Use marinades that mingle oil with an acid such as wine, vinegar, or juice. The oil locks in flavourful juices during cooking, while acids tenderize the cuts.
Hot flash: Sear meat on high heat for two minutes per side, then finish cooking on lower heat or in the oven. Searing seals in and caramelizes the juices.
Be patient: Before you dig in, let steaks rest for five minutes after cooking to relax the protein and redistribute the lip-smackin’ juices.
Trim after: Carve off the fat on the outside of the cut after grilling to help retain moisture.
A cut above the rest
You don’t have to splurge on filet mignon or rib-eye to get great tasting beef. Bargain cuts of meat tend to have the least amount of the saturated fat that can cause a traffic jam in your arteries.
Fat attack in 3 oz (85 g)
Cook it right
|Flank (aka London Broil)||mild sweet flavour with a bit of chewiness||6 g total fat, 3 g sat. fat||quickly and evenly cooks on the grill; cook to medium-rare and slice across the grain to preserve tenderness|
|Top sirloin||wonderful bold, beefy flavour and reasonably tender||3 g total fat, 3 g sat. fat||best rubbed with salt, pepper, and other desired herbs and spices, then roasted|
|Eye of round||juicy and full flavoured if cooked right; bottom and top round cuts are also lean, frugal choices||3 g total fat, 1 g sat. fat||moist and tender when roasted in liquid for several hours at low temperatures|
|Chuck shoulder||traditional pot roast meat with pleasantly intense flavour||6 g total fat, 3 g sat. fat||moist and tender when cooked using a wet method such as braising (pot roasting) and stewing|
Consider tempeh. A meaty cake of cooked fermented soybeans, tempeh is a perfect steak alternative. It grills well and absorbs marinades such as our flank steak marinade. Because tempeh is fermented, it is a stellar source of beneficial probiotic bacteria much like yogourt.
Worth the splurge
Consider grass-fed beef. Cattle raised on open pasture produce more flavourful steaks with a healthier fatty acid profile. Steaks from farm-raised game meats such as elk and bison are nutritious, environmentally sound choices and not at all gamey. They are available at farmers’ markets and forward-thinking butchers.