Recipe: “The Perfect Steak” by Dustin Falcon from Niku Steakhouse

If you want to make a truly excellent steak, it’s best to go straight to the source — and there’s perhaps no better source than Executive Chef Dustin Falcon of San Francisco’s Michelin-starred Niku Steakhouse. Known for cooking premium Japanese beef over Japanese binchotan charcoal, Falcon is the perfect person to offer home cooks a guide to the perfect steak at home.

This recipe doesn’t start in the kitchen, but at the butcher’s (or, more likely, online). For its beef needs, Falcon swears by Bushu-Gyu, a single-source wagyu hailing from the Hasegawa family beef farm in Japan’s Saitama Prefecture. The cattle are raised on a diet of beer lees, fermented grass, rice straw and a protein blend to give the steak aromatic notes reminiscent of olive oil. The farm’s New York strip is known for its beautiful marbling and tender texture. (And yes, a price to match, at $170 for a 16-ounce steak.)

Once Falcon has his steak, he doesn’t cook it – at least not right away.

“I’ve been pre-seasoning or searing my steaks at home lately with great results,” he told InsideHook. He does this by seasoning the steak with a light coating of Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt on all sides before placing it on a wire rack and letting it sit uncovered in the fridge overnight.

“Salt does several things,” he explains. “It helps season the steak throughout and draws out moisture allowing the steak to firm up. Plus, this loss of moisture and the consequent tightening of muscles helps the meat sear better and taste more tender.

If you’re going for a smaller steak, he says don’t let it cure too long because that might make it too salty — no more than about 16 hours, he says.

Once the steak is done, this recipe couldn’t be simpler. Prepare a hot grill or skillet and cook the steak for one minute on each side. Let sit for five to 10 minutes, and your patience will be more than rewarded as your knife glides through the perfectly charred crust.

The almighty Bushu-Gyu wagyu.

Joseph Tisserand

The perfect steak, from chef Dustin Falcon

Ingredients

  • 1 Bushu-Gyu New York Striploin
  • Diamond Crystal kosher salt, as needed

directions

  1. The day before, season the steak with a light seasoning of salt. Place on a wire rack to dry in the refrigerator overnight.
  2. The next day, bring the steak to room temperature and heat a grill or oiled skillet over high heat. Cook the steak to your desired doneness – for Bushu-Gyu, about a minute per side is all you need. Let rest before slicing and serving.

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