One of the best ways to consistently produce a steak that is more delicious than 90% of the steaks you would get at a high-end steakhouse is Tim Ferriss’ Sexy Time Steak recipe – cooked not on a grill, but seared on the stove and finished in the oven.
“Blasphemy!?,” you say? I realize the group mentality here is everything tastes better on the grill, but when it comes to steak, it simply isn’t true.
This steak is dubbed “sexy time” as this meal is perfect for a romantic night in – either with your spouse or with a hopeful partner. A well-crafted steak can help get the juices flowing, in a couple of differnet ways.
I’ve paired Tim’s Sexy Time Steak with Jess Pryles’ PK Bacon Kebabs to make the ultimate ‘sexy time’ romantic dinner – one that allows you to plate a perfectly cooked steak with a low margin for error and still flex your grilling muscles for the perfect accompaniment.
For the single guys or gals reading this, cooking is the mating advantage. If you’re looking to dramatically improve your sex life, or to catch and keep “the one,” cooking has the ability to get you there. Food plays a crucial role in well-planned seduction for both sexes, whether in long-term relationships or on first dates. Use this recipe wisely.
If that’s what you’re going for, your best bet is to do a trial run a few days or a week prior to get the timing down and most importantly, be able to get more familiar with your grill and your cast-iron skillet if you’re not already.
Without further ado, here’s how to craft the ultimate sexy time steak dinner. Here it is plated, with a mac and cheese addition:
- Make the best steak possible with a low margin for error
- Make awesome veggie and bacon kebabs on the grill
- Total time: 45 minutes + hands-off brining time
- Get your “sexy back”
- This sexy time steak recipe is uber-detailed, which is why it’s so long. It’s not difficult.
Ingredients you’ll need for the sexy time steak
- 2 grass-fed, boneless ribeye steaks between 1-1.5 inches thick (You can buy one steak and split it for smaller portions and being grass-fed is optional if you can’t find it. Being a ribeye and boneless is not optional. Choice or Prime grade)
- Kosher salt
- Coarse black pepper
- 3-5 fresh rosemary sprigs (dried won’t work)
- Butter or Ghee (I highly recommend Kerrygold Garlic and Herb or just plain Kerrygold)
- Grapeseed oil (olive or vegetable oil works ok too)
Ingredients you’ll need for the veggie bacon kebabs
- 1 zucchini
- 1 yellow squash
- 1 small red onion
- 2 bell peppers (red, green or yellow)
- 1 pack of thick cut, smoked bacon of your choosing
- 1 pack of pre-cut white or portabella mushrooms
Gear needed for cooking
- Gas or charcoal grill
- 12″ seasoned cast-iron skillet (alternative: oven-safe stainless steel)
- 4 large wood or metal skewers
- Probe thermometer (not optional in the least bit) This is my budget version. This is my “every degree counts” version. I verify temperature with a Thermapen. Why the obsession with temperature? Inexpensive temperature gauges can be wildly inaccurate and there is no worse feeling than putting the effort into cooking a meal and over or undershooting the actual temperature because your temperature gauges were off. Plus, last thing you want to do on this night is undercook beef and get you or your friend sick. Not so sexy.
- 8″x10″ cooling racks (optional)
- I’m going to assume you own a stove, fridge, knives, cutting board, tongs and whatnot. Don’t be that type of bachelor.
- A bold red wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel or my personal favorite, Angelica Zapata Malbec. This wine isn’t an ingredient in the meal, rather, used to enjoy the cook and it pairs well with your steak. Or – forego the wine and find out what kind of lady she really is by offering up a glass of Bulleit Bourbon, my favorite dark liquor on the market.
Prep the sexy time steak
The preparation for the sexy time steak is likely to go against everything you’ve ever heard or know about steak. I need your trust here.
- Dry brine the steak at minimum 2 hours before you want to eat. It’s best if you do it the night before and let it sit in the fridge overnight.
- Crust one side of your ribeyes with kosher salt and place it on a plate (or preferably, a cooling rack on top of a plate) in the fridge, salt side up. This is going to dry brine the steak, flavoring and tendorizing the meat. If you didn’t get a great cut of meat from the store, this helps tremendously. The steak will be be a brighter shade of red post-dry brine.
- About 90 minutes prior to wanting to dine, rinse off your steak with cold water under the sink.
- Dry them completely with paper towels. Get them as dry as possible, this is uber important.
- Once dry, add your dalmatian seasoning (that’s your half and half mix of salt and pepper) to both sides of the steak. Don’t go heavy, all in moderation, my friend. Tim recommends first rubbing a garlic clove on the steak, but we are using garlic-infused butter, so I skip this.
- Return the steaks to the cooling racks, or if you don’t have cooling racks, utilize anything in your kitchen that will slightly elevate the steaks off of the plate so air can hit both sides of the steak. In a pinch, you can use wood pencils, chop sticks or butter knives to put underneath. Air flow is important to get the steak as dry as possible.
- Freeze the steak for about 30 minutes, but no more than 45. You don’t want to turn them into steak-cubes, but simply dry all residual surface moisture, which allows for the perfect sear. I target 30 minutes then check to see if any parts of the steak are getting hard (take your pinky finger and lightly press and if it feels any harder than a raw steak should, take it out).
- While the steak is the freezer, preheat your oven to 200 degrees F. This low temperature allows for a large margin of error – great for novices, and allows for the steak to be cooked very evenly, which can be difficult to accomplish if we were using a grill. Set your oven rack to the middle of lower third of the oven.
- Get your probe thermometer set at 135 degrees F. If you’re using a Maverick temp gauge, you can also setup your ambient temperature gauge and see just how inaccurate your oven temperature is. When I set mine at 200 degrees, it’ll swing up to 240 before coming back down – yikes!
- At the 20 minute mark (assuming you will pull your steaks out of the freezer at the 30th minute), get your cast-iron skillet hot. You’re going to get this smoking hot, literally speaking, so turn on your vent fans and open up a window. And BE CAREFUL. Too hot and the pan can catch fire, especially if you leave butter or oil in the pan unattended – don’t ask me how I know. If you don’t have a fire extinguisher on hand, now’s a great time to get one.
Prep the veggie bacon kebabs and your grill
- Get your grill going and set it up for in-direct heat, about 300 degrees. On a gas grill, only turn on one burner at medium-high, that should be enough. On a charcoal grill, light up a chimney full of charcoal while your steak is in the freezer (timing it this way should get the steak and kebabs done at the same time).
- Cut your zucchini, squash, onion, peppers, mushrooms into roughly same sized pieces.
- Grab 4-5 bacon slices and cut them in half, vertically down the middle.
- Put your veggies onto the skewers, I alternate the colors. Every 4th or 5th vegetable, I add a slice of bacon. Thread the bacon multiple times to create a “s” shape on the kebab.
- Repeat for all 4 kebabs, or however many you are making. One each is more than enough, but since you are firing up the grill for it, you may as well make a little more.
- It’s probably been 15-20 minutes by now, how’s your grill? Check the temp and if using a charcoal grill, dump your charcoal into the grill to let the grill get warm for about 10-15 minutes.
- Lightly coat the vegetables and bacon with Grapeseed (or olive) oil. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- If you did this within the 30 minutes while your steak was in the freezer, set the kebabs aside or back in the fridge and sear your steak.
Sear and bake the sexy time steak
- Set your stove to medium or medium-high heat. Coat the skillet in apx 1/4 cup of Grapeseed oil (or oilve), or if you don’t want to use oil, just use butter or Ghee. I use Grapeseed oil and a dollop of the aforementioned Kerrygold butter. It seems to work best without browning or smoking too much – but we won’t get into the smoke points of oils.
- Using tongs, carefully place your steaks into the pan, which should be slightly smoking by the point.
- Crank up the heat a bit – you’re at less risk to really smoke up the home when the cool steak is in the pan.
- Sear the steak on each side for about 1 minute each, and don’t forget to get the sides too.
- Once searing is complete, remove the steaks from the skillet, slide your skillet off of the heat, turn off the stove and add your rosemary sprigs to the pan. This flavors the steak and helps keep the steak from browning on that side.
- If you’d like, you can add another dollop of butter of Ghee on top of the steak. I do.
- Insert your probe thermometer into the center of your thinnest steak. Make sure the tip of probe is not in contact with the skillet.
- Place the pan in the oven, uncovered. It usually takes between 20-30 minutes to finish cooking. Let it be.
- Once your temperature hits 135 degrees, remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board (your steak should now be cooked medium-well and recommended for most people, I prefer 125-130 degrees for a touch of blood running out). Do not cook the steak over 135 degrees.
- With your steaks on a cutting board, grab one of the rosemary sprigs from the skillet, mop up some juices and “paint” the steak, flip and repeat.
- Cut and serve immediately. No need to rest the steak. No steak sauce.
Grill your veggie bacon kebabs
- At this point, your steak should be seared and sitting in the oven. Now you have about 20-30 minutes to grill the kebabs.
- Grill your kebabs on the cool side of the grill, turning every 3-4 minutes for a total of 10 minutes.
- Move your kebabs to the hot side of the grill and using tongs, flip the kebabs every minute. Make sure you are fully rotating the kebabs.
- One you start to get a little char on the vegetables and bacon, you’re done, apx another 10-15 minutes.
- If your steak is still in the oven and not yet at 135 degrees, you can return the kebabs to the cool portion of the grill to keep them warm. Keep the lid open.
- Return to Step 11 above, plate with your steak, pour some more wine and devour!
Pro tips: Instead of using Grapeseed oil, cut off a chunk of fat off the ribeye tip and allow that to melt in the pan and use that as the oil. By using the beef’s own fat to cook the lean meat is a great way to lubricate your skillet (I mean that literally and not in the sense of whatever you are thinking) and utilize the beef fat you would normally discard. Also, if you can’t get your hands on rosemary, coat the underside of the steak in a grainy Dijon mustard before cooking. You won’t really taste the mustard and it’ll protect it enough from burning. You could also use thyme.
Original recipe credits, the real heros:
- Tim Ferriss Sexy Time Steak inspired by Phil Caravaggio via The Four Hour Chef
- Jess Pryles for her PK Bacon Kebabs via PK Grills Blog
Did you try this sexy time steak and grilled veggie bacon kebab recipe? Let me know how it turned out in the comments.