Inspired by the Funkenswine…

The Printed Instructions

I haven’t been very inspired to blog lately, but the post from Monday over at Mothership BBQ has inspired me to cook.

I first followed the good doctor’s instructions on cookware. I went to Hillsboro Hardware Monday afternoon and purchased a 8″ Lodge cast iron skillet. I seasoned it per the manufacturer’s instructions.

The Tools.

Tonight I went to the grocery store and stocked up on all of the ingredients necessary to make the “B3 Filet.” I went to the Publix in Brentwood, because I thought they’d have a better selection of meat than the Kroger at Green Hills. I don’t really know if it was any better, but it did mean that I had to go down every aisle because I didn’t know where anything was.

Next step, I preheated the oven. The good Doctor recommends that you just turn it up to 11 to heat the oven to as hot as it will go, and to not trust the dial as it will be off. The knob on the stove maxes out at 550, but the trusty thermometer on the inside said it was just 500. Reading ahead in the instructions, I noticed that the cast iron skillet should be “good and hot,” so I just left it in the stove while the oven preheated.

Next, filet prep:

Never mind the vanilla extract, that's for another cooking project...

I used olive oil per the instructions, along with salt and cracked pepper. After the oven preheated, I pulled the skillet out and put it on the burner, with the burner turned up to moderately high heat. My pan was already preheated from being in the oven, so I put the steaks in the skillet.

The instructions say, “Chaos should erupt.” What he should have said was, “Unleash Hell.”

Unleash Hell

I expected a bit of smoke, but I didn’t quite know what I was in for. My condo totally filled with a white fog, the kind that thick rich white smoke that elects popes. I left the pan on the stove and went to open the front and back doors to ventilate the house. Abbydog, being the smart dog that she is used this opportunity to liberate herself out the front door, only looking back after she got outside to wonder if she was going to have to pull a Lassie and go ask for help.

Scene from Backdraft

I went back to the stove and coughing madly I wondered what I should do. I put on my oven mitt and grabbed the pan to go outside out of the front door. Luckily none of my neighbors were out to see me, and finally able to breathe again I had an idea. I went back in the house and went out the back door this time, opened up my grill and set the skillet on the grill. I proceeded to flip the steaks and sear them like the instructions indicated.

Abby remains unconvinced that we are going to survive the night.

I went back inside to assess the smoke damage, I went upstairs and grabbed a fan to help ventilate the kitchen.

At this point I realized that even though my house looked like a scene from Backdraft, my smoke detector had not gone off. Remember kids, always remember to change the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Gift Ideas for Christmas, Perhaps 9 Batteries?

After the smoke cleared, I took the pan back inside and added the butter and the bourbon. (As Meat Loaf once said, “Two out of three ain’t bad.”) I had purchased bleu cheese, but in the chaos I had forgotten all about it. I covered the pan and put it in the preheated oven. For those who are interested, I used Maker’s Mark as the second “B,” it’s what I had open.

It's hot, and you need a pool.

After a few minutes, I pulled the steaks out, and this is what I saw:

Steaks on a Pan

I pulled my “side dish” out of the microwave and plated up the steak and twice baked potates. I grabbed a Miller High Life.

15 Dollar Steak, 1 Dollar Sides...

Cutting into the steak, I noticed that it was just perfectly exactly the way I like it.

Never too pink.

Because she was willing to rescue me from my own stupidity, I made sure that Abby got to share in the spoils of victory.

Note tha this is the first time I've ever fed her from the table, mind you.

The night was not without casualties, however.

I only own one oven mitt.

All in all, I have to say that the “Funkenswine B3 B2 Filet” is the best steak I’ve ever cooked at home. But out of full disclosure, I really don’t cook at home all of that often. Of course now that I have better tools, I’ll have to do it more often.

20 thoughts on “Inspired by the Funkenswine…”

  1. Tim,
    This is one of the most memorable blog / docu-dramas I have ever read – you have sufficently motivated me to take the Funkenswine / Morgan challenge. What cut of beef did you use and will you try the 32 oz. or 64 oz. cut next time?

  2. I was going to write some snarky comment about how your condo would not have filled up with smoke if you were cooking vegetables, but then I remembered the last time I tried to stir fry snow peas. I’m glad I have a screen door in my kitchen.

  3. Nothing is ever wrong with Ruth’s Chris. Actually, when you consider all that I’ve had to purchase in the last few days Ruth’s Chris becomes very reasonable.

    Yeah, Smiff, that’s a Larry’s $1 Twice baked potato, straight from the microwave. I like the juxtaposition of the expensive steak and the cheap side dish.

  4. That is the funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time.

    The Funkenswine/Morgan Challenge! Call the Food Network. Tonight’s secret ingredient: Smoke alarms!

    The bleu cheese isn’t nearly as important as the bourbon.

  5. OK, after all that inspiration, we may have to set the House of Mix on fire as well. Your story and illustrating photos are as good as that steak looks.

    **Don’t use soap on your Cast Iron Skillet. Just scrub with Kosher Salt to remove the crusty bits and cut the grease. Then wipe it down with oil again and store. Soap will remove all your seasoning steps and cause it to rust. My skillet is 50+ years old and kicking.I inherited it from my Grandmother.

  6. Wow.
    Despite the challenges and smoke inhalation… your steak looks like it turned out perfect.
    Now, I’m hungry.
    Any one want to go get some steaks at Longhorn’s for lunch?

  7. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm……

    Between the cooking, the condo, and the sweetie dog, I’m considering moving in. I hope you’ve got an extra bedroom.

  8. If you are really bored, you can combo up the Bs. This is probably more snob appeal than true effect, but I like it anyway.

    Let the other half of the butter soften, combine with the crumbled blue cheese and some diced garlic (maybe some green, like parsley), roll up in plastic wrap to make a tube of diameter ~3/4″, and then back in the fridge.

    Said butter is great on the steak, melting down the sides, but also fantastic to turn toasted bread “up a notch.”

  9. Your Granddaddy would be proud of you. He would buy the thickest, best steaks he could find, turn up his gas grill until it would singe your eyebrows if you were closer than 6 feet, char the outside of the steaks black, then serve them blood rare. I remember they tasted pretty good. If any bourbon was involved, He didn’t let your Mom or me know. Dad

  10. Oh bravo, that looks delicious!!! And yay for skillet seasoning!!!

    Once I buy myself one, I’m so following the rules and making a steak like you did. I already know that my fire alarm works. Caruthers set it off once trying to fry chicken.

  11. I laughed to tears when I got to the part about papal smoke. I’m impressed by the documentary persistence in taking a photo of the chaos before worrying about what to do about it.
    Thanks for the laugh.

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