If you thought grilling meant more laid-back than lavish, think again. Using top-quality Allen Brothers’ steaks will transform any weekend barbecue into a four-star experience. Their hand-cut, USDA-prime chops are perfect for any outdoor chef, says Allen Brothers vice president JoAnn Witherell, because “our aging process imparts so much f lavor, it’s almost impossible not to be successful when cooking our steaks.” A couple of tips: Take the meat out of the refrigerator to let it come up to temperature, and remember to let it rest before serving. “My biggest recommendation is to pay attention,” says Witherell. “You should never be too proud to use a timer or a thermometer. It’s definitely worth it for the end result.”

WATERCRESS SALAD WITH CAFÉ VINAIGRETTE
¾ cup watercress
¾ cup arugula
2 tbsp. Champagne vinegar
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
½ tsp. sea salt
2⁄3 cup high-quality walnut oil
1 strip of crisp bacon, crumbled
Freshly cracked black pepper to taste

Place all vinaigrette ingredients except walnut oil and bacon into food processor and blend. Immediately add walnut oil in a steady stream, blending just enough to emulsify. Add bacon and mix. Toss with watercress (leaves and tender stems) and arugula.

NEW YORK STRIP STEAK
15 oz. Allen Brothers New York strip steak
1 tsp. steak seasoning (to your preference)
1 tbsp. whole butter (softened)

Preheat the grill for 10 to 12 minutes. Season strip steak evenly on all sides and place on grill. Allow the steak to cook at least halfway through to the desired temperature.

Temperature Guidelines:
9 minutes per inch of thickness for rare to medium rare
10 to 12 minutes per inch for medium
12 minutes per inch for medium to medium well

The desired result is a thick, crispy crust; turn the strip steak over only after this has been achieved. Cook the strip steak with the bottom side up until mostly done for even cooking and a bottom crust. Turn steak over once more to finish and ensure the steak has a hot and crispy top crust. Plate the strip steak and spread softened butter on top.

Recipes courtesy of executive chef Brian Stefano, Hillstone Park Avenue South, 378 Park Avenue South, 212-689-1090; hillstone.com; allenbrothers.com

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