I’ve been giving my trusty Weber kettle grill a workout lately, and this past Sunday, I tried my hand at making the perfect sirloin steak—seared and slightly salty on the outside, pink in the middle, and tender and toothsome at the same time. While I prepared the grill, I remembered our June 1997 story on Tom Perini’s restaurant in Buffalo Gap, a popular place called the Perini Ranch Steakhouse, which has won kudos for its meat as well as its pecan-studded (and whiskey-laced) bread pudding. I remembered that we had published Tom’s recipe for his foolproof steak rub, and I searched for “Perini” on our Web site, www.texashighways.com. His steak rub recipe came right up.
It’s a simple combo: Mix together two teaspoons cornstarch, two teaspoons salt, two tablespoons black pepper, a half-teaspoon each of lemon pepper and ground oregano, four teaspoons each of garlic powder and onion powder, a teaspoon of paprika, and a teaspoon of beef-flavored bouillon granules. (I didn’t have lemon pepper, so I skipped that, and I didn’t have the beef-flavored bouillon granules, so I substituted chicken-flavored granules; this recipe—like most recipes—is flexible.)
Tom recommends rubbing steaks with the mixture 15 minutes before you cook them, and that’s what I did. My steaks were about an inch thick, and my husband and I like our steaks medium-rare, so I grilled them about 5 minutes on each side and let them rest 10 minutes before digging in. They were indeed perfect.
Tom, by the way, writes the foreword to a new book about Texas barbecue, John deMers’ Follow the Smoke, which should be out in September by Bright Sky Press. The book will take readers on a barbecue trek throughout Texas, stopping in more than 100 BBQ joints and sampling plenty of ‘cue classics. This weekend, maybe I’ll bring out the grill and try the book’s recipe for Dr Pepper Barbecued Chicken. I’ll keep you posted.