The Gastrokid Cookbook: Tuscan Steak for Toddlers

Of all the cuts of meat in the world, there’s perhaps nothing more iconic in that kids’ book sort of way than a porterhouse, with its unforgettable T-bone that makes appearances in Richard Scarry books and Road Runner cartoons.


Keep that cartoonish shape and scale in mind when you pick one out at the butcher counter or meat case. You want a big one, because it’ll be feeding a family of four. Serve this with the arugula salad, simply dressed with olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, and some grilled bread, and you’ve got an authentic and incredibly easy Italian feast.

Makes 4 servings

1 huge porterhouse steak (we like to get a really expensive 1[1/2]- or 2-inch-thick sucker, though thinner will do)
Freshly ground black pepper
Canola oil (if cooking in a pan)
1 large bunch arugula
Lemon juice
Olive oil

Heat a large skillet or a grill over high heat as hot as it can go. Season the steak with salt and pepper and then sear it in the skillet on both sides long enough to get it medium-rare. Depending on the thickness of the steak this could vary widely. Cook it for about 5 minutes on one side (make sure you get a good char), flip it, then start testing the temperature about 5 minutes later. My favorite doneness test tool is a cake tester[md]you know, the thin wire[md]inserted into the center of the meat. Touch it to your lower lip. If it’s cold, it’s too rare. If it’s hot, it’s overcooked. If it’s warm and almost hot, it’s medium rare.) Remove it from the skillet and let rest for a solid 10 minutes. Don’t skip this or you’ll lose all the good juices when you cut it up.

While the steak is resting, toss the arugula with some lemon juice and olive oil, then season with salt and pepper. Slice steak perpendicular to the center bone and serve it on the arugula salad.

[This recipe is excerpted from the Gastrokid Cookbook, published by Wiley and to be published in August. Order your copy now.]

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