Steak-house steak, after all, is nothing but indulgence.
2 porterhouse steaks (each cut 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick and weighing 2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
melted butter to taste, plus room temperature butter to taste
freshly cracked black pepper to taste
freshly ground coarse salt to taste
1. Let the steaks come to cold room temperature (remove them from the refrigerator about an hour before cooking).
2. Prepare the hottest fire you can in an outdoor grill. Gas grills, or fires made from charcoal briquettes, are minimally acceptable. It's much better to make a lump-charcoal fire, preferably from mesquite charcoal.
3. Just after the flames have died down and the coals have started turning gray, the grill is ready. Dry the steaks thoroughly with a cloth. Brush melted butter on both sides of the steaks, and sprinkle both sides with freshly cracked black pepper. Place steaks on a grate over the fire, no more than 4 inches from the fire. Cook, turning only once if possible, until steaks are crusty and dark on the outside, very rare on the inside (this will take about 15 minutes altogether). You can check them with an instant-read meat thermometer, if you wish; it should register about 115°F for very rare meat.
4. Place knobs of unsalted butter on a large platter. Remove the steaks from the fire, and place them on the butter on the platter. Top with more knobs of butter, which will melt over the steak. Sprinkle with freshly ground coarse salt. Serve. Enjoy. Count calories tomorrow.
Okay, let's face it: the amount of steak in this recipe will feed 4 or even 6 people. But then you'd have to slice up the steak, depriving the diners of the lusty chance to consume a whole steak each, bone included. You could make smaller steaks—but these behemoth porterhouses, because they take longer to cook, are your best shot at replicating the taste of steak-house steak. So fast for a day or two, skip the appetizers, serve some simple potatoes and salad on the side—like thick-cut tomatoes and onions with oil and vinegar—and turn your house for a few magical hours into The Palm, a famous steak restaurant in New York City. Steak-house steak, after all, is nothing but indulgence. Serves 2 very generously Recommended wine: California Cabernet Sauvignon