A great steak deserves a great salt. Here you get two: moist, crunchy, sel gris from the French island of Noirmoutier, and Kala Namak, a nose-tingling black salt mined from volcanic mineral deposits in India. Add a pinch of coarse sugar for balance and cracked coriander for allure. This ragged yet cosmopolitan blend towers atop steaks and chops, elevates a meatloaf, and recalibrates your chili.
Sel gris de I'lle de Noirmoutier
is formed in porcelain-lined salt evaporation pans on islands off the coast of Lyon, France. Before harvesting, the rugged jumbled salt crystals look pristine and transparent. They pick up their characteristic grey opacity when clay scraped off the floor of the evaporation pans mixes with the salt during raking. The crystalline character of Noirmoutier is raucous and chaotic and nearly saturated with sea water. Perfect for keeping steaks and chops moist and juicy.
Kala Namak rock salt
, the ancient Indian black salt with reputed medicinal properties is melted with spices over wood fires resulting in a salt that is rich in iron (giving it an amethyst sheen) and a mild but meaty sulfuric aroma.
are dried red poblano chile peppers. They are aromatic, fruity like dried raisins, and relatively mild (only 1250 to 2500 Scoville units, a measure of the heat-producing oil in hot chiles).
are the pale brown and perfectly round seeds produced by the same plant that gives us fresh cilantro leaves. When cracked, the delicate seeds release aromas of lemon and sage.
leaves appear small gray-green and indistinctive, but don't let that fool you. Their warm, refreshing flavor permeates everything they touch thanks to thymol, the volatile oil that defines this soothing herb.
are the highest grade of pepper grown on Mount Tellicherry in the Malabar region of southern India. Tellicherry are given extra time to ripen on the tree, giving them more pungent oils than other peppercorns.
, barely refined raw cane sugar, is burnished with molasses and naturally crystallized, rather than granulated like more processed sugars.
Onion and Garlic
quality changes from season to season and crop to crop, but once the bulbs are dried into flakes their sweet earthy flavor and pungency is set. We use garlic and onion flakes that are flash-dried to capture those flavors before they oxidize.
Building the Blend
The hallmark of a great steak is a great crust, which is why all three of us are committed to charcoal or wood grilling and a brawny rub that embeds meat with nuggets of salt and spice. But chunkiness alone does not make a great crust. For balance, we incorporate both fine and coarse elements in our steak seasoning. We hand-crack Tellicherry peppercorns into irregular chunks using broad heavy steel cleavers. The same goes for coriander seeds, which leaves the hulls coarse but pulverizes their interiors into fine silky granules. We hand-chop the dried ancho chiles, ensuring that the bits remain pleasantly chunky and moist. Sel gris (grey salt) comes naturally in half-carat-size crystals, and we bind all these coarse ingredients in a fine network of raw sugar and finely ground Indian black salt. When scattered on steaks and chops, the salt draws a film of juice from the surface of meat, which liquefies the sugar that caramelizes across the meat into a lacquered crust, anchoring all of the aromatic flavorful chunks in place.
The Chef's Quick Fixes
- Rub NY Steak on your favorite steak before grilling
- Sprinkle NY Steak on oil coated potato wedge and roast at 400°F until crisp
- Rub NY Steak on prime rib before roasting
- Season sautéed vegetables like green beans or potatoes with NY Steak
- Rub NY Steak on boneless chicken breast, sauté, and simmer in white wine
- Turn hamburgers into steak burgers with NY Steak
- Stir fry shrimp and eggs with scallion and NY Steak Chef Salt
- Combine NY Steak with vinegar and oil for a dynamite marinade
- Toss NY Steak with potato salad or chicken salad
- Combine NY Steak and melted butter as a dip for grilled, sautéed, or fried seafood