The 3-Ingredient Dish I Beg My Dad To Make When I Visit

I'll even share his secret for how to make it at home.



This weekend, like many others, I'll make the (not so long) trek home to celebrate Father's Day with my dad. And while there are so many reasons to celebrate him, I would be remiss if I didn't mention his culinary prowess. Yes, while I have both my parents to thank for my eventual career path as a food writer, it was my dad who sparked my initial interest in all things cooking.

In his twenties, my dad, Jack, went to work in restaurants and climbed the kitchen ladder working his way up to sous chef and kitchen manager despite no formal training. I've talked about his best comfort food casserole, famous stuffed mushrooms, and even the meatballs he stocks in his freezer at all times—but there's one dish I beg him to make every time I come home, especially in the summer: Candy Steak.

What Is Candy Steak?

Candy Steak is the affectionate nickname one of my best friends in high school gave to my dad's signature steak, named as such because it's as delicious and crave-worthy as candy. It also has sweet elements—though certainly not as sweet as candy—that make it caramelize on the grill.

This is not only the dish I request every time I come home, but it even has a reputation amongst my friends, so much so that they ask for Candy Steak by name if they're coming over. Seriously, my mouth is watering just writing this. The best part of the recipe? My dad's Candy Steak is a super simple recipe that starts with an affordable cut of meat and takes just a few ingredients to make.

My Dad's Secret to the Best Steak

It has to start with the steak, of course. When he came up with dish, I was in high school, and when cooking for me and a bunch of other hungry teens, my dad was going for quantity over quality. That's why he's always picks a cheaper cut like hanger steak or skirt steak. My dad says either works because they take on marinades super well and "if you overcook them a little, it's not the end of the world—they're still delicious."

Plus, I've come to realize that in addition to being more affordable, these cuts have more fat—and subsequently more flavor—than a cut like filet or rib eye.

These days, I tend to prefer hanger steak to strip steak when I can find it. Hanger steak is often called butcher's steak or referred to as the butcher's best-kept secret because it was thought of as the cut that butchers would take home for themselves. Despite being affordable, it comes from a part of the cow that does less work, so it's more tender than some of the other similar cuts.

The most important tips for working with a cut like skirt or hanger steak are:

  • Always be sure to trim any silver skin from the edges (or ask your butcher to do it).

  • Don't overcook it. These cuts are best served medium to medium rare.

  • Slice it thinly, against the grain, when serving.

<p>Vladimir Mironov/Getty Images</p>

Vladimir Mironov/Getty Images

How to Make My Dad's Candy Steak

There are a few clever shortcuts my dad uses to ensure Candy Steak perfection. First, he relies on a great marinade. Rather than using a bunch of ingredients to make his own, he uses a soy-based teriyaki sauce (our favorites are Soy Vay and Trader Joe's Soyaki sauce). These sauces typically have a good amount of sugar, which is crucial to the end result.

This leads me to the other crucial step for perfect Candy Steak: time. As I mentioned, these cheaper cuts of beef benefit from a long marinade, and my dad does an overnight marinade the day before cooking. The longer it sits, the more tender and flavorful it becomes.

Once he's ready to grill, the final ingredient comes into play: your favorite dry rub or BBQ seasoning blend. We typically use Bone Suckin’ Seasoning & Rub, but any rub with a good amount of sugar in it will work. You can even make your own. Sprinkle that on right before grilling and that's it.

The combination of sugars in the marinade and dry rub creates gorgeous caramelization on the grill, resulting in the most delicious lightly charred edge pieces that my friends and I used to fight over. Make this "recipe" at your own risk: your family will be requesting Candy Steak all summer long and beyond. My friends and I are now entering our thirties and still talk about this steak to this day...

Though Father's Day is meant to give dads a break, I will be requesting this steak on Sunday, as I always do when I return home. The good news is my dad loves Candy Steak as much as I do, so it's a win-win for everyone.

Read the original article on All Recipes.