Temecula, California, is a city an hour north of San Diego. There, to the benefit of grape growers, the sun shines intensely almost every day. Rows of grapevines follow the curves of rolling hillsides. Most Temecula vineyards are small and family owned, which makes the wine experience personal for everyone. The Temecula wineries are places where friends meet at the end of each day, sitting in lounge chairs overlooking grapevines and watching the sunset.

Old Town, in the heart of Temecula, is a vibrant frontier town with 21st-century tastes. There is a spice store, olive oil shop, theater, boutiques, and eclectic trendy restaurants.

The RV Park at the Pechanga Resort and Casino, the largest resort-casino combination in the state of California, blends into the landscape with indigenous flowers, plants, and native cultural artifacts.

This melt-in-your-mouth reverse-seared New York strip is the perfect steak. The cup of red wine in the sauce brings back memories of Temecula wine country.


(Makes 2 to 4 servings)

  • 1 (1/4 lb, 110 g) butter stick
  • 2 (1 3/4-2-in, or 4.5-5 cm thick) strip loin steaks
  • Sea salt
  • Coarsely ground pepper
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 c (250 mL) red wine
  1. Cut the butter into 16 squares about 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick. Place the squares side by side on a plate and freeze.
  2. Place the steaks on a large plate. Lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over both sides. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the steaks to absorb the seasonings before grilling. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 15 to 30 minutes before grilling.
  3. Preheat the grill on medium (350-450°F/175-230°C) for 10 minutes with the lid closed.
  4. Prepare the grill for indirect cooking. Turn one side of the grill off. Reduce the other side to medium-low (300-350°F/150-175°C) heat to maintain a temperature of 250°-300°F (120-150°C).
  5. Using a pair of long-handled tongs, oil the unlit side of the grate by wiping it with a piece of paper towel dipped lightly in canola oil.
  6. Place the steaks on the unlit side of the grate. Place 2 frozen butter squares on the top of each steak.
  7. Maintaining a grill temperature of 250-300°F (120-150°C), cook the steaks, with the lid closed, for 40 to 45 minutes, or to 10° less than the final desired doneness. For example, for a final temperature of 135°F (57°C ) for medium-rare, remove the steaks from the grill when the internal temperature registers 125°F (52°C) on an instant-read thermometer or on a meat probe inserted into the side of a steak.
  8. Transfer the steaks to a platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil.
  9. Place a cast iron frying pan on the grill grate. Turn all the burners to high (550-600°F/290-315°C) and heat the grill to a searing 600°F (315°C) with the lid closed.
  10. Place 6 frozen butter squares in the hot frying pan. When the butter sizzles add the steaks.
  11. With the lid open, sear the steaks about 2 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature registers 135°F (57°C) for medium-rare or 140°F (60°C) for medium, on an instant-read thermometer.
  12. Transfer the steaks to a platter and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest for at least 10 minutes or until the sauce is prepared.
  13. Reduce the grill heat to medium (350-450°F/175-230°C).
  14. Add 6 frozen butter squares and the shallots to the pan. Stir and cook the shallots for about a minute or until tender. Add the tarragon and wine. Stir and cook until the sauce reduces to half.
  15. Trickle the wine sauce over the steaks before serving.

Phyllis Hinz & Lamont Mackay are authors of On The Road With The Cooking Ladies, Let’s Get Grilling https://amzn.to/3o8r93R and a new series of guidebooks Stratford For All Seasons https://amzn.to/38w4bvu

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