Steaks Of Summer #3 – Balsamic and Tarragon Marinated Porterhouse

Steaks Of Summer #3 – Balsamic and Tarragon Marinated Porterhouse

Welcome to the third episode of Livefire’s Steaks Of Summer!

I can fully admit that I love steaks. I’ve still got 32 to fix before September 21, and I really think I can do it! I don’t think I’ll be steak-tired by then… But I’m willing to see how it goes!

But before I get started, as we get into summer and you realize you need a grill, I have a deal for you! You can get Char-Broil gear at 25% off!!! That includes their incredible TRU-Infrared grills! Just use code C14LF4, and 25% is yours! Now, on with the steak…

SoS 3 - Porterhouse

This steak is shown on Food & Wine as a balsamic and rosemary marinated Florentine steak. When I got to my herb garden, I found that my rosemary didn’t take so far this year, but my tarragon has done great… So this steak became a balsamic and tarragon marinated Porterhouse instead. I think you’re picking up what I’m throwing down here, right? No rosemary, but I’m making due with some great fresh tarragon. Maybe it’s not a Florentine steak… Maybe we’ll call it Steak Provençal! Or just call it a great steak!

SoS 3 - Porterhouse thickness

This is a steak recipe that requires just a bit of forethought so that the steak has time to marinade. The day before grilling, a thick porterhouse (from 1.5 to 3 inches thick) needs to be put in a gallon zip-top bag with a cup of balsamic vinegar, half cup of olive oil and a quarter cup of finely chopped fresh tarragon. I put the bag in a square pan then into the fridge, and I turned the steak every couple of hours. Well, I didn’t get up overnight to turn it, but I turned it pretty frequently to get the marinade applied well to both sides.

SoS 3 - marinade 1

SoS 3 - balsamic

SoS 3 - Marinating 1

SoS 3 - marinade 2


SoS 3 - marinade 3


SoS 3 - marinade 4

After getting up this morning, and turning the steak over again in the fridge, I took off with my wife to a friend’s house to meet this guy, a week-old quarter horse!

Week Old Colt

That’s a great way to start a June morning… Running around a field with a brand new quarter horse!

Through the day, I kept turning the steak over in the marinade, but didn’t set a timer or anything. When it was time to fix dinner, I took the steak out and removed it from the bag. I also dried it off  with a paper towel… dry food browns better!  After the steak was dried off, I spread a tablespoon more olive oil on the sides of the steak and added sea salt and a bit of black pepper.

SoS 3 - Dried Off

Letting the steak come up to room temperature, I got the Big Green Egg fired up with lump charcoal and pecan wood chunks. I started it off at about 300F to cook the steak a bit slower. This also lets the woodsmoke flavor the steak a bit more.

SoS 3 - first temp check

After the steak reached an internal temp around 100F, I took it off and set it aside, just until I got the BGE cranked up to  600F or so, then the steak went back on to do a reverse sear. Taking the steak off at 100F gives plenty of time at higher temps to sear without overcooking, and, after about 2 minutes a side, the Porterhouse was right around 120F, which is about where I like it. Letting it rest for at least five minutes lets the juices redistribute and keeps the steak juicy to eat.

SoS 3 - reverse sear

I sliced the bone away from the meat and sliced both sections of meat into quarter-inch slices and served.

SoS 3 - temp check 2


SoS 3 - off the grill

I wasn’t sure what I’d think of marinating in so much balsamic vinegar or if the tarragon would work. The marinade recipe is just too simple, right? Wrong! Simple = great in this case! It could have used a touch more tarragon, but I didn’t want to completely deplete my herbs. Next time I’d probably go with 3/8 cup of chopped tarragon. The vinegar was sweet and milder than I expected it to be. The original recipe calls for using the oven and gives alternative instructions for grilling (which would work great). However, the BGE does things a bit differently, and the result was really delicious. I’ve done the dry brine thing to tenderize a steak, but this marinade does a great job of dealing with a steak, too. I have leftovers in the fridge, and it’s all I can do not to get them out and finish off what’s left!

SoS 3 - served

5.0 from 1 reviews
Summer Of Steaks #3 - Balsamic and Tarragon Marinated Porterhouse
A take on a Food & Wine steak recipe for Florentine Steak
Recipe type: Steak
Serves: 2
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 1.5-3 inch thick Porterhouse steak
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil, plus 1-2 tablespoons, depending on the thickness of the steak
  • ¼ cup or more finely-chopped, fresh tarragon
  • Sea salt and pepper
  1. The day before grilling, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar and chopped tarragon in a 1 gallon zip-top bag.
  2. Place the steak in the bag, coating the steak well, but being careful not to puncture the bag.
  3. Place the bag in a shallow pan and place it in the refrigerator. Every two or so hours, turn the steak in the fridge to ensure even coating.
  4. Remove the steak 30-45 minutes before grilling to allow it to warm up to near room temperature.
  5. Dry off the marinade from the steak and rub the sides with the extra 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, then salt and pepper the steak liberally.
  6. Set up a grill for indirect cooking, with charcoal and wood banked on one side.
  7. Place the steak on the side of the grill with no coals under it for 8-15 minutes, depending on thickness, then turn and repeat, cooking until the steak reaches an internal temperature of 100F (the important thing is to reach the internal temperature of 100F, not the time)
  8. Move the steak directly over the hottest part of the fire for about 3 minutes, then turn, ensuring the internal temperature is 120-125F.
  9. Remove the steak and let it rest for ten minutes before slicing and serving.

About Curt McAdams

I guess I'm a bit of a foodie, learning to cook from my mom, then getting obsessed with outdoor cooking, competition barbecue, bread baking and just about all things food. Lately, I've been trying to upgrade my photography skills a bit, though I still have a long way to go.


  1. I am completely going to try this, Curt. First, my tarragon is abundant this year and second, it makes since, given tarragon is used in Bearnaise sauce. Great post!
    Chris recently posted..Rocky Top BBQ Cook-Off – A Rookie’s First Competitive BBQ ExperienceMy Profile

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