I didn’t actually cook last night – we were out celebrating Dr. O’s birthday at our current Dallas favorite, The Porch (aka Heaven!). Homestyle mac ‘n cheese, braised short-rib stroganoff, Ecuadorian mahi-mahi, pear-ginger cobbler… Talk about food bliss. Plus, no dirty dishes!
If we *had* stayed in, though, it definitely would’ve been a steak night. I’ve been practicing with a particular recipe – Pan-Seared Steak from the April 2007 issue of Everyday Food – and I think I have it down pretty well at this point. Here’s a rundown of last week’s attempt.
I started by heating 1 tablespoon of oil in my cast-iron skillet (you don’t want to use a nonstick skillet here) over medium-high until it started to smoke. I patted a 1 1/2-pound boneless rib-eye steak (about 2 1/2 inches thick) dry with paper towels and seasoned each side with 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1 teaspoon cracked pepper.
I cooked the steak in the skillet until a dark crust formed, about 5 minutes per side. When both sides had browned, I used tongs to hold the steak to brown all the edges. I laid the steak back in the skillet.
Next, I transferred the skillet to the oven and roasted the steak for about 12 minutes at 400F. (The recipe gives a range of 5 – 15 minutes, depending on how you like your steak cooked.) Meanwhile, I mashed together 4 tablespoons of room-temperature butter, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley, 1 minced garlic clove, and some salt and pepper to make some garlic-herb steak butter.
I used my digital thermometer fork – as always! – to make sure the steak had reached an appropriate temperature when the 12 minutes had passed. I transferred the steak to a cutting board, spread it with 1 tablespoon of the steak butter, and covered it loosely with aluminum foil. I let it rest for about 10 minutes, sliced it across the grain, and served it with the rest of the steak butter.
For better or for worse, the steak butter really makes this dish. If you follow the recipe link, there are two other steak butter variations – blue cheese and horseradish-mustard, though I’m sure you could get creative with just about any combination of ingredients.
Both boneless rib-eyes that I’ve purchased so far have been a bit fatty around the edges, but the meat is delicious. Just be ready to trim a bit. Both have also been tapered cuts, which is actually kind of nice if one person wants medium or medium-well meat and one wants something rarer. The smaller side will cook faster.
TIPS: The recipe link gives a nice diagram of what the steak temperature should be when you remove it from the skillet, depending on how you’d like it cooked. (The temperature will rise 5 – 10 degrees while it rests under the foil.) I took mine out at 125 degrees for medium-rare.
Recipe link: Pan-Seared Steak