I suck at cooking steak.
I am getting better.
I’ve come to find that cooking steak is both an true culinary art and an exact science. When I was younger, I was always impressed how my mother could whip up a perfectly medium-rare and juicy London Broil, but if I tried, it’d be fibrous on the inside and dry as a bone, no perfectly pink meat to be found. Of course, as I grew older, I realized a few of my mistakes, namely: Don’t turn the heat on its highest setting and cook it until it’s unpalatable. As a tween and young teenager, I didn’t understand the concept of cooking things at medium to medium-high heat. Heh. (Rookie mistake.) This would also be why I’d burn the shit out my grilled cheese sandwiches for many many years.
About three years ago, on the night my beau and I shared our first kiss (awwww…ewwww), he made me an amazing Steak au Poivre for dinner. As I watched him whip it up in a teeny tiny Manhattan kitchen, I remember marveling at the steps he took to prep, cook, and rest the meat. The end result was unreal, restaurant-quality. If he could do it, I could do it. Still, it took me a few more years until I was brave enough to try it for myself. With a deeper knowledge of culinary science and a cast-iron skillet, I started making more practice runs. I tried on cheap pieces of London Broil from my local Fine Fare; good thing, because my first few steaks were well-done! Practice made my steak game better, and I started whipping up more medium to medium-rare ones. On Mother’s Day, I was in Connecticut, visiting Mama and Papa as my obligation as an only child. (Heh.) Mom wanted ribeye. ‘Twas my biggest challenge yet! Who was I to deny The Birth Giver?
Practice made perfect, because I got it perfectly medium and juicy, and Mama didn’t kick me out of the house to go back to Manhattan.
YAY! I won!
(Serves One if you’re hungry, Serves Two if you’re kind and want to share with your mother)
– 1 10 oz. ribeye steak
– 2 tablespoons vegetable oil*
– 3 tablespoons butter
– Salt, to taste
– Pepper, to taste
* – Do NOT use olive oil! The smoke point is not good for searing and cooking a steak. Vegetable oil, canola oil, or grapeseed oil are all great options here.
Before We Get Started…
– I cook all of my steaks in a cast-iron skillet. I’ve never used a traditional non-stick frying pan. I recommend cooking with cast-iron, if available, because I can vet this recipe using that method! Still, I’m sure a good non-stick frying pan works just as well.
– A meat thermometer is your best friend. If you don’t have one, please pay attention to the time you’re cooking, or use the trusty “Hand Test” to check the steak’s doneness.
1.) Remove steak from packacking. Place on plate and season both sides with salt and pepper, to taste. Allow meat to sit for 45 – 60 minutes.
2.) Directly prior to cooking, turn stove into high heat and place cast-iron skillet over flame. Add vegetable oil.
3.) Pat steak dry with paper towels.
4.) Add steak to skillet and let sear for two minutes. (Do not touch the meat; allow it to sit still in order to sear.) After two minutes, flip steak to other side and sear for two minutes. Flip steak onto its other side again and cook for an additional two minutes. At this point, place meat thermometer to steak to check doneness. At this point, an internal temperature of at least 130 degrees is ideal.
5.) Lower heat to medium. Add butter to pan. Allow to melt and baste steak with butter for 2 – 3 minutes.
6.) Remove steak from skillet and allow to rest for at least five minutes before serving, though ten minutes is preferable.