Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Way to Cook Steak

I'm a bit behind on my blogging -- I made steak for us last Saturday. I used (mostly) followed this piece of advice. It's short, with pictures, so go read it. Here's what I did (mistakes and all) and what I'll do next time. Even with these slip ups, the husband declare it "the best steak ever" and raved about it all night.

I used NY strip steaks, 1" thick. I seasoned them with a lot of Kosher salt and some pepper on one side. (Not as much as in the link picture, since my butter was salted and I'm not a huge salt fan.) I let them sit about 40 min. In the future I'll take the out of the fridge earlier -- having the steak fully at room temperature will help me cook it medium rare (instead of rare which I ended up with.)

I heated my cast iron skillet on high for about 5 minutes. It was clearly very, very hot. Now my pan sort of needs to be reseasoned -- it looked fairly dry when it got this hot. The original instructions didn't call for any oil in the pan, but I was worried given the condition of my pan, so I drizzled a small amount of olive oil into the pan.

This was a MISTAKE. The oil immediately started smoking and turned to ash. I know olive oil doesn't have that high of smoking point, but this had me concerned. I pulled the pan from the heat, let it cool a bit, then wiped out the ash with a paper towel. Next I poured a bit of canola oil in to pseudo-season it (as it was still very hot). After about 5 min I wiped out the excess oil and put in on the stove to reheat. I used medium high this time.

Once hot, I put the steaks salt side down in the pan and let them sear for 2 min. Then I flipped them and added 1 stick of butter in chunks. I topped the steaks with about 4 peeled cloves of garlic each. I didn't have any fresh time, so I sprinkled the tops with some dried thyme I had on hand.

Then I started basting with butter. Unfortunately, the butter I used was straight from the fridge -- it should have been room temperature, so it would melt faster. I basted for about 3 minutes. Then I removed the steaks to a plate and covered with foil.

While the steak was resting, I added some defrosted green beans to the browned butter & garlic sauce at the bottom of the pan.

After about 8 to 10 min, I served the steak with the green beans, some microwaved squash I had on hand, and sliced pears. The steak had *fantastic* flavor. The only down side was that it was more rare than I would have liked. In the future I will use room temperature meat and butter and use high heat.

This was by far the best steak I've had. I strongly recommend this method if your arteries can stand it. The green beans were also delicious. The garlic that cooked longer with the green beans was very tasty, but the stuff removed with the steak was still raw. This was no doubt because I used cold butter and so the butter didn't get hot enough.

This is how steak should be made. I doubt I'll try any other steak recipes for my NY strips.

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