A perfectly cooked pan-seared steak is beautiful to behold, and even better to eat! But you'll need patience to get it right. Chef John Reed shared some great tips for cooking the perfect steak indoors on Chicago’s Buedel Fine Meats’ blog, “Meat Up.” His first tip: start with a good cut of meat, like a true strip steak. The bone-in Kansas City strip or the boneless New York strip are good choices. When buying the steak, make sure of the following:
• At least 1-inch thick.
• Weigh about 12 ounces for boneless, 16 ounces for bone-in.
• Look for good marbling (the amount of intramuscular fat).
• Let the meat rest at room temperature for 30 minutes BEFORE cooking. This is where patience comes in!
To bring out the deliciously deep flavors in a good cut of meat, you’ll need to rub the steak with salt and fresh cracked black pepper. You’ll also need oil (not olive oil) and butter. Yes, butter. Remember: fat is flavor.
You can also add fresh herbs, like rosemary and thyme, and aromatics, like shallots and garlic, while the steak cooks.
And one important thing: you’re essentially grilling indoors, so don’t forget to turn on the fan or open a window!
Perfect Pan-Seared Steaks
prep: 10 minutes
cook: 15 minutes
2 12-ounce boneless strip steaks
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
2 tablespoons oil (not olive oil)
½ stick butter (or more to taste)
fresh thyme, shallots or garlic to taste
let’s get to it…
Rub the steaks with salt and fresh ground pepper; rub with oil.
Heat a cast iron pan or heavy skiller on medium high heat for 3 minutes (or until really hot). Place the steaks in the pan; reduce heat to medium.
Cook the steaks for 2 to 3 minutes or until you see tiny dots of blood coming through (visual cooking is often better than timed). Turn steaks and cook 1 to 2 minutes.
Add the butter and herbs and aromatics, if using. Baste the steaks with the melted butter (this will add flavor AND color to the steaks). Turn the steaks again and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer.
Remove steaks from the pan and place on a platter to rest for 7 to 10 minutes. (Patience again!). Pour sauce in the pan over the steaks before serving. Serve the Perfect Pan-Seared Steaks whole or slice against the grain.
How to tell when the steaks are ready: Chef Reed says the ideal temperature to remove the meat from the pan is 123°F, because the meat will continue cooking while it rests… but cook the meat to the temperature you like!
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