Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Recipe: Amazingly Good Steaks at Home

It has been quite a while since I last posted anything, so in an effort to make it up to any and all visitors, I thought I'd give you my recipe for cooking great steaks at home.

What you'll need:
  • A large skillet that can be placed in a very hot oven, as well as on the stove top. I prefer cast-iron as it holds heat incredibly well, and they are nigh indestructible. I have a few Lodge skillets, and use the big 12-inch one for most of my cooking.
  • Some good steaks. For this method, I'd recommend the following types of steaks: New York strip, rib eye, filet. If you don't know much about buying meat, take a look here. You'll have difficulty finding prime (the best) grades of meat at the grocery store, but they will usually carry choice (good) for a it more than select (ok) grades. Boneless cuts will cook a bit more evenly than those with the bone in.
  • Some kosher salt.
  • Olive oil.
  • Red wine (I usually use a cabernet).
  1. Remove steaks from their packaging one or two days ahead of time. Place them on a rack inside a dish with high sides, and cover with plastic wrap. Cut several holes in the plastic wrap to facilitate air flow. This will remove some of the excess water from the meat, concentrating the flavors a bit more. If you don't have the time (or just need a steak right now, you can skip this step).
  2. Take the steaks out of the fridge, and place them on the counter.
  3. Put your cast iron skillet in the over, and set the oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Take the steaks and sprinkle kosher salt over both sides. Pat the salt into the meat using your hands.
  5. Rub some olive oil on both sides of each stake (not too much - maybe a teaspoon for each steak).
  6. After the oven and fan have reached the temperature of a small fusion reaction, remove the pan from the oven (keeping the oven on at 500) and place the pan on your stove. Crank up the burner to full.
  7. Carefully place your steaks in the pan, being careful to not move them once they have been placed in the pan. Set a time for two minutes.
  8. When the timer goes off, flip the steaks over and set the time for one minute and 30 seconds. If the steaks stick a bit when you flip them over, don't worry about it.
  9. After the timer goes off again, turn off the burner and slide the skillet with your steaks into the oven.
  10. Set the timer as appropriate to the desired "doneness" of the meat, which will probably vary a bit from oven to oven, the thickness of the steaks, as well as the type of pan used. I generally use six minutes for one inch steaks, which gets the meat to a nice medium.
  11. After the timer has gone off, turn the oven off and remove the pan from the oven, placing it back on the burner. Remove the steaks from the pan, and cover them lightly with aluminum foil.
  12. Turn the burner under the pan on medium, and deglaze the pan with the red wine (use about 1 cup or so). Scrape the bottom of the pan off using a spatula, to ensure all the good meat bits get incorporated. This will produce a strongly flavored sauce which complements the meat nicely, in moderation. It also cleans out the cast iron skillet quite nicely.
After that, you are ready to eat. Serve with some steamed green beans, a baked potato, or fresh bread. A glass of cabernet will complement the meal nicely as well. I have found that using the above recipe with good cuts of meat will produce a great steak. Perhaps not as good as Ruth's Chris steakhouse (the pinacle, IMHO), but very close and better than most places which will charge you $25+ for the same steak.

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm, my favorite method, that I never make the effort to use.