Nothing frustrates me more than overcooked, under browned meat, especially when it comes to steak. There is so much opportunity for greatness and with a few simple techniques mastered, you’ll never have an overcooked, gray steak again.
Here are some rules:
– With tender cuts of steak like Filet, the grill isn’t your friend. Unless you have a really awesome one, it won’t get hot enough. A cast iron skillet left at high heat for 6-8 minutes is your friend.
– Letting your meat come to room temperature and patting it dry with paper towels will ensure browning.
– Don’t go insane with seasoning. You want the seasoning to bring out the flavors in the steak instead of being the flavor. Salt and Pepper is all you need.
– Buy a quality steaks with good marbling.
– Once you put the steak in the blistering hot pan, don’t touch it. It is searing and locking in all the juices, you moving it doesn’t help it.
– Let it rest for 10 minutes when it comes out of the pan. It’s juices need time to redistribute.
I got these beauties at Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. They have a nice butcher that will cut the meat how you like it.
I order them 2 inches thick. It allows the outside to brown and the inside stay rare.
Preheat your oven to 400 degree. Open a window and turn on the fan. Things are about to get smokey.
Cast iron is important because it gets VERY hot and and it cook evenly. Let is get SMOKING (literally) hot on high for about 6-8 minutes. If you drop a little water in the pan, it should evaporate immediately.
While your pan is heating, pat your steaks dry with paper towels on every side. If they aren’t dry, they will steam instead of brown. Brush them lightly with vegetable oil. Liberally sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper on all sides.
When your pan is hot (I’ve said this multiple times because it’s so important), place your steaks in and cook on each side for about 2 minutes each.
Is your mouth watering yet?
Once you’ve seared them on each side, depending on their thickness they might be done. Put a thermometer in the middle (from the side) and see the temp. 120 for rare and 125 for medium rare. If they aren’t quite there yet, stick the skillet in your hot oven and let them cook a little more. Check the temp OFTEN. You don’t want them to overcook. They shouldn’t be in there more than 5 minutes.
When they are 120 degrees, place them on a plate and put a tablespoon of butter on top of each. Cover tightly with foil. Let them rest for 10 minutes.