Posted tagged ‘rib eye’

Steak on the stovetop

May 22, 2014

Grilling steak over charcoal can give great results, but it takes a lot of work, experience, and the right weather. You can do a great steak on your stove with a lot less fuss and work. It doesn’t have the flavor of burnt fat that a charcoal grilled steak does, but perhaps that’s not such a bad thing. Some means of venting your kitchen is not a bad idea.

The meat: Of course, the quality of the meat plays a huge role. My favorite is rib eye, with NY strip a close second. Tenderloin (filet mignon) is boring –  tender but relatively flavorless, despite its undeserved reputation as the “best” steak. I buy my rib eyes from Costco, a whole rib eye at a time. A whole rib eye is expensive, but the per-pound cost is a lot lower than buying individual steaks at the market. Cut it up and freeze the steaks and you’ll be all set for a long time. The individual steaks should be an inch thick, or perhaps a little bit more. Thicker steaks may look impressive, but they don’t cook well.

So, take your (thawed, obviously) 1 inch thick steak(s) and trim any excess fat from the exterior. Coat generously with freshly ground pepper, and press the pepper into meat with your fingers. Let sit for half an hour or so – you want the meat at room temperature.

The pan: Cast iron is best for this, but steel, copper, stainess steel, or even aluminum will do. NO NON-STICK!

The cooking: Put the pan over high heat and turn on your vent fan. Pat the meat dry with paper towels and rub with a thin layer of a neutral oil, such as avocado, grape seed, or canola. The oil you use isn’t really all that important (don’t use olive oil). When the pan is scorching hot, put the steak(s) in. Here comes the smoke! Let sit undisturbed for at least a minute then lift the edge and see how the crust is developing. When the crust is to your liking, flip over (tongs are great for this sort of thing). Watch carefully and cook until the slightest traces of rosy-colored juices start to appear on the top surface. Remove immediately to a cutting board.

Final prep: Sprinkle some salt on the steak and cover with foil. Let sit for 5 minutes, then serve.

Accompaniments: When you have cooked a really great steak, putting things like A-1 or ketchup or BBQ sauce on the steak is just a travesty. Those are cover-ups for low quality steaks. Instead, consider either balsamic vinegar or lemon juice – they complement rather than hide the flavor of the steak.

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