Nothing is more rewarding than having a nice chunk of protein on your plate. A delicious slab of meat worthy of a king basting in all the flavors it was cooked in. As far as meats go, nothing spells reward any better than a freshly cooked steak. When we say steak, we mean that nice cut of beef marvelously prepared and expertly cooked to the highest of standards.
The notion of steak being such a reward and a luxury comes about from the fact that most of the time we dine out at fancy restaurants to indulge in it. This comes from the impression that steak is such a dauntingly intimidating piece that is difficult to master at home. Well, that impression is about to change because with this recipe and these hacks, we will have you serving up a nice, tender, juicy steak right at the comfort of your own home.
Before we get started with the actual recipe, here are some factors you need to consider to prepare that wonderful cut of meat and turn it into that nugget of taste to dance on our tongues and fill our stomachs.
Buying the Right Meat
When you’re set on buying your wonderful slab of heaven make sure that the meat is extremely fresh. While supermarkets have improved significantly as far as meat freshness is concerned, nothing beats the friendly, neighborhood butcher. Ask your butcher for his or her recommendations for the perfect steak. While it is nice to indulge in a piece of fine Wagyu or genuine Angus beef, the butcher can give you the best compromise of quality and cost. Normally, the good old grain-fed heifers provide the best flavor without the chewiness.
My personal favorite cut is a nice rib-eye or the strip loin. These cuts have a nice amount of fat in them that provides some nice flavor to the steak. If you want to eat steak with no fat in it, you might as well just grab some chicken breasts.
Dry and Season to Perfection
Frozen meat doesn’t get along with a hot pan. I have burn marks all over my arms to attest to that. It’s not just the splatter though, the juices and flavor are wasted when the chemical reaction of an ice-cold slab meets the sizzle of the pan. Allow the meat to come to room temperature first, about 2 hours is recommended and don’t go any longer than that. Another method is to vacuum seal the steak and then immerse it in boiling water for 30 minutes, but we can take that recipe for another article.
Once the steak has come to room temperature, make sure to pat it dry to remove any other water residues that could have attached itself to the steak whilst in a deep-freeze. Use a kitchen towel on each side to gently draw out the moisture. Do not press down too hard or you will risk extracting the juices.
The next step is to season the steak nice and tasty. Create a generous rub of sea salt and pepper and lather this generously on the steak. Don’t hold back on the seasoning, the steak on its own is bland and the meat can take the extra salting to form that nice crust and absorb the flavors. The salt also draws out and stimulates the meat’s juices to flavor it. Finally, baste some olive oil on the steak’s surface, just enough to make that meat glisten.
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Now we are ready to go to the stove top to cook that fine piece of meat.
1 piece of perfectly seasoned steak (rib-eye, strip loin, porterhouse)
25g of butter (I prefer salted)
1 garlic clove, cut crosswise (see picture)
1 sprig of thyme
- Heat up a heavy griddle or frying pan to medium-high heat. It is very important that the pan is extremely hot.
- Put the steak on the pan, flat side down. You hear that sizzle? That’s the sound of getting the temperature right on the pan. Cook for 90 seconds on each side, gently pressing down with the spatula to get the most thermal contact for the meat.
- Throw in the butter and watch it melt. Use a spoon to continue basting the steak with the butter. Rub the garlic on the steak every time you flip it so the flavors come in contact with the steak.
- Keep flipping the steak every minute. Use a meat thermometer to determine the level of doneness you want.
- After removing the meat from the pan let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Don’t worry, it won’t go cold at room temperature. This step is essential to let the juices redistribute across the entire slab.
Now you have your own personal steak at a fraction of the cost it would have set you back at the restaurant. Now slice it up, pour yourself some cheap red wine, add in some sides like fries or a baked potato and enjoy that moment of heaven you just found yourself in.