Pan-Seared, Butter-Basted

Pan-Seared, Butter-Basted
Helleme

Summer are made for the grill, but what’s a steak lover to do when the weather’s too cold and wet to light the suckers up? Just cook them indoors. Indeed, pan-seared steaks have several distinct advantages over grilled steaks—enough that there are times when given the two choices, I’ll choose pan-seared just for the sake of it. While grilling will get you a rapid-fire crust on your steak with all those delightfully crisp, on-the-verge-of-burnt bits and a good smoky flavor, I find that the even golden brown crust you can develop in a hot cast-iron pan really accentuates the flavor of the beef itself, letting it shine. On top of that, pan-searing affords you the opportunity to add your own flavorings in the form of aromatics.

Of course, you gotta know how to do it before you can get ‘er done.

Ingredients

  • 1 large bone-in T-bone or ribeye steak (see note)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable or canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter
  • 6 sprigs thyme or rosemary (optional)
  • 1/2 cup finely sliced shallots (about 1 large; optional)

Strawberry Crunch Pound Cake

Directions

  1. Carefully pat steak dry with paper towels. Season liberally on all sides, including edges, with salt and pepper. If desired, let steak rest at room temperature for 45 minutes, or refrigerated, loosely covered, up to 3 days (see note).A salted bone-in ribeye steak on a quarter sheet pan.
  2. In a 12-inch heavy-bottomed cast iron skillet, heat oil over high heat until just beginning to smoke. Carefully add steak and cook, flipping frequently, until a pale golden-brown crust starts to develop, about 4 minutes total.A two-image collage showing the steak placed into a hot cast iron pan, and then flipped over showing the side that had been browned.
  3. Add butter, herbs (if using), and shallot (if using) to skillet and continue to cook, flipping steak occasionally and basting any light spots with foaming butter. If butter begins to smoke excessively or steak begins to burn, reduce heat to medium. To baste, tilt pan slightly so that butter collects by handle. Use a spoon to pick up butter and pour it over steak, aiming at light spots.The steak in a cast iron pan with aromatics, being based with butter.
  4. Continue flipping and basting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of tenderloin side registers 120 to 125°F (49 to 52°C) for medium-rare or 130°F (54°C) for medium, 8 to 10 minutes total.The steak in a pan with a thermometer inserted showing the internal temperature.
  5. Immediately transfer steak to a large heatproof plate and pour pan juices on top. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Carve and serve.The steak, fully cooked and basted with butter, sitting on a platter with cooking juices.

Notes

This recipe is designed for very large steaks, at least one and a half inches thick and weighing 24 to 32 ounces (700 to 900g) with the bone in. Porterhouse, T-bone, ribeye, and New York strip will all work. Avoid using tenderloin steaks, as they are likely to overcook.

For best results, let steaks rest at least 45 minutes at room temperature, or up to three days loosely covered in the refrigerator, after seasoning in step 1.

one pot of Italian chicken and rice

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