How to Cook The ULTIMATE Steak

(For Kip, as requested.)
The ULTIMATE steak (or pork chop…or chicken…or fish….)

 

…A bold statement for anyone. More so when you realize how un-picky of an eater I am. Until I started eating Paleo (no grains, legumes, or refined sugars), it was no surprise to see me eating a potato chip sandwich, or octopus from a can. Call it food, I’ll eat it….at least once. Twice if I’m hungry.

 

BlueTang probably told me about this method years ago, he’s always been a trend setter as far as cooking meat goes. His background and current “research” keeps him on the cutting edge of all things that include meat and heat. He has been working towards a try at BBQ competitions, and, sadly*, uses me as a guinea pig for his attempts at BBQ greatness. Even though I trust his cooking implicitly, I sometimes just don’t listen.

When I mentioned the method I am about to outline to him, he shook his head at me, and told me that he had been trying to teach me this for years.

*(By “”sadly”, I mean I get to eat his fantastic cooking, you don’t. And as long as he doesn’t feel it is “perfect”, he keeps trying. And feeding me. I keep telling him it is ready for Blue Ribbons, but he doesn’t listen to me either….Almost a shame.

Almost.)

So here it goes.

How to Cook the Ultimate Steak

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Do this ahead of time. Don’t start cooking the steak until the oven is preheated.

Put a large cast iron skillet on a burner to heat. On my 10-point stove, I use 7 as a heat setting.

Salt your ribeye

 

Take a decent steak, I prefer ribeyes, and at least 3/4 of an inch thick.

 

 

 

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Salt and pepper all flat sides. In the case of a filet mignon, this means 5-6 sides of it. For salt, I like any quality sea salt. For the pepper, I like freshly ground pepper, with a fine grind.

 

Once the pan starts to smoke, (notice I didn’t say oil it…a properly seasoned cast iron pan shouldn’t need oil), lay the steak in the pan.

 

2 minute timer

 

Set a timer to two minutes. Cover with a splatter screen if you want to make cleanup easier.

 

 

 

Open a window. AND turn a vent on. Trust me on this one.

 

At the two minute mark, flip the Smoking ribeyesteak. You will see a lovely golden brown sear on the steak. If you’ve treated your cast iron properly, you will also notice that the steak slid effortlessly allowing you to flip it without sticking.
As soon as you flip the steak, reset the timer for 2 minutes.

 

Go open another window. High heat and black pepper combined WILL make you cough and choke. At this point you will realize that next time, you should do this again OUTSIDE.

(For filets, repeat the 2 minute searing until all sides are done.)

As soon as the timer kicks off, flip the steak again back to the original side.

 

Buttered Ribeye

 

Put a large pat of butter on the steak. On Filets, try for a flat surface facing up for the butter.

 

 

 

Put he cast iron pan straight into the oven, and then turn it off.

Yes, turn the oven off.

Set the timer to 10 minutes.

Step outside to let the neighbors know they don’t have to call the fire department.20140703_162428(4)

Drool. You are about to appreciate your efforts.

Remove the steak from the oven.

Plate the steak.

 

 

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Pour the juices in the pan back over the steak.

Slice.

 

 

 

Eat.Sliced Ribeye
Burp.
Thank me.

You have just made what I consider a world-class steak. While I’ve never eaten a $100 steak, I’ve had some $50 steaks….and some were AS good…but none were better than this.

Serve with some roasted asparagus, or if you want to REALLY walk in my shoes, some oven roasted smilax tips. A glass of iced tea served in a Mason jar rounds out the meal nicely..

Shortcuts and Tips:

Keep in mind the steak’s done-ness will be determined by how long you keep it in the oven. If you like it more on the rare side, pull it at 5 minutes instead. On thinner steaks, I often omit the oven entirely, letting it rest long enough to melt the butter, then dig in. Thickness will affect the doneness of the steak. This method at 3/4 of an inch yields a rare to medium rare steak. At 1/2 inch steak, you get more of a medium to medium rare. As far as done-ness goes, I’m not picky, so I grab whatever steak thickness is on sale. Sometimes, I even grab a small, steak-like chuck roast, use this method, and eat the entire 2+ pound chunk. Yes I am a glutton.

Time is often short, so I’ve also developed some cheats. Do not use these until you’ve tried the above method a couple times. The end results are good, but not as good as doing it the “Right” way.

Option 1: Omit the pepper until AFTER cooking, and just before plating. It doesn’t bring quite the same POP to the plate, but also doesn’t clear the house from the tear gas.

Option 2: Don’t use the oven. Instead, simply move the pan off the hot burner, add the butter, then put a tight fitting lid on the pan for 10 minutes. This save the kitchen from heating up, and using all the excess electricity heating up the oven.

Option 3: Omit the butter…….Just kidding, do NOT omit the butter. And don’t even THINK about using margarine. Sheesh.

I regularly combine Options 1 & 2 for my breakfast. Yes, I have steak for breakfast. Often.

Expensive, you say? Actually, it is not as bad as you might think. I normally go to discount food stores, in my case, Save A Lot, that regularly source their beef from Mexico. Why? It is less expensive. I’m glad I assumed that you’d ask.

As I understand it, Mexican ranchers currently don’t bother with expensive farming practices like growth hormone injections, or feedlot finishing (grain fattening) like we do here in the states. They prefer low-cost methods like grass finishing – the preferred type of meat for the Paleo diet. No grain means no possibility of eating an animal that has eaten a Franken food (genetically altered foods like those labelled “Roundup-Ready”). By using a more natural (albeit slower) process, they keep prices down.

And as I see it, cheap beef means healthier beef. Win-Win for me!

Sorry, I went off on a slight tangent. It happens.

That’s it. In less than 15 minutes, you can have a fantastic steak. I should add this method also works for pork, chicken, and fish. Salt, pepper, high heat, and butter.

Fan.
Tas.
Tick.

`Nuff said.

Oh, and don’t forget to close the windows…

 

Peace,
db

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9 comments:

  1. Wow, great minds think alike. We do a very similar thing. Only our method takes more preparation, and sadly, patience.

    We start steak 3 days in advance. In a fridge that does not stink, in an open but cover-able container, pour a couple oz of olive oil and freshly cut rosemary.
    On top of the rosemary place your salted and peppered steaks.
    add more rosemary and if you are lazy (like me), more olive oil.
    Turn every day for 3 days.
    Cook exactly as DB describes above.

    I will NEVER buy a steak at a restaurant again. Really, they just don’t compare.

    On the Mexican beef, it never occurred to me that they wouldn’t copy the CAFO method. I’m going to have to do some research to fully convince myself.

    1. My source:

      http://search.ers.usda.gov/search?affiliate=ers&query=ldpm20601.pdf

      Read between the lines. Hormones, grain, and antibiotics cost money. Letting a cow run loose until it is big enough to harvest costs less out of pocket. Low consumer prices come from buying from low cost sources. The steaks at savalot are not well marbled – no grain finishing. Any rancher that won’t speed up the process by feedlot grain also won’t spend money on growth hormones and probably not antibiotics. And the steaks are tougher than what I find at other grocery chains. Tougher steaks are from older, “well exercised” animals. Everything points to low input beef.

      Just my take on it. Something is going to kill me eventually. These are my choices in the “pick you battles” struggle.

      :)

      1. Food is one of the few areas we don’t cut cost on for quality. Unless I can do it myself, we buy the highest quality food we can find. For some reason my HOA doesn’t allow beef steer as lawn ornaments. Otherwise I would have my own low cost beef… You can bet your bottom FRN that when we close on “the land” I will have some protein stored on the hoof.

  2. I have a similar method, but I like yours better. I’m trying it for sure. And, as you point out, it’s a good way to test the smoke alarms. As the wife says ‘It’s a little bit smokey’. 😀

    1. I just cooked off 3 ribeyes (two were for breakfast – I live a GOOD life, it seems), and 4 chuck roasts for the upcoming week. Its not as good as fresh-cooked, but travels well, and I’ll be spending a bit of time on the road next week.

      If you drove by my house right now, you’d think it was on fire. Smoke is billowing out of the windows as though someone torched a couch.

      But it sure smells tasty! *cough cough*

      db

  3. I don’t know what prices everyone is paying out there but we have a local meat market (search;Feltons market)here that last year we were buying whole Mexican Short loins cut free for $2.99 a lb. Prices have gone up this year $1 though. We love to buy a whole pork butt cut into 3/4 inch steaks burned on the grill. Yummm

  4. You lost me at best steak and combined that with oven….but then again I turn chicken into jerky…:-p

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