(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.
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.
Take a decent steak, I prefer ribeyes, and at least 3/4 of an inch thick.
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.
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 steak. 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.
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.
Drool. You are about to appreciate your efforts.
Remove the steak from the oven.
Plate the steak.
Pour the juices in the pan back over the steak.
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.
Oh, and don’t forget to close the windows…
As always, please “like” FloridaHillbilly on Facebook, subscribe to my feed, follow me on Twitter, add it to Google+, Pinterest, Linkdn, Digg, and/or tell your friends! The more folks that start behaving like ants, the fewer grasshoppers there will be left needing help.
Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and your price is the same, no matter what. And for the record, all of my Amazon links provide me with this referral fee.