Cookbook:Pan-fried Beef Steak
Cooking a great steak entirely depends on preparation and choice of meat. Here is a simple recipe for pan-frying and broiling a steak. This method involves stove-cooking (pan frying to sear and brown the outside), followed by oven-cooking to ensure even cooking, both at high heat. One can omit the oven, but this results in less even cooking, particularly for thicker cuts.
The best steaks will have been aged for some amount of time, and will be well-marbled with fat.
There are many good cuts of beef for steak; rib-eye and New York strip are always good choices.
- A cut of steak, as above
- Rock salt or coarse sea salt
- Olive oil or oil of choice
- The frying phase can result in quite a bit of smokiness. Plan ahead by opening windows or otherwise ventilating the kitchen.
- Bring the steak to room temperature before beginning to cook it.
- Rinse the meat with cold water and dry it with a paper towel.
- Coat it very lightly with olive oil.
- Grind the salt and peppercorns into a small bowl (use your judgement as to how much to use), mix them together, and rub this onto the meat, coating both sides. The more salt and pepper you use, the more crust you'll get once it's done, but you may also cover up the natural flavor of the beef.
- Preheat your oven to as high a temperature as your pan will withstand. For example, the average plastic-handled aluminum grill pan will only survive up to around 160° C (300° F), but a cast iron pan can go higher.
- Heat a skillet or grill pan on a stove on medium to medium high heat until it is evenly heated (the higher temperature will finish cooking the outside more quickly, allowing a pinker center). Test the temperature by flicking a few drops of water onto the pan—they should sizzle.
- Place the oiled steak onto the pan, and let cook for about 2-3 minutes. The meat should sizzle when it hits the pan.
- Flip the meat over, and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
- Place the entire pan in the preheated oven. Roast for 2-4 minutes.
- Remove the steak promptly from the oven, put it on a plate, and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. This ensures more even cooking as the cooler interior continues to heat, and it allows the juices inside the steak to re-distribute through the meat.
- Serve with red wine and a starch such as potatoes, rice, or bread.
Notes, tips, and variationsEdit
- Degree of doneness is a matter of personal preference, with people often having strong feelings, rejecting meat that is cooked more or less than their preference.
- Cooking times vary significantly, depending on thickness of steak, precise cooking temperature, and desired doneness. You will likely need to experiment with your setup to find what works for you; you can test temperatures using a thermometer or by cutting the steak, but beware that piercing or cutting releases the moisture – once you have figured out correct timings, you should avoid testing the temperature.
- Note that searing yields browning, which is tasty, attractive, and yields a pleasing contrast between the crisp exterior and soft interior, but in no way “seals in the juices”.