A few weeks ago I came across this article: How to Turn Cheap “Choice” Steak into Gucci “Prime” Steak on Wisebread.com. When steaks went on sale last week at the grocery store I had to give it a try. The Verdict: Pretty good, not as amazing as she made it sound. I've had better steak. My daughter, who I didn't expect to eat them at all, liked it. I do think that I'm going to use that garlic-herb butter on some steamed veggies.
One thing that she doesn't discuss in the article is how to actually cook the steak, and frankly it's not my strong point either. My husband complains that when I cook steak, it's too dry. And he's right. I get multi-tasking, or children get demanding, and the meat gets overdone. The solution: my husband now cooks the steaks at our house. I prepare the meat, he cooks it the way he likes it and everybody wins. He developed his method of cooking steak from a few suggestions in The Art of Manliness Cookbook. (which you can download for free from this link, but you have to subscribe to their RSS feed first.)
Fresh ground pepper
1. Place a metal or cast iron skillet in the oven and set for 475 degrees.
2. Apply a thin coat of oil (a few drops), then pepper to each side of the steak. (Normally he salts it too, but not when I did the "salt lick" method beforehand.)
3. When the oven reaches 475, turn a burner on high and remove the skillet (which will be VERY HOT) from the oven and place on the burner. Let heat for an additional 5 mins.
4. Place steak on one side of the skillet and leave it there for 30 seconds; don't move it.
5. After 30 seconds, flip the steak. Do not move steak for 30 seconds.
6. Place skillet and steak into the oven.
7. Depending on steak thickness and desired doneness levels, 2-5 minutes per side in the oven should be adequate. If unsure, pull out the meat early and check doneness via the Doneness Hand Test, or with an instant read thermometer. Remember: you can always put the meat back in the oven if it's not done enough, but you can't un-cook it.
8. After removed from the heat, let the steak rest for 5 minutes before cutting/serving. Cover with tinfoil to retain heat during this time.
The 30 seconds on each side helps develop a delicious crust by the Maillard reaction, the oil helps with heat transfer and crust development, and the resting the meat allows the juices to return to the cells of the meat, so when you cut into
it the juices stay in the meat, not pool on your plate.
Here's some more steak tips from The Art of Manliness: Grilling the Perfect Steak
When all is said and done I still think that the best way to cook a steak is to marinate it in Sprite and grill it over a fire. Of course, that's generally not an option year round.