It may be grilling season, and not much beats cooking a steak over charcoal flames, but the perfect pan seared steak is also a delightful option. Especially when it only takes 10 minutes to cook! And LAWD, this steak is so good I screamed.
When it comes to steak, more often then not, I think about my middle school math teacher’s KISS method- Keep It Simple Stupid. A good steak does not need all the bells and whistles, just some butter, aromatics and and the proper rest time.
The Perfect Pan Seared Steak Recipe:
-Steaks! we like bavette (sirloin flap) but any cut works great. Just remember thinner steaks with more surface area (ribeyes, sirloins, etc.) will take less time.
-Aromatics (like garlic, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, sage, oregano, etc.) Just a few sprigs or cloves of each.
-Salt and pepper
-Sea salt for garnish
Before you even start thinking about cooking, pull the steak out of the fridge and let it temper. This brings the internal temperature of the steak up a bit, which makes for more even cooking. We let our steaks temper for about 30 minutes before we cook them.
Once the steak is resting comfortably at room temp, heat a cast iron or heavy stainless steel pan over medium high heat. Pour a little oil in there as it heats up to coat the surface.
Once the pan starts to smoke, season the steak aggressively with salt and pepper. Using tongs, place the steak in the pan, and press it down a bit so that it makes a flush contact.
Let the steak sear, maintaining high heat in the pan, for 2-4 minutes depending on the thickness. General rule of thumb is for every inch of thickness, sear for three minutes.
Once you have a beautiful crispy sear on the bottom of your steak, flip it over, and press down again to make complete contact with the pan. Now, add a chunk of butter, a splash of olive oil, and your aromatics, making sure to bloom them in the fat. Let the steak sear for 2/3 of the time it took on the first side, and then begin basting.
Tilt the pan towards you, so that all the fat pools at the bottom near the handle. Using a large metal spoon, scoop up the aromatics and oil/butter/fat, and pour over the steak. Repeat this process five or six times, or until the entire surface of the steak is coated and shiny.
Remove the steaks from the pan, and set them on a wire rack or plate lined with chopsticks to rest. Resting them on an elevated surface allows for even ventilation, and will prevent your steak overcooking due to too much surface contact.
Once the steaks have rested for five or so minutes, slice them up! Sprinkle a bit of sea salt on top, and enjoy with your favorite sides!