I love steak. I love steak a little too much. While other girls usually crave things like sweets and chocolate, I’m a protein girl and steak is always at the top of my list for cravings.
I’ve frequented many high end steak houses around WA and me and the hubs have dished out sometimes as much as 3 bills to cover one grand night (this was when he was still baiting me to be his girlfriend :P) Anyways, if steak isn’t on your top 3 to eat list, it’s probably because you need the right experience to tell you otherwise.
Although I’ve had lots of steaks at restaurants, none seems to beat the steak I make when I intentionally seek out top dollar meat (not kobe or wagyu cuz we aint baller like that) for my home cooking. I’m guessing if a piece of steak costs 20$ at a restaurant, they’ll up it to at least 40-50$.
Here are my tips and tricks for making the best steak at home:
- Find a good butcher. I’m not talking Safeway or QFC. I’m talking a butcher who only sells meat at their store and sells locally. Meat sold locally means fresh! I prefer a butcher that has grass fed beef options.
- Learn if your steak is grass fed or grain fed. These change the way the meat tastes. I prefer the cow to be grass fed natural and hormone free, and ‘finished’ with grain fed. Grain fed allows for more fat marbling.
- Learn how to choose a piece that has enough marbling. The white striations on your steak indicates marbling. Kobe is known for having an amazing amount of marbling (that’s why it’s so prized). When you have fat marbling in your meat, when you cook your meat the fat marbling infuses your meat which makes it super yummy, delicious, and melt in your mouth.
- Figure out what cut you prefer. There’s New York, filet, porterhouse which is both new york and filet + bone, and rib eye. These are the most common choices with each having a different fat content, tenderness, and cooking time. Both me and hubs like rib eye :). At our preferred butcher, a rib eye is good enough for me and hubs and is around 30-37$ (B&E’s meats http://www.bnemeats.com/)
- Use high quality salt and pepper to season all sides of your cold washed and paper towel dried steak. I prefer a more coarse sea salt and some freshly cracked hot black pepper to season. Once I’ve generously seasoned my steak, I let it rest for about 5-10 minutes. When you put salt on the meat, it draws out moisture. You want to give it some time to absorb back the moisture.
- Use a very very very hot pan. If you have a seasoned cast iron and know how to use that, use it! Add a little bit of oil to kind of coat the bottom a bit (but don’t add too much that your steak will sit in oil).
- Once your oil starts to smoke, carefully add you steak in the center of your pan. Don’t move your steak! Depending on your cut and thickness, you’ll want to keep it there until it creates a nice crust on the steak. If you pay attention to the sound of the sizzling, when the steak is ready to flip, the sizzling changes. The sizzling sound has to do with the meat/moisture making contact with hot oil. Once there’s a crust on your steak, there’s less raw meat moisture to make that sizzling sound you hear initially. So listen to your steak and flip when ready!
- When both sides have developed a crust, get a pat of some high quality butter. I like to use the Irish Kerry Gold grass fed butter. Along with a sprig of Rosemary or a crushed whole garlic (whatever you have) — add this to the pat of butter to your hot pan. Once your butter starts melting, grab a silver spoon and while tilting your pan, start pouring the Rosemary/garlic infused butter to baste your steak. Remember to give the sides of your steak some love!
- When you’ve basted away, if you prefer your steak to be a little bit more cooked, wrap in foil and put into the oven to finish cooking. But for me and hubs, this is plating time!
- Let your meat rest for about 10 minutes before you cut into it. Otherwise when you cut, all the liquid will be sitting on your plate instead of in your meat. I’m impatient as the next person, but this waiting time pays off trust me!