What’s for dinner?
One of the pleasures of having a food blog is that it’s easier to justify purchasing spendier ingredients, at least on occasion. Normally, the Smith household goes through at least a whole chicken each and every day, and, quite frankly, it gets boring. What’s for lunch? Chicken. Dinner? Chicken. After all, a whole “happy” bird from Whole Foods runs around $9, which isn’t bad. And, we use the bones to make bone broth.
Not that there isn’t a shortage of great chicken recipes in my repertoire, but I tend to default to the same handful of them day in and day out. As my friend Darryl pointed out in this post’s comments,
Wow you guys really are chicken lovers! … Do you have any quick and simple recipes … for other meats/main courses?
As a food blogger, I want y’all to appreciate the tremendous sacrifices that I am willing to make for my readers. So, I *reluctantly* headed to our local high-end grocer and picked up a ribeye from a pasture-raised cow. Said ribeye put me out $15 (it was on sale), and in an attempt to lessen the sticker shock, the butcher informed me that I had selected a beautiful cut of meat. I assured him that I was simply taking one for the team. After all, $15 for just the protein for one home cooked meal is far more than what I’m used to spending.
Now, I don’t normally cook steak – in fact, I don’t even know how to operate our grill. It turns out that I didn’t have to putz around with it, though, as we were out of propane. So, I did what I do when I don’t know how to cook something – I texted Darryl. She shared with me a tip that she’d picked up from a very popular test kitchen a while back (which shall remain nameless due to its unfortunate track record of bullying even copyright-compliant food bloggers), which I at least somewhat employed.
The secret to cooking the best steak ever is *drum roll* to first warm it in a low oven, then sear it in a cast iron skillet. It takes more time to do this, but it’s stupid easy to do, foolproof, and yields amazing results. I promise you that you will produce one badass mofo steak! Oh, and the great thing about pan searing a steak is that you now have bits of meat clinging to the pan just dying to be turned into a yummy sauce!
Here’s the recipe.
The Most Badass Mofo Ribeye Steak Ever (with Pan Sauce)Print Recipe
- at least 1 ribeye or other fatty steak, preferably around 1 1/2" thick, trimmed (choose whatever quantity you want - I used one 1lb steak)
- For the sauce:
- a small glug of olive oil
- one or two shallots, chopped fine
- a few healthy splashes of Marsala or other fortified wine*
- several healthy splashes of chicken or beef broth (I don't measure it, but use around double or triple the amount of Marsala)
- a small handful of crushed peppercorns (optional)*
- a splash of Cognac (optional)*
- a few tablespoons butter (optional)*
Preheat oven to 275 °F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.
For the steak:
Pat dry the steak, season with salt and pepper, and place on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes and temp the interior. The intention here is to warm the interior of the steak to around 90 °F or so, but to not actually cook it.
Heat a cast iron skillet over a fairly high heat. Place the steak on the bare skillet and sear for three minutes for a rare to medium-rare steak, and up to five minutes for a medium to medium-well done steak. Flip over and sear for another two to three minutes, adding an extra minute or two for a medium-well done steak. A lot of factors go into the duration of time your steak should sear, so use your intuition and err on the side of undercooking it.
Remove from the pan and tent loosely in foil on a plate while you prepare the pan sauce.
For the pan sauce:
Reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the olive oil and shallots to the hot pan and sautée for a couple of minutes, until they soften. Deglaze the pan with the Marsala and reduce to about half. Add the broth and reduce until it thickens up a bit. Add the peppercorns and Cognac, and stir in the butter (if using). Season to taste and serve over the steaks.
So, this recipe is intentionally vague. That's because I prioritize flexibility over perfection, and there is something immensely gratifying about pouring wine straight from the bottle and into a hot pan. Also, I know that adding certain ingredients (like peppercorns, Cognac, and butter) will improve the flavor, but I either didn't have any handy, or my husband's diet forced me to omit them. Finally, quantities are dependent on how much sauce you need to serve up with your steak(s). I hope that you appreciate this approach. And, enjoy that badass mofo steak!
I’d dig hearing from you how you cook your steak. Have you ever tried this technique? Maybe you use a marinade that delivers something equally badass? Please share below!