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ENTREE: Steak in a pan


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#1 Plump_and_Juicy

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:06 AM

My husband's favorite two foods are bacon and steak. Bacon appears on our menu weekly but steak is less evident in our food rotation. This recipe by Diane Morgan, local cookbook author, is from her latest newsletter. The steaks come out with a beautiful crust and a tender interior. And a big bonus - cleanup is much easier than broiling or grilling.

STEAK IN A PAN

Preparation time: 30 minutes (to take the chill off the steak before cooking)
Cooking time: 5 minutes, 5 minutes resting time
Serves 2

2 1-inch thick NY strip steaks, 12 oz each
kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon butter

1. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes before pan-frying. Liberally season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Select a heavy-bottomed frying pan, preferably cast-iron, and large enough to cook the steaks without crowding the pan.

3. Turn on the kitchen exhaust fan and heat the pan over medium-high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the butter and swirl the pan so the butter melts without browning.

4. Immediately add the steaks. Do not try to move them for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes; a beautifully caramelized crust will form in that time. Use tongs or a sturdy metal spatula to turn the steaks. (Never use a meat fork!). Cook on the other side for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 120F for rare or 130 to 135F for medium-rare.

5. Remove the steaks from the pan to a warmed platter and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Our Valentines Day steak dinner also included asparagus risotto and some herb salad with a small shared pot de creme for dessert. My husband had tears in his eyes even before cut into his steak, and only partly because he loves me.

#2 chefken

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:06 AM

Y'know, that's how I learned to cook steaks when I was starting out 30 years ago withn a bunch of Europeans in Boston, and cooked them that way working in Paris, and have mostly cooked them that way since. The thing is, unless your home is equipped with an extraordinarily hot broiler - which most homes aren't - this is the way to sear the steaks the quickest and get them the crustiest. And also best for preserving and using the pan juices.
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#3 Angelhair

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 08:29 AM

This is great. I have an unreliable broiler here.

P.S. Sounds like you had a great dinner!

#4 pdxscoob

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 11:32 AM

Watching America's Test Kitchen, they throw the steaks into a 250 degree oven for about a half hour which dry ages them a little and removes the moisture from the surface of the steak so when you pan fry them, they don't spit and splatter and you can get a nice crust on the outside.

#5 zak@portlandbeer.org

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 11:53 AM

Try leaving the steak uncovered/on a rack/unseasoned for a few days in the fridge if you want a great crust.

Searing is a misnomer. Your real aim is to remove moisture in order to create a crunchy crust, so get a head start -- start with a dry surface. Don't let it desiccate completely, but enough to form a nice pellicle. Season immediately before hitting the pan to reduce the amount of moisture drawn to the surface by salt.

Works for me, at least.

#6 ExtraMSG

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 01:28 PM

I kind of do it the opposite of CI. I get the pan really hot, then sear one side until crusted, then take it off the heat, flip it, and immediately put it in to a warm, but not hot, oven (like 250) and cook to medium rare. Thicker the steak the better because then you can get a steak that is seared on the outside, but solidly medium rare after the first 1/4". Cast iron grill pan also works well for this.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

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#7 Jason Wax

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 03:22 PM

I do basically the same thing. Remove all the surface moisture from the steak with paper towels, and then salt it really well. Get a heavy pan smoking hot, add a little oil, add the steak, turn down the heat just a bit, and leave it alone for 2-3 minutes. Then flip it and slide it into the oven at 350 until it's rare. The small amount of carryover for most steaks leaves me with something between rare and medium rare after a five minute rest, which is just how I like it.

#8 gustoeater

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 04:37 PM

Ramsay bastes in butter as the steaks are finishing in the pan on the second side. As the steaks are finishing, a "nob" of butter goes into the pan, then is repeatedly spooned over the meat before being removed from the pan...

#9 zak@portlandbeer.org

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 05:42 PM

Ramsay bastes in butter as the steaks are finishing in the pan on the second side.


I wonder if calling the steak an "effing c" helps tenderize it any.

#10 Jill-O

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Posted 21 February 2009 - 09:46 AM

I used to do the sear and then slow oven thing, but I tried it the other way around when I saw the America's Test Kitchen demo on TV. It does produce a better steak that way. And you have the added bonus of being able to wait to sear it if you need the time and it is still hot when you want to eat it. Personally, I prefer filet or rib-eye to a NY Strip.

And really, since I love it black and blue, I don't mind the sear-in-a-smoking-hot-pan-and-serve method, either.

Skirt steak, however, tastes best marinated and grilled. I always have one in the freezer for a quick dinner.
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#11 nervousxtian

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Posted 24 February 2009 - 05:26 PM

Been using that method forever. I teach it to everyone who will listen who says they can't cook a steak worth a damn at home.

Haven't tried the ATC method, but it makes sense. Will give it a shot.

Side note, I usually toss a gob of butter on top as they rest.

#12 Calabrese

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 07:33 AM

When I was in college I had a friend (who had a short stint as a TV news reporter with KGW in the late 70s), who used to cook steak in a pan over a hot plate burner. She was partial to peanut oil with and fried onions as a side. Considering it was PX (air force base) beef, it came out pretty decently.

#13 Amanda

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 06:48 PM

Praise P&J for posting this method for steak!!!

I generally suck at cooking steak (and I did manage to burn my hand but good when turning over the meat with a spatula, splattering myself with the oil/butter in the process), but this recipe gave us a helluva wonderful dinner this evening. I deviated slightly by using Spike as a rub instead of just salt & pepper. The meat came out perfectly medium rare and absolutely perfect, flavorwise. I can't thank you enough for this and now I have newfound admiration for that cast iron skillet that doesn't get much use around here. With this way of cooking steak (instead of winging it with the broiler), I can now feel confident about having my way with this type of red meat! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Best regards,

Amanda

#14 Plump_and_Juicy

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Posted 23 March 2009 - 09:13 PM

I'm just the messenger - it's Diane Morgan's recipe. But you're welcome anyway and I'm glad it turned out well for you. Did you serve it like Mr P&J likes it, with steak on the side? Or did you have something else with it?

#15 Amanda

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 06:44 AM

Well, YOU got the message to me and last night it made my life complete. I served it up with baked potatoes and spinach. YUM! We both really enjoyed it. I never have cooked a steak right and now I can. THANKS!

Best regards,

Amanda

#16 nervousxtian

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 07:20 AM

Get some tongs, they make turning a steak (or just about anything in a pan) a helluva lot easier. No splatter.

#17 Amanda

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 07:59 AM

Thanks, nervousxtian. I will definitely take that advice. I have tongs and I will make use of them for this next time around. I think my left hand may have gotten more seared than the steaks! I've got some angry, red blotches to show as a badge of honor for my efforts. Aloe vera worked well last night to help the pain. I might have scars, though, as has been the case with many a kitchen catastrophe.

Sharp knives and hot oil are very dangerous for me to be around. ;)

Best regards.

Amanda

#18 Schmeesa

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 09:08 AM

I always used to make steaks using a method similar to Morgan's, but then I read this:
http://bitten.blogs....ent-no-problem/
Now I'll never go back. It's true-you don't need that much oil and medium heat works just as well without smoking up the whole house, especially if you don't have a range hood. Letting the steak sit out for a full hour after salt and peppering also makes a huge difference. I also like to finish mine with butter as it's resting, and swirl a bit of red wine in the pan with yet more butter to make a quick sauce.

#19 ExtraMSG

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 10:23 AM

Letting meat rest after salting, does indeed help a lot. I like to leave BBQ overnight after salting to get a nice bark on it. I often even leave things like chicken for a while salted before searing.

However, I don't like the sound of Bittman's recipe. 4 minutes per side? That's going to cook into the meat. The point is to have a THIN crust -- as thin as possible -- then to finish the meat as evenly as possible medium rare (or whatever) through. I doubt you can do that with this recipe. I'm sure it's a decent steak, but it's not this:

Attached File  IMG_0654.JPG   91.38K   4 downloads

I think Morgan and Bittman are both trying to keep it a little too simple, when searing as hot as you can and then finishing in the oven gives the best result.

The greatest service chemistry has rendered to alimentary science, is the discovery of osmazome, or rather the determination of what it was. ~Brillat-Savarin

Nick Zukin, Mi Mero Mole

Co-Author, Artisan Jewish Deli at Home

Formerly, Kenny & Zuke's


#20 Schmeesa

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 02:58 PM

Letting meat rest after salting, does indeed help a lot. I like to leave BBQ overnight after salting to get a nice bark on it. I often even leave things like chicken for a while salted before searing.

However, I don't like the sound of Bittman's recipe. 4 minutes per side? That's going to cook into the meat. The point is to have a THIN crust -- as thin as possible -- then to finish the meat as evenly as possible medium rare (or whatever) through. I doubt you can do that with this recipe. I'm sure it's a decent steak, but it's not this:

Attached File  IMG_0654.JPG   91.38K   4 downloads

I think Morgan and Bittman are both trying to keep it a little too simple, when searing as hot as you can and then finishing in the oven gives the best result.


I'm telling you, it DOES work. Try it, just to see! I've gotten a nice, thin crust, I swear, and a silky interior using this method.