Saturday, January 8, 2011

Pan-Seared Thick Cut Ribeye Steaks

It's a blessing and a curse to learn how to cook the restaurant food I love.  It's a great feeling to know that I can save myself some money and prepare food at home, but sometimes I go to a restaurant and don't want to order anything because the price mark up terrifies me!

Well, this recipe has pretty much guaranteed that I won't be ordering steaks at restaurants anymore.  I learned the basics of cooking steaks from Alton Brown's cookbook I'm Just Here for the Food. I basically patted the steak dry, liberally salted it, rubbed with oil, and seared both sides.  However, I remember Cook's Illustrated publishing a recipe that had you put the steaks in the oven first and then sear claiming that you got a crisp sear with a greater percentage of even pink meat inside, and less grey meat adjacent to the seared surface. Helen Rennie, whom I took a cooking class from once, posted about this cooking technique again recently at Beyond Salmon reminding me how much I had been wanting to try it.

After declaring that one of my new year's resolutions is to eat less meat, it's ironic that my first recipe post is about steak, but continuing to eat meat for me is about eating higher quality meat that was raised with respect in smaller quantities.  This recipe definitely honored the meat as it tasted fantastic, and together we shared a 12 oz steak for a special occasion.  Although it was a little more work than my usual steak regimen because I was taking the pan out of the oven frequently to check the steak's internal temperature, the end result was worth it.  With some practice, I'll become less nervous about the timing as what was in the recipe was pretty accurate.  The smile on my husband's face after reminding him about last week's steak is a telltale sign that this recipe is a keeper! 

Sorry that the picture doesn't really show off the inside of the steak. It looked so good that I didn't have the patience to spend time futzing with the camera. I was hungry!  Check out the wonderful picture Helen posted when she first wrote about this cooking technique. Looks delicious, right?  The original recipe had multiple pan sauces to change up the flavor, but it really didn't need it.

Pan-Seared Ribeye Steaks
adapted from Cook's Illustrated May 2007 with help from Helen Rennie at Beyond Salmon

Boneless ribeye steak (at least 1-1/2 inches thick cut into 4 to 6 ounce pieces)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Pat steaks dry with paper towel. Consider tying steaks with twice make whole piece an even 1-1/2 inches thick. Season entire surface of steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Place steaks on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet; transfer baking sheet to oven. Cook until instant-read thermometer inserted in center of steak registers 90 to 95 degrees for rare to medium-rare, 20 to 25 minutes, or 100 to 105 degrees for medium, 25 to 30 minutes.

2. Heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat until smoking. Place steaks in skillet and sear steaks until well-browned and crusty, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, lifting once halfway through to redistribute fat underneath each steak. (Reduce heat if fond begins to burn.) Using tongs, turn steaks and cook until well browned on second side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer all steaks to wire cooling rack and reduce heat under pan to medium. Use tongs to stand 2 steaks at a time on their sides. Holding steaks together, return to skillet and sear on all sides until browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Repeat with any remaining steaks.

3. Transfer steaks to wire cooling rack and let rest, loosely tented with foil, for 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

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