If you like your steak medium, medium-well, well-done, you can stop reading here and go check Facebook.
I have always been a griller. Steak had to be grilled and it had to be rib-eye. Filet to me was out of the question. I thought it wasn’t going to be flavorful due to the lack of marbling. I also considered it a chick steak. But one day, I was at my local HEB and I saw their Prime 1 filets on sale for $9.99 a pound. That’s about half price, so I had to give it a try.
Don’t get too excited about the picture below, I am still experimenting with the perfect sear. Let’s find out how.
Stepping out of my comfort zone, I polled my brain for how friends say they have prepared a pan seared steak. One thing that sticks out was to cook it at room temperature. I understand why this is, so the middle can heat up with out having to sear too long. Searing too long gives you a grey banding around the circumfrance of the steak – and you typically want to avoid having that banding.
I prepare the steak by patting them dry. You don’t want them too wet when they go down on the pan. Then I cover the top and bottom with a generous amount of sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
*side note, a rare steak should have an internal temp of 120 degrees.
1st searing attempt:
Heating a frying pan to a high-medium-high heat, I add oil. I don’t want it smoking, but hot enough for a solid sear. I placed the filets on the pan and seared about 2 and a half minutes on each side. The sear was perfect. In a baking pan, I then transferred to a preheated oven at 375 degrees and let them continue warming to ensure the internal temperature got warm. I left it in the over about 10 minutes.
This actually turned out to be very successful. The steak was incredible and the banding was minimal – but I want less banding!
2nd searing attempt:
I reversed my method from the 1st attempt. I first put in the oven for 10 minutes to warm the steak to about 100 degrees. I then transferred it to the frying pan and seared 2 and a half minutes on each side.
This method actually worked better! But I think I can actually sear 30-45 seconds less on each side. But I ran out of steak, and I will have to write a follow-up later. We will perfect this soon.
NOW THIS IS IMPORTANT! – resting…
When your steaks are done cooking, you must let them rest around 10 minutes. Resting is basically letting them cool. Cover them with foil and the steak will actually absorb the juice that came out during cooking. If you cut in right away, you are just going to have a messy steak… And that mess is your flavor leaking all over the plate… poor you.
Finally, when I am done cooking the steak, I sprinkle a bit more sea salt on top to taste. This really helps bring out the sear and the delicious steak itself.
Stay hungry Houston and go buy a cast iron frying pan. Just remember, dont wash it with soap ever! Let that cooking keep seeping into the pan! This seasons the pan and creates a natural non-stick surface. (Only rinse with warm water, remove any burned on food with mesh or a non metal brush.)