Strip steak recipe
A perfectly cooked steak at home isn't as hard as it sounds. In fact it can be a lot easier than trying to get one at a restaurant (especially if you don't want to pay north of $40 for the hunk of cow). We first saw this technique on America's Test Kitchen and have only had success with it. It's not the only way to cook a steak, but if you don't have access to a grill or a restaurant grade broiler it's your best bet.
This technique works well for other cuts besides strip steaks, but this is your best place to start. The bone in cuts like a porterhouse can make cooking tricky (meat on either side of the bone cooks at different speeds). A strip steak has great beef flavor and is fairly light on the wallet which are two big things we look for.
The general concept with this technique is to gently heat the beef through to an almost-done temperature and then quickly sear the outside for a nice crust. You've probably heard you should take a steak (or really any meat) out for a while before you cook it to "get the chill off". This is that concept on steroids--instead of slapping a 38º piece of muscle into a hot pan we will end up putting a 95º piece of meat into a hot pan. Since it cooks so shortly on the stove top the resulting steak is almost your desired doneness (in our case on the cool side of the medium rare fence) without the outside being overdone and the inside still raw.
We don't use a thermometer for steak anymore (all that's needed is a quick jab with an index finger), but there's no shame in it and it's certainly better than ruining a nice cut of meat. If you'd like to learn how to tell doneness by touch, Men's Health has some great illustrations that should get you started.
- 1 or more NY strip steaks at least an inch thick, if cooking more than one steak try to get them as close to the same thickness as you can
- Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of a neutral oil (such as peanut)
- Remove steak from refrigerator and season it liberally with kosher salt and pepper, place on a cooling rack inside of a half sheet pan
- Pre-heat the oven to 275º
- Cook steak in oven until its internal temperature is around 90-95º, approximately 20-25 minutes but it will vary based on the thickness of your steak. The end product will appear somewhat dried out and brown but should not appear cooked (or all that appetizing quite frankly).
- Heat a heavy bottomed skillet on high-heat, use enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan
- Once oil just begins to smoke, cook steak on each side for a couple minutes without moving it (this allows a crust to form). If your steak is extra thick add time to cook steak on the side.
- Place the steak on a cutting board and tent with foil, let stand 10 minutes and serve
- If you'd like to cook your steak to a higher degree of doneness, just add some oven time.
- While the steak is resting is a great time to make a quick pan sauce. Simply deglaze the pan with a liquid (water, stock, wine, etc), add some fat (butter or cream), and seasoning. Maybe some shallots too. Finish with a pat of butter and your sauce will have a gloss just like the pros. Just be careful that if you use alcohol it has the tendency to flame up--many eye brows have been lost during a pan sauce.