Making a steak is really pretty simple. Start with a nice steak for starters. Sirloin, T-bone, and rib eye are good choices for general steak-eating purposes. If you want to get fancy, you could pick up some filet mignon, although it’s generally about twice the price of sirloin. So…weigh carefully how much you care.
With the exception of filet mignon (which are usually cut to around 2 inches thick), choose steaks between 3/4 inch and 1 1/2 inches thick. They’ll cook better, more evenly, with this pan-broiling method I’mmonna show you in a second. Bring them to room temperature before cooking by leaving them on the counter (away from your fly farm) for 30 minutes or an hour before cooking.
When they’re done cooking, they need to rest for at least 5 minutes before you tear into them. That’s exactly enough time to make a gorgeous pan sauce with some wine! Perfect! You are going to impress the hell out of yourself with this recipe.
Oh, Snap. I should also tell you that this is going to smoke and get crazy. Your smoke alarm may start blowin’ up. Turn on your exhaust fan at the very beginning; if you don’t have one (like me), open a window and turn on a ceiling fan, ‘kay?
If you are REAL averse to smoking out your house, you might just want to do this on a grill. Same method — but you miss out on the delectable pan sauce. (*Unless, like some dear, sweet, clever commenters pointed out, you put the pan ON the grill. Doy, Hilah! Thanks, y’all!)
Heat your grill to a medium-hot temperature and cook about as long as you would using the pan-broiling method. To check the temperature of your grill, hold your hand about an inch above the grate, palm side down. Count “mississippis” or “one-thousands” or “tarantulas” or whatever funny word you use to count seconds. When you can hold your hand there for 3 seconds, that’s medium hot. Approximately. You know.
Anyway, so now you have some raw steaks staring you in the face. Shut your face, steak! This is how you’re gonna do it.
- Steaks (one big one or two smaller ones or one smaller one or fuck it, just get some hotdogs and stop trying)
- Garlic cloves
- Pepper (this is one time when I will tell you to use fresh ground pepper if you can)
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 teaspoon fresh herbs if you can spare them
- Bring the steaks to room temperature, or thereabouts. Get a paper towel or a Whataburger napkin from your glovebox and pat the steaks dry.
- Cut a clove of garlic in to halves and smear the meat with the cut sides of the garlic. Smear both sides.
- Sprinkle with pepper and salt, liberally. Do not be a miser. Depending on the size of your steaks, between ½ teaspoon and a teaspoon of salt per steak. Same for the pepper.
- Preheat your skillet over high heat. PLEASE use cast iron. If you must use stainless steel, well, then you must. But DO NOT use a non-stick skillet. They buckle under the pressure of such high heat cooking and may actually catch on fire and then your smoke alarm will be going off for a real reason instead of a dumb reason like aromatic steak smoke.
- Once it's really really hot, put your steak in and leave it alone for about 5 minutes (assuming you're going for medium doneness)
- If a lot of fat is accumulating in the skillet, try to spoon some of it out without burning yourself with boiling oil. If you can't manage it safely, don't worry. I care about your fingers and hands and the skin on your leg!
- After 5 minutes, flip the steak and cook another 5 minutes. Around now is probably when your smoke alarm is beeping at you and won't shut the eff up even after you take the battery out because it's wired into the electrical system for "safety".
- Check for doneness by cutting a teeny slit in the thickest part of the meat and looking in it. If there's a bone in your steak, check near the bone. If you're going for medium, the meat should still be pink right now, more like medium-rare. BUT you need to take it off the heat before it finishes cooking as you desire because it will continue to cook off the heat. That's a little thing called "residual cooking".
- Once it's cooked to slightly less than you want, remove it from the pan and set it on a plate.
- Now turn back to your blazin' hot skillet and pour that wine in there. Quickly stir it around with a fork or whisk to get all the little brown bits of steak and salt and pepper off the skillet and into the wine. This is called deglazing the pan.
- When the wine has reduced to about half it's original volume, add the butter and any herbs you like (thyme, parsley, tarragon) as well as the steak-juice that has accumulated on the plate. Mix it around and pour it over the steak.