10/18/2011

Thick-Cut Steaks Pan Seared or Grilled

Pin It


Every once in a while, I get a hankering for a good, juicy, deep flavored steak.  That is when I pull out this recipe.  The original recipe only employed the pan seared method, but my steaks come out just as nicely when cooked on the grill (as pictured above) using virtually the same method.  Most of the time I use it for strip steaks, but I get equally good results with a ribeye or fillet. What is important is that the steak is at least a uniform 1 1/2 inches thick.  Unlike the cooking of most of my meats where I bring the meat to room temperature first, this method starts by cooking the steaks in the oven at a low temperature.  This ensures that the steak temperature is even throughout.  That way you don't wind up with a charred, gray crust and a cold, raw inside.  We like our steaks medium rare, but you can certainly leave them in the oven a few minutes more for  medium doneness.  Immediately after removing the steaks from the skillet or grill, I take the flavor one step further and rub the entire surface with a clove of garlic, which really adds great flavor.  Let them rest for 10 minutes, then....


slice open that perfectly cooked, glorious piece of meat. Pavlov could have used this picture for an experiment on humans (o.k those of us that do indulge in meat).  It may cause a spike in drool bucket sales.  If you are looking for an even deeper beef flavor, I have included a dry aged technique in the recipe below.

Printable Recipe

Thick-Cut Steaks Pan Seared or Grilled
serves 4

2 boneless strip steaks (1 1/2 to 1 3/4-inch thick), about 1 pound each
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons canola oil
1 large garlic clove peeled and sliced in half

*Note-- for a deeper beef flavor, you can dry age the steaks for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.  Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and set on a rack over a rimmed baking sheet (do not season).  Cover loosely with a double thick piece of cheesecloth and allow to age for at least 1 day and up to 2 days.  Proceed with the recipe.

For the Pan Seared Method
Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 275º F.  Pat steaks dry with paper towels.  Cut each steak in half vertically to create four 8-ounce steaks.  Season steaks liberally with salt and pepper.  Place the steaks on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet; transfer steaks to oven.  Cook until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the steaks registers 90º to 95º F for rare to medium-rare, about 20-25 minutes, or 100º to 105º F for medium, about 25-30 minutes.

In a large cast iron skillet, heat the oil over high heat until smoking.  Place the steaks in the skillet and sear until browned and crusty, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, lifting steaks halfway through to redistribute the fat. Using tongs, turn steaks and cook until well browned on the second side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.  Transfer steaks to a wire rack and reduce the heat to medium.  Using tongs, hold 2 steaks together and return to skillet to sear on all sides until browned, about 1 1/2 minutes total.  Repeat with remaining 2 steaks.  Transfer steaks to a plate.  Rub each side of the steak with the cut side of the garlic clove.  Cover loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

For the Grill Method
Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 275º F.  Pat steaks dry with paper towels.  Cut each steak in half vertically to create four 8-ounce steaks.  Season steaks liberally with salt and pepper.  Place the steaks on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet; transfer steaks to oven.  Cook until an instant read thermometer inserted in the center of the steaks registers 90º to 95º F for rare to medium-rare, about 20-25 minutes, or 100º to 105º F for medium, about 25-30 minutes.

Prepare a charcoal grill for high heat with a cool area on the side; oil grates well.  Rub both sides of the steak with the oil.  Place the steaks on the grill, close the lid, and sear until browned and crusty, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, turn steaks and cook until well browned on the second side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, jockey steaks as needed to prevent flare-ups.  Transfer steaks to a plate and lower the charcoal for a medium heat.  (If you are unable to lower the temperature by changing the charcoal rack position, use the outer edge of the fire for the cooking area)  Using tongs, hold 2 steaks together and return to grill to sear on all sides until browned, about 1 1/2 minutes total.  Repeat with remaining 2 steaks.  Transfer steaks to a plate.  Rub each side of the steak with the cut side of the garlic clove.  Cover loosely with a sheet of aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Enjoy!

Source: Adapted from Cooks Illustrated, May 2007

17 comments:

  1. Oh! This steak is calling for me...I love steak and yours came perfect.
    Hope you are having a great week and thanks for this tutorial :-)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Nicole, I can ALWAYS count on you for something fabulous and this steak is no exception! What an interesting method of cooking steaks - I think I will try this for my husbands birthday dinner! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Chris,
    Thank you and you are welcome:) I hope you and your husband enjoy it!

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a way to make steak, am printing this recipe and preparing it this weekend, just hope it'll turn out like yours, your pic got me drooling :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ali-
    Thank you:) I do hope you enjoy the recipe/technique. It has been fool-proof for me.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great blog. What are the benefits of putting the steak in the oven 1st and THEN searing on the stove top? Most of us (classically-trained chefs) do it the other way around: sear THEN finish in the oven. Just wondering if I'm missing something. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anon-
    With large roasts I sear the meat first then put it in the oven to finish cooking as well. This method,however,ensures that the meat is evenly and beautifully cooked through out in a cool oven, then it is quickly seared creating a nice brown crust with no gray meat underneath and the rest of the meat stays pink and juicy.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Tried this method tonight with thick top sirloin cuts - - worked perfectly!! I will be saving this. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Taylorbee-
    I am so glad you enjoyed steaks and technique:) Thank you for letting me know. Best!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Nicole, Your Thick-Cut Steaks Pan Seared or Grilled recipe has been selected to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Please share the following link with your friends and fans. To play, go here: http://knapkins.com/guess_games/169?source=blog Congrats again!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ok, this looks amazing! My only question is, what if the steaks are terribly thin? We thought we were doing a good thing by buying some boxes of frozen beef in different cuts. Great, other than everything is literally only 1/2 in thick. How will that change the cooking time? Will it change the flavor? I'm dying to try this but I've got to use this meat before it goes bad. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Me-
    1/2-inch thick is pretty thin and not advisable for this recipe. However, you might try it this way-- set the steaks out at room temperature for at least 1 hour (this allows the steaks to cook evenly without gray meat). Prepare your grill or pan, reduce the cooking time by half or less for each side (depending on how you like your meat done) . Brown on sides, rub with garlic, and allow to rest. Worst case scenario-- slice the meat against the grain and serve the slices in a sandwich. Look at my recipe page for Italian Steak Sandwich:)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nicole - Do you think this method would work for thick boneless pork chops? We like them with a crusty seared outside and tender inside. I always have trouble getting them right and wondered if this method would be worth trying.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not tried it only because pork needs to be cooked to a proper temperature (135° F), not medium-rare to medium.

      Delete
  14. Thanks for answering :)

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've been enjoying this recipe since it was first written in Cooks Illustrated back in 2007!

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting my blog! I love hearing from family, friends, and bloggers, so please leave a comment. Happy cooking!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...