I never spend the money to buy a nice steak which is kinda crazy because I will spend lots more on good cheeses and other ingredients to make a good meal. So for Valentine’s Day this year I decided it would be a nice splurge and an easy meal to have steak. I also wanted an excuse to finally open the nice bottle of Cakebread Cellars Syrah I had bought in Napa 6 years ago. I love cooking with my cast-iron skillet so I was dying to try to cook steaks in it. This recipe came from America’s Test Kitchen, and I have made some of their recipes before and knew they had tried every method and timing to make the best steak in a cast-iron skillet. It was really tasty with a perfectly browned, crisp crust and a juicy, evenly cooked interior. Served with sour cream potatoes and wilted lettuce (which are both on the blog), the steak dinner was deemed a huge success by my Valentine of 40 years!
2 – 1 lb. boneless strip steaks, 1-1/2” thickSalt and pepper
2 TB vegetable or canola oil
4 TB unsalted butter, softened
2 TB minced shallot
1 TB minced fresh parsley
1 TB minced fresh chives
1 garlic clove, minced
Set butter out early to soften, about an hour or so. Once it is soft enough combine it with the shallot, parsley, chives, garlic and ¼ t. pepper; set it aside.
Adjust oven rack to middle position and place a 12” cast-iron skillet on a rack in the cold oven. Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Meanwhile season steaks with salt and let sit at room temperature.
When the oven reaches 500 degrees, pat steaks dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Using potholders, remove the skillet from the oven and place over medium-high heat; turn off oven. Being careful of hot skillet handle, add oil and heat until just smoking. Cook steaks, without moving them, until lightly browned on first side, about 2 minutes. Flip steaks and cook until lightly browned on second side, about 2 minutes.
Flip steaks, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, flipping every 2 minutes until steaks are well browned and meat registers 120-125 degrees (for medium rare), 7-9 minutes total.* Transfer steaks to carving board, smear 2 TB herb butter on each steak, loosely tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
*My steaks came from the meat counter and were about 1-1/2” thick but not quite a pound each. I set my timer for 2 minutes and flipped them so that each side was cooked twice, which was a total of 8 minutes, and they were perfectly medium rare. I did use my meat thermometer and they were between 120 and 125 degrees.