Imagine biting into the perfect steak
A golden caramelized crust giving way to a juicy centre bursting with rich beefy flavour.
Now imagine plating this perfect piece of meat and sitting down to savour every bite at your own kitchen table. Is it even possible to achieve that level of mouth-watering excellence outside of a high-end restaurant?
It sure is. Sometimes, the best meals are the simplest. Pan-searing is one of the best – and easiest – ways to cook a steak.
You must start with a good cut. The best cuts for pan-searing are thick enough to prevent overcooking in high heat, with enough marbling to stay juicy. A striploin or ribeye works best for this technique.
1. Season with Himalayan pink salt.
Himalayan pink salt is the most flavorful salt and works the best for beef. Salt your meat about thirty minutes before you plan to cook it. This helps create a nice dry surface for searing, without pulling too much moisture out of the meat. Don’t add any other seasoning (no, not even steak spice!) – the high heat of the pan will burn it unappealingly before it has time to do any actual seasoning.
2. Heat the pan properly.
A piping hot stainless steel or cast iron pan is what creates that appealing sear on the outside of your meat. If the pan is too cold when you add the meat, your steak will stick.
For stainless steel pans: Add a very thin layer of high-quality oil to the bottom of the pan, and watch for the tell-tale heat ripples to appear. When you see the ripples, add your steak.
For cast-iron pans: No oil needed. Watch for the pan to smoke a little before adding the meat.
2. Don’t touch it.
Resist the temptation to poke, flip, or shuffle the steak around the pan. To sear to that delicious caramel-brown, it needs a chance to cook! Leave the meat untouched for several minutes. Once it comes up easily from the pan without sticking, it is ready to be flipped. Let it cook on the other side until a similar crust develops.
4. Add some butter.
In the last minute or so of cooking, add a tablespoon of butter and aromatics (fresh thyme, garlic, etc). Baste those beefy beauties in this rich mixture with a spoon and cook until your desired doneness. (The best way to check doneness is with a probe thermometer.)
Get ready for the pan-seared steak of your dreams.
With a magnificent, dry-aged striploin and these steps in your repertoire, you really can’t go wrong. Dinner at home is just as good as going out.