Happy Halloween everyone, let's dive right it. I love Halloween, I love dressing up, I love drinking pumpkin flavored beer, and I love sugar, in all forms. On the 19th (my Birthday ) we went to a huge costume party with some of our friends and it was awesome. I was a Cat and he was Mikey Mouse (no I didn't spell that wrong). There was Beer, Burlesque, French Fries, The Dude, A Cigar, Music, and Dancing. It was lots of fun!
Today Is a rainy and cold day. I feel bad for the Trick-or-Treaters. But then again I do not, because of the free candy and all that. Until I have my own kid, I am going to have to face the same of buying and eating a ridiculous amount of sweets. Although this year, instead of getting candy, I'm just going to eat an entire pumpkin pie. I may share some with mike, we will see. We don't get Trick-or-Treaters at our apartment so we are going to have a nice family dinner while watching something spooky on TV (Hocus Pocus perhaps), before going out for drinks later. To go along with my pie, I am also making Steak! That is what this post is about, and in honor of Halloween, I am going to have mine bloody. Scroll down to learn some steak basics and how to pan sear a steak right at home, using your stove top and oven.
For this recipe you will need just a few things!
- Cast Iron Skillet (or a pan and oven safe sheet)
- High Temperature oil ( grapeseed, EVOO )
- Salt & Pepper (optional)
Now when it comes to purchasing steak, there are lots of really good options out there. But for me, the best steaks will always have the Bone in and the Fat on. When I lived in Montreal I used to go to this butcher shop down town where they age and smoke their meat. When you walk into these places the smell makes you salivate, smoked meat, right in the case, perfumes the whole store. One of the Butchers told me the best way to cook steak is to have an aged steak, and to forgo any seasoning before cooking.
Dry aging the steak ( as in letting is sit undisturbed in a dry area ) turns the steak almost purple as the tissues begin to breakdown. It may sound odd to allow meat to slightly decompose before eating it, but If it is done correctly it allows the meat to naturally tenderize its self. This also creates a developed flavor.
Leaving off the seasoning is much less unanimously agreed upon in the culinary community. Salt and pepper traditional enhance the flavor of just about anything, and in the case of steaks, it also helps to form a crust on the outside. The reasoning behind leaving the seasoning off goes like this. Salt draws out moisture, and pepper burns at high temperatures. So theoretically is steals moisture from the steak and leaves a bad flavor on the crust. I tend to go back in forth between the two techniques. I usually do a nice amount of salt and pepper when I use steaks that have less fat and no bone on them, and none at all when they do. The Bone and Fat do an amazing job of tenderizing and flavoring the meat all on their own, and they don't need my help to get there. But on other types of steaks the salt and pepper help to boost the flavors and create a nice crust on the outside of the steak. So I will leave it between you and your steak as to what you do with it, but now you can be a little more informed.
On to the steps!
- Turn your broiler on high, move your oven rack to the center of the oven and set a cast iron skillet to heat on Medium-High heat.
- Wash your steak, pat completely dry, and season if you want to.
- When the broiler is hot, and the skillet is Smoking Hot (literally, you should see a tiny bit of smoke, you want this thing to be crazy hot! Just be careful of the handle ) pour in some oil. If you have a fatty steak you will only need a tablespoon or so, and if it is a lean steak you will need a few tablespoons. The idea is to give the skillet a drink of oil so that nothing burns, but you don't want the steaks to be swimming in grease. The oil should take less than a minute to heat up, so watch it. When it easily flows over your pan surface place your steaks in. Be careful not to crowd them, they need room to do their thing.
- Try not to touch the steaks too much, but after about 10 seconds check to see how they are going. When they have a slightly golden crust, flip them over.
- Immediately place your skillet (or steaks on a oven safe sheet) in the oven. Close the door, and put a timer on for 10 minutes. This will give you a pretty rare steak. Add a few minutes more for medium and a few minutes more for well done., but more than 20 minutes is probably too long, unless your steak is huge. I am not giving specific times because different size steaks will yield different results. To test weather or not steak is done you have to poke it with your finger. If it is super squishy it is raw. If it is a little squishy but springs back when you press on it it is cooked, but pink. If it is hard, it is well done. So it gets firmer to more you cook it. I personally think steak tastes better when it is at least medium, if not medium-rare.
- Remove the cast iron skillet when the steaks are done and place the steaks on a cutting board to rest, COMPLETELY UNDISTURBED for at least 15 minutes. The meat will continue cooking slightly, and the juices will begin to coagulate and stay inside. You really don't need an incredibly hot steak, a rested, warm, pink steak will have so much more flavor than if you eat it right out of the pan.
- Eat! Eat all of it! Put an egg on it, make some potatoes, caramelize some onions, whatever you want, just enjoy its delicious steaky-ness!
There you have it! What do you guys put on your steak? I like onions and butter! Let me know below, and feel free to ask any cooking questions you might have! Enjoy your Halloween and stay safe!