How to make the best steak ever, according to a Marine chef
There isn't a dish more widely recognized as the single item dad's cook than steak. Being able to prepare the perfect steak, for many Americans, is a rite of passage.
But a good cut is expensive, so there isn't a whole lot of room for error when it comes time to put the meat to the heat.
As a kid, whenever there were steaks marinating in the fridge and the smell of charcoal burning hung in the air, you knew it had to be a special occasion.
Let's get cookin'.
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What you need
- A stove
- A cast-iron skillet big enough to comfortably fit your steak.
- A roasting rack
- A sheet pan
- A serving spoon
- A sheet of parchment paper
- A pair of grilling tongs
- 1 cowboy-cut, 1.5 inch-thick ribeye steak (Buy it from the butcher, ensure it has great marbling)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil (do not use olive oil, the smoke point is too low)
- Black peppercorn (Freshly ground/crushed to order), to taste.
- Coarse, flakey salt, to taste.
- Half stick of butter
- 4 garlic cloves (crushed)
- 6 sprigs of thyme
Step 1. Assemble your gear.
Put your steak on the parchment-paper-lined sheet pan and let it sit under refrigeration for an hour. Put the skillet on the stove on medium heat and have all other ingredients close by. Once you get started, this process will require constant attention, so prep your ingredients beforehand.
Step 2. Be ready.
Once all items are in place and your skillet is hot, add the vegetable oil to your pan (Ensure that the oil is at least 1/8 inch deep across the pan). The oil needs to reach 375 Fahrenheit. When you see a slight shimmering across the top of the oil, it's good to go. Test the oil by dropping a thyme leaf — just one leaf — in the oil. If it makes a popping noise, you're on track.
Step 3. Sear your steak.
Once your oil is ready and all items are in place, season your steak with salt and pepper generously. Crush or grind the pepper before sprinkling it on all sides of your steak. Use your hands and really cover the steak with seasoning. Next, turn the stove to high. The oil is going to reduce in temperature significantly when you add the steak, this will help keep it at 375-Fahrenheit.
Just before putting the steak on, pat the steak dry. Then, using tongs, place the steak into the cast iron skillet. Press to ensure as much surface area as possible is making contact with the pan.
Let it cook for a minimum of four minutes on that side before attempting to move. The steak will stick when it first comes into contact with the heat. It needs time to cook off before it will freely move.
Flip your steak with tongs to the other broadside for three minutes, or until edges turn brown. Sear all asides — the edges as well.
Step 4. Baste!
Next, toss in the butter, garlic, and herbs. When the butter has melted, tilt the pan so that the butter pools to the side of the pan closest to you.
Using that serving spoon, push the steak towards the other side of the pan and begin spooning the hot, aromatic butter over the top of your steak. Let the butter touch as much of the steak as possible before tilting the pan and pooling the butter once more.
Continue to do this until your steak is cooked the way you prefer (Anywhere from rare to medium is acceptable).
Step 5. Let the it rest.
Turn off the heat, remove the steak, and let it rest on the roasting rack. Let the skillet and oil cool in a safe place.
Let the steak rest at least 15 minutes before cutting and serving.
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Step 6. Enjoy!
Eat it with your hands for full enjoyment or use a knife and fork to pretend like you aren't an animal.