– “Browning” – also called Maillard reaction. Is the chemical reaction which is facilitated by high-heat cooking. It is very important for developing flavor and we know it takes place when steak surface becomes brown (same with toasting bread). Note – this is different to caramelization.
– “Tongs” – usually made of metal, this scissors-like tool helps you to grab the steak and flip it without using any other instrument (e.g. fork). Tongs are more gentle than forks, so they help to keep juices inside the steak.
– “Basting” – refers to a process of pouring melted juices/fat over the cooking steak in order to develop more flavor.
– “Pan drippings” – the remaining cooked steak particles, fat, juices, marinade and herbs you can find in the skillet after searing. These are full of flavor and make delicious sauces.
– “Level of doneness” – is a degree to which the steak is cooked. There are several degrees of doneness. The most common include: very rare (aka “blue rare), rare, medium-rare, medium, medium-well and well-done. All have a different internal temperature, so it affects the flavor a lot. The view is that medium-rare is ideal for both, flavor and texture. However some people just can’t tolerate the look of raw flesh, so they prefer cooking their steaks to medium – well-done. The cooking method I am describing in this article is ideal for making more thoroughly cooked steaks, since more gentle heat of the oven preserves more flavor and tenderness than direct dry-heat cooking method like pan-searing.
– “Meat thermometer” – also called “instant-read temperature probe”. Is a little thermometer which you can quickly use to find the inside temperature of the steak (aka ‘level of doneness’) and eliminate the guesswork. The temperature probe will help you cook your steak to the level of doneness you want precisely.
– “Resting” – is a process of keeping steak at room temperature after is has been cooked. It helps to stabilize the juices, so that they stay inside the steak when you cut it and keep it tender.
Now that you know the words and can ‘speak the language’ let’s get into it!
By the way, this is a simple, no-recipe, instruction on the method. I don’t want to overcomplicate things with marinades and some weird recipes BEFORE we know how to cook a basic steak this way.
All you will need is:
- 8oz Flat Iron / Chuck Eye / Rib Eye / Flank / Skirt / Fillet / NY Strip / Round steak (any will do except for tough cuts like brisket, shanks and cheeks)
- Flaked/Kosher or any other coarse salt
- Freshly ground pepper
- Organic grass-fed butter (optional)
Pro Tip: Marinating steak prior to cooking helps to tenderize it and add flavor. Start marinating with this simple 5-minute guide. Then try some steak marinade recipes and improve your marinating skills with these tricks.
1. Room temperature. Remove the steak from the fridge 40 minutes before beginning to cook. This time is necessary for the cut to warm up to room temperature. That way we kind of help our skillet to maintain the temperature throughout the entire cooking process – it is important to keep it hot, so to allow the steak be seared from both sides.
The 40-minute guideline is ideal for 8oz cuts of beef. If your piece weighs 10oz, add another 10 minutes. Larger roasts will need up to 2 hours to warm up.