One upside to the bad economy is that there is a smaller market for expensive prime quality meats, which means I have been able to buy prime ribeye steaks for $8.99 a pound. I’ve embarked on trying a slew of different methods to achieve the “perfect steak” from Alton Brown’s to Cook’s Illustrated’s. The final product is a mélange of different cooking theories.
How to cook a perfect steak
1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. (Something happens to proteins when exposed to temps above 250, so slow cooking is better).
2. Take steaks out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking. (The steak takes less time to cook and cooks more evenly if the steak is room temperature).
3. Rinse and dry steaks well (Wet meat steams, dry meat sears and give you that beautiful crusty brown exterior).
4. Season. Use whatever you want; you can go as simple as salt and pepper, or use a spice rub. (Flavor is important).
5. Heat large oven proof skillet to screaming hot. A droplet of water flicked on to the surface should dance across the pan. (All the better to sear you with, my dear).
6. Sear steaks on one side until it develops a nice brown crust. This can take 2-3 minutes. Flip and do the other side. (Crust = flavor). Your kitchen will fill with smoke. Deal with it.
7. Place pan and steaks in to the oven. Roast till it reaches 135-140 on a meat thermometer. A good instant read thermometer is great investment you will never regret. The amount of time it takes will depend on the thickness of the steak. Don’t burn yourself on the handle when taking the steak out as I have done. Twice.
If you are one of *those* people who prefer their meat more than medium rare, cook it to a higher temp, but I don’t want to know about it.
8. Rest the steak for 10 minutes, or more. (Do not skip this step because you are impatient and hungry. The juice needs time to recirculate and the muscle fibers will relax.)
9. Slice on a bias (not important, but it looks prettier) and serve.
10. Feel free to use butter on top or add a sauce, but if your meat is good quality, you won’t need it, you can just revel in the meaty goodness.