8 quick steps to a perfectly seasoned, perfectly done steak…every time.
By Chanie Nayman
When I was 17 and super eager to drive, I offered to do the food shopping. My father heard that I had volunteered for the job and told me, “You can’t go. You don’t know how to pick out a good piece of meat.”
“Sure I do,” I replied. “I’ll look for the size and cut you want.” (It was a minute steak split/fillet, which is a great value. If you’re not buying this cut, you should start now! This is not to be confused with a fillet steak.)
That’s when I received my first lesson in marbling…because the first step in cooking a great steak begins at the market.
Recently, when friend and colleague Renee Muller (the great talent) asked me to send her my standard steak recipe, and then quickly changed her order to, “HEY, why don’t you write it up for the website and call it, ‘How To Cook an Awesome Steak in Not Such Awesome Weather,’ I have to say, I was pulled in hook line and sinker.
If I’m not using my new favorite toy, the sous vide (great for erev Shabbos OCD-ers, because you put it up Thursday night. Major perk. Also for another article), here’s what I do.
• Season steak generously with crushed garlic (yes I cheat and use cubes plenty of times), coarse kosher salt, and plenty of freshly crushed black pepper. I highly recommend crushing your pepper fresh with a grinder. I buy the disposable ones (I get mine at Trader Joe’s, but most supermarkets and price clubs sell black peppercorns in a grinder) so I don’t have to bother refilling them, and I use them all day long. The same goes with salt. I use that disposable salt grinder all day long.
• Add a hefty splash of soy sauce. Now here’s where I get a bit soy sauce snobby. Check the ingredients on your soy sauce. If it says, “High fructose corn syrup,” you should probably reconsider your choice next time you are in the sauce aisle of your supermarket. I usually use Kikkoman, and I buy the large container at Costco.
• Add a drizzle of olive oil. I do want to not say this, but I have to because it makes a bit of a difference, but I use a pinch of onion soup mix (msg-free, of course) on there too. I also add some Trader Joe’s BBQ Coffee Rub sometimes; that stuff is great!
• Turn the steak over, and repeat on the second side.
• Then, if you have time, let it marinate for a few hours, but I also cook my steaks right after I season them too.
• Heat up a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil until the oil is shimmering. If you have a cast iron skillet, use it. I love them. Using kitchen tongs, place your meat down on the skillet. And let it sit there until it releases on its own and doesn’t stick when you try to move it. When it does that, you will know you just locked in the juices on your meat…resulting in a more juicy bite, oh yes. This shouldn’t take longer than a minute to ninety seconds.
• Then, transfer your meat to a disposable pan (you don’t want any carry-over cooking from the heat of the skillet) and place in a pre-heated 280-320 degree oven (depending on how thick your steak is). That will get you medium rare edge to edge.
• Now, here’s the cool part. Turn OFF your oven. And let it sit in there, without even one little peek until you are ready to serve. Perfect even doneness every time.
Try it and let me know how much you loved it! Email me at email@example.com