It’s not often that I cook steak for myself. For some reason, the idea of cooking steak always seemed so daunting to me because I don’t have an outdoor grill at my apartment. Growing up, my dad would grill steak about once a week on his gas grill, so naturally I thought it was the only way to be done. Wrong! Turns out, a cast iron or stainless steel skillet does just the trick.
I usually opt for skirt steak or flank steak, since they’re pretty lean. But the cuts are huge and I end up with so many leftovers if I am just cooking for two. So in an effort to save some money and keep the leftovers at a minimum, I selected a 1.5 lb sirloin during my most recent trip to the butcher. Pan searing steak is actually pretty simple, as long as it’s well-seasoned and you follow a few important steps.
What You Need:
- 1.5 lb cut of Sirloin Steak
- Kosher salt
- freshly ground pepper
- 1 TB olive oil
- 1 TB unsalted butter
- cast iron or stainless steel skillet
- other optional seasoning for rub: minced garlic, cumin, coriander, onion powder
- Remove your steak from the fridge about 1 hour before cooking.
- Rinse the steak with room temperature water, then pat dry with paper towel.
- Season GENEROUSLY. If making a rub, combine all spices and garlic with olive oil and coat each side of the steak. Do this when you take it out of the fridge, while it’s coming to room temperature. If you’re not making a rub, you can simply season each side with kosher salt and ground pepper.
- Heat a cast iron or stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat and wait about a minute. If your steak is dry (no rub) add olive oil and butter to the pan. If you’re using a rub, just add a little bit of butter.
- Once butter/olive oil is sizzling, place steak in the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Then flip and cook for another five minutes. This will give you a medium-rare steak.
- Remove the steak from the pan and transfer to a wooden cutting board with ridges. Loosely cover the steak with aluminum foil and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Slice the steak into thin strips, against the grain.
- If some strips of steak are too rare, you can put them in the microwave for about 45 seconds.
I like to keep the sides simple: roasted asparagus, boiled sweet corn, sautéed mushrooms, or a salad. Cabernet Sauvignon makes a great pairing to a hearty steak. I figured since I chose a simple steak I could elevate the meal with some special wine, so I selected a 2007 Duckhorn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and decanted it about 30 minutes before serving. Blended with 22% Merlot and 1% Cab Franc, the wine is a nice mix of mountain and valley floor fruit from a near perfect growing season. The wine was full bodied and rich, with a softness from the addition of Merlot. Layers of currant, blackberry, vanilla and cedar created a smooth finish and complimented the juicy red meat.
So there you have it; no more excuses for not cooking steak on a more regular basis. Still, I hope to get a charcoal grill for my next apartment!