Note: I have tried to photograph this recipe at least three times since November. Every single time something goes wrong, without fail. So this time I am simply putting up the pictures I was able to get and asking you to trust that this recipe is worth trying! I’m dedicating this post to two of my friends: Mr. W. Libby, who said o.i.h. could use a bit more meat and potatoes (I aim to please), and Mrs. Kelly Oliver, who questioned the possibility of a really great steak without a grill (I believe it can be done!). If you are participating in the allergy elimination diet, this is a great steak for you. Simply substitute a high heat oil anywhere butter is indicated!
Growing up, the best steaks I ever had didn’t come from a restaurant. Restaurants produced flavorless slabs of hard to chew meat, never cooked to the customer’s specified degree. The great steaks of my childhood were found at home. My dad cooked them, under the broiler, covered in garlic and glistening with butter, and I thought they were the best. My technique as an adult is a bit different, but its origins are definitely inspired by my dad; my dad, who ingrained in me (among other things) the idea that meat cooked properly does not require sauce.( The fact that my husband did not grow up with that mantra led to some severely hurt feeling while eating our first meals as newlyweds!) So this steak is jam packed with flavor, no sauce required!
I started with a beautiful 1.3 lbs. of N.Y. Strip; in our house that makes four servings. We all know by now that we are not supposed to consume large quantities of red meat. So, let’s assume we are all pretty heart-smart and this is an occasional treat. Do yourself a favor and buy the very best quality and cut of meat you can for this indulgence; the meat makes all the difference. For the sake of cooking time I cut this in half to make two 1 1/4″ thick steaks
Season liberally with ground cumin, kosher salt, freshly ground black pepper and, if desired, rub with fresh or powdered garlic. Rub seasonings into both sides of steak and allow it to rest at room temperature while you preheat oven to 425 degrees and begin heating a cast iron skillet over medium on the stove top. For your cooking fat I strongly recommend butter (sounds super healthy, I know) but you can also use ghee (butter with milk solids separated and removed) or a high heat oil (using h.h. oil instead of butter makes this recipe great for the allergy elimination diet! See our a.e.d. Food Guide for options). Once your cast iron pan is thoroughly heated–flick some water from you fingers and listen for intense sizzle–add roughly 1 tbs unsalted butter to the pan and melt.When butter begins to bubble and brown place steaks in pan and LEAVE IT ALONE.
You want to develop good, crusty browning on each side of the steak to lock in juices and create good texture. . .this will not happen if you constantly move the meat around. Around the 1.5 to 2 minute mark, raise one of your steaks and check for browning.
Once color is good, flip both steaks and continue to brown on stove top for another 1.5 to 2 minutes. Transfer pan from stove top to oven and continue to cook to desired doneness. In this house that is medium (that is our compromise between my vampiric tendencies and Jason’s medium-wellness).That means for this steak we do about 5 minutes in the oven before removing and setting the meat out to rest (either spooning pan juices over the meat or putting a little pat of butter on each).
If you are uncertain about meat cooking times here is a handy, dandy chart I found on the Canadian Beef website. Now, you may be thinking, didn’t she promise meat and potatoes? You are absolutely right.
This is the most perfect meat and potato marriage I have ever experienced. The flavor combination is beautiful and I strongly encourage you to step outside the Idaho potato box and try something new over at The Traveler’s Lunchbox. Doing the A.E.D? Try substituting avocado for the feta! I’ve now made myself thoroughly hungry, so I’m off to my left-overs. Bon appetit!
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