I love the occasional steak, but I cringe at steakhouse prices. Getting great results at home is surprisingly simple. And with the money you “save” the first time, you can buy yourself the required (or at least recommended) tools. Well, tool: a pre-seasoned cast iron skillet. For those of us who don’t like, want to or can’t grill, this skillet is key to getting a nice sear. (Mmmm, Maillard reaction.)
High smoke point oil (I like refined peanut), salt, pepper and steak are all the ingredients you need. As much as I enjoy a filet, New York strip is my new go-to — not only is it more flavorful, it also costs about half as much. While this may seem so, so wrong to some, I like to trim off the fat cap — it cooks at a different rate than the steak, shrinking and making it difficult to get the meat to have direct contact on the pan.
As for the wine — because we’re still celebrating Cabernet Day here — I paired the meal with an easy-drinking bottle that goes as well with beef as it does rich cheese, Louis M. Martini Sonoma County 2009 (Trader Joe’s $15).
Pepper-crusted New York Strip Steak
Preparation Time: 2 minutes
Inactive Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 1 steak
Serves: 1 – 2
- 1 whole 1″ thick New York strip steak (about 3/4 – 1 pound), remove from fridge about 2 hours before cooking, trim and discard fat cap and any silver skin
- 1 teaspoon refined peanut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon (5 grams) unsalted butter, cut into thin slices (optional)
Preheat dry 8″ cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until it begins to smoke. While pan preheats, coat steak with oil. Season both sides with salt. Sprinkle one side with peppercorns, press to adhere.
Once pan is hot, place steak (pepper side down) on the pan. Cook for 2 minutes on the first side, flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Remove pan from heat, top steak with butter (if using), tent with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 1 minute. Remove steak from pan to a warm plate, tent again with foil and rest for 5 more minutes. Serve. (Steak will be about medium doneness.)