I had a hankering for a steak the other day. Grilling season is over so I prepared the steak in a way that I learned from an article I read by Julia Child years ago. This is a perfect way to do steaks if you want them quick or if the grill is put away for the winter.
Start with the most beautiful steak you can find at the grocery store. It should be 3/4 to an inch thick and have lots of marbling. For my steak I found a beautiful porterhouse, and to make it even better the store had them on sale. The only other piece of equipment that you need is a heavy black iron skillet. I have found this to be the best pan for searing. The key to a good pan seared steak is a heavy skillet, high heat, and the patience to not fuss with the meat while it is searing so a good crust forms.
The way I test for doneness is by pressing on the meat and looking at the color of the juice coming to the surface. Here is a link that teaches you how to test for doneness using the feel of the palm of you hand called the finger test. Also, the juice coming to the surface should be clear, and bright pink.
After the steak is done, it should rest for about ten minutes. While it is resting you can prepare a sauce from the pan using shallots, red wine and butter or just pull up the fond using some melted butter and whatever juice the meat gave up while resting, which is what I did in this case. I served the steak with frizzled onion straws, which made it extra good. I have tell you, it was one of the best steaks I have had in a long time.
Pan Seared Steak
1 T olive oil
1 3/4 inch to 1 inch thick well marbled steak
freshly ground pepper
2 T butter
Sprinkle steak on one side with a generous amount of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Coat the bottom of a heavy skillet with olive oil. Put over high heat and preheat until oil just begins to smoke. Place steak in pan, seasoned side down. Season the other side of the steak. Leave it undisturbed in the pan over high heat for 5 to 7 minutes. When the meat can be moved without sticking it is seared. Turn over the steak. Cook undisturbed for another 5 to 7 minutes, until steak tests to desired doneness using the finger test and juices have begun to run clear. (This should be medium rare). Remove steak to a warmed plate and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in pan and scrape up all the brown bits (the fond). Cook this until butter is foamy. Pour any juice the steak has given up while resting back into the pan and cook for a bit. Pour this sauce over the steak. Pile frizzled onions on top of the steak.
Frizzled Onion Straws
1 medium onion
2 T wondra flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t white pepper
Slice onions against the rings into very thin slices. Separate the slices into straws. Mix flour, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss onions with the flour mixture. Fry onions in two inches of oil over medium heat until golden brown. (Cook in several batches if need to avoid overcrowding the pan). Remove for pan and drain on a paper towel. (Onions will crisp up as they sit).
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