I don’t care if your preference is a filet, a sirloin a ribeye, a porterhouse, or whatever…it is hard to beat a good steak. For years, I thought a good steak came off the grill. Then I realized that one of my favorite steaks was the classic seared steak from Outback. I was now on the quest to recreate a seared steak at home.
Remove steaks from the fridge and season both sides with coarse sea salt (or kosher salt) and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste. Just eyeball the spices, but make sure you use enough to form a nice crust. If you have a favorite meat seasoning blend, you can also use that. Let the steaks rest 45-60 minutes on the counter prior to cooking so the meat comes closer to room temperature.
Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.
Heat a seasoned cast-iron skillet to medium-high or high and add 1 tbsp of cooking oil. The pan should be VERY HOT in order to create a proper sear on both sides of the steak. My personal preference is to use my grandmother’s cast iron skillet. Cast iron gets really hot, which gives your steak a great charred finish on the outside.
You may want to remove the batteries from your smoke alarm temporarily, turn on a ceiling fan and/or open a few windows.
Let the steaks cook for 2 minutes. Flip the steaks over, then let them cook another two minutes. I recommend using a kitchen timer here. If you want to sear the sides, cook them for about 30 seconds on each side using your tongs to hold up each steak.
IMPORTANT: For smaller, leaner steaks you’ll want to keep it in the oven no longer than 2 minutes, even less if you want to achieve medium rare. For a larger, fattier cuts, 4-6 minutes will achieve a pink center. And if you’re uncertain, you can always do the finger test to check for doneness.
Remove pan from the oven. Using tongs, place the steaks on a cutting board or plate, cover loosely with aluminum foil or a dish towel and let rest for 7-10 minutes without cutting into it.
A cooked steak should rest at room temperature for at least five minutes – it will stay warm for anything up to 10 minutes. Here, pure science comes into play – the fibers of the meat will reabsorb the free-running juices, resulting in a moist and tender finish to your steak.
A few minutes before serving, when you plate the meat, top each steak with a tablespoon of butter. Give it a minute to melt over the steak, then serve.