steak questions

I’m wanting to cook steak this weekend. I’m going to cook it in a skillet. All the pan-fried steak recipes I’m seeing are basically “rub the steak with oil, salt and pepper it, maybe rub some garlic on it, and cook it in a hot skillet”. Is it not good to marinate a steak before cooking it in a skillet? I would like to impart some flavor to the meat before cooking it. Anyone have some good marinating ideas, as well as maybe a simple mushroom/wine topping recipe? Thanks!

Sorry if this topic has been done to death.

Hmm… if it’s a good steak, you shouldn’t need to impart any flavor, other than a hint of salt.

Here’s how I do it:

Put your cast iron skillet (you DO have a cast iron skillet, don’t you?) into your oven and heat your oven to 500 degrees. Yes, this is really hot. While it’s heating, rub your steak with a little bit of canola oil, or some other oil with a high smoke point. Oil both sides. Also, sprinkle a pinch or two of kosher salt and pepper and both sides.

When the oven is hot, CAREFULLY remove the skillet and place it on the burner of your stove and turn the burner to high. Place the steak in the extremely hot skillet. After 30 seconds, flip it to the other side. Turn it back over to the first side and slide the skillet into the oven. Cook the steak for 2-3 minutes on each side, depending on how rare you like it.

Remove the steak from the oven and place on a plate. Loosely cover with foil and allow the steak to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

(Shout out to Alton. You’re the greatest!)

Have to agree with Turek. A good steak doesn’t need much else than salt, pepper and maybe garlic (everything is better with garlic). However, if you are not using good steaks, marinading can make up some of the difference. In it’s simplest form, a marinade is an oil and an acid. I use a decent (not my best) extra virgin olive oil, and match my acid to the style of cooking. Trying for a southwest flavor? Use lime and lemon. Italian - balsamic vinegar. Asian - rice wine vinegar and ginger. Season your marinade in any way you want…garlic, onion, shallot, herbs, spices, etc.

Turek did leave out the pan sauce. Once you finish using his recipe (which I’ve done myself often and whole-heartedly endorse), you are left with a blazing hot pan with some of the finest tasting drippings known to carnivores. You’ll want to deglaze the pan with broth or water and wine, cognac or bourbon (too much alcohol will have too strong a flavor, IMO). While the pan is still piping hot, add the broth first and scrape up the bottom with a wooden spoon. Add the alcohol second (this helps to prevent flare ups). Throw your mushrooms in there (you can saute them in another pan to enhance their flavor, if you wish). Some whole, fresh herbs can be tossed in while the liquid reduces by at least half and removed before serving. I’m partial to bay leaf, sage, thyme, or tarragon; my own style sticks to a single herb rather than a mixture. After your liquid has reduced by 1/2 to 2/3rds, stir in a couple of pats of butter for richness, taste test for seasoning, pour over your well-rested steaks. Garnish wish some more of the herb that was used in the pan sauce and enjoy the accolades of your guests.

Pan-frying a steak is wrong. If you can’t grill it, broil it.

My experience is that if you’re planning to marinate a steak, pan-frying is not the best method. The acid/alcohol in the marinade tends to make the flesh leak water.
The resulting liquid pretty much boils/steams the beef.
Result: I don’t get the nice browned crust I’m looking for.

With grilling, the high heat will give you a nice crust, and the beef isn’t trapped stewing in the liquid that leaks out if it. IMO, though, the result is much tougher than it would have been without marinating.

I don’t think I’ve ever successfully pan-fried a marinated piece of beef and had it turn out the way I like steaks.

Alton Brown’s method (as outlined above) works great with unmarinated beef.

What is the difference between kosher salt & pepper and the regular stuff we non-Jews use?

YES! I have never heard of pan frying a steak. And I’m in the South where we fry anything. :wink:

However, it sounds interesting and I might have to try it.

Frying is really a misnomer. The only oil is rubbed onto the steak ahead of time. Pan-searing is better terminology. A raised grill pan will give you the nice hash marks, but it makes the pan sauces much more difficult. A flat plan increases the surface area of the Maillard reaction (that’s the process that produces the tasty brown crust) and pan sauces are easier to make.

Kosher salt grains are larger than table salt. It is easier to measure by hand when sprinkling over a piece of food, as you know how much is being delivered. There are some other properties that the larger, uneven grains impart that are detailed in Alton Brown’s cookbook, but I don’t know them off the top of my head.

Not sure if this is in Mr. Brown’s book (don’t have it in front of me - can’t keep it at work because it makes me too hungry :wink: ) but some tasters have reported that kosher salt (and other uneven, large-grained salt varieties) tastes “saltier” when applied to the surface of food than does table salt. They seem to experience a bigger rush of salty-flavor. I have not personally done a comparison, so take this with a grain of salt. Bwah ha ha. I really crack myself up.

Just to clarify, “Kosher” salt is not the only salt that Jews can eat. It’s a bad shortening of “Koshering” salt - salt used to render meat Kosher by drawing the blood out.

We Jews eat all varieties of salt.

Ok, I have access to neither a Cast Iron Skillet nor do I have access to a grill (other than a Foreman Fat Reducing Grill…).

I’m planning on getting some Steaks on thursday night, and cooking them.

I don’t even know if I have a broiling pan at this point.

Suggestions, please? I’m hoping for something yummy…

Are you telling me you can’t eat a rare steak? Say it ain’t so! Say it ain’t so!

Actually, the drawing out of the blood happens just after slaughter.
And not all the blood is drawn out.

Kosher beef is just as moist & flavorful as non-kosher beef, and makes great rare steaks. Yummmmmm.

Yes for rare…no Tartare.

Wrong answer. Pan frying is the only possible way to prepare a pepper steak, which is the food of the gods. The sauce made from the drippings is heaven on earth.

Frying in an extremely hot skillet is no different than broiling and you get the added benefit of sauce makings.

Augh! This thread is gonna die without my answer!!!1

Ok, probably not. But Imma bump it, just 'cause I am hoping for some timely advice…

Tristan, I cook good, juicy delicious steak on my G. Foreman grill all the time. One inch steak= about 7 minutes to med. rare.

However, if you don’t have a cast iron pan, a heavy sauce pan/frying pan will do. You can even do the oven trick as long as everything on your pan is oven proof. I grew up on pan fried steaks–a bit of butter in the pan, let it melt and just start to butter. Put in the steak (no salt or pepper, yet), sear on one side 1-2 minutes, flip it over, season the seared side, flip again after a minute, turn heat to medium, cook for maybe 4 minutes (three on an electric stove) flip one last time, cook for 4 minutes or so (until cooked enough for you). Deglaze as described above. Oh, you can saute some onion in the butter, then remove it when you put in the steak, put the onion back in after you have seared both sides of the steaks.

Thanks for the replies guys!

What, no one else thought of Swiss steak for variety? Granted, it takes quite a while to make, and it’s not fried, but it’s one of my favorite dishes. Though, I’m used to eating it without the carrots.

Why not fry it more slowly, with onion? Use high heat, but cook it long enough for the onions to cook too? Steak and onions isn’t bad too, with maybe some mushrooms. Though, Turek had a tasty recipie too. :smiley: Steak is great just as it is, though I like mine “not pink, but not black”. Heh, I’ve had to resort to saying that, because most places will blacken my steak if I just say “well done”. :frowning:

Pan frying is really the only way to go, though a cast iron skillet will help things along.
The steak sauce my parents make goes something like this… I’m going from memory and I’ve never made it, but it looks good. I always eat my steak with just a little garlic.
Here’s what they do though:
After steak is cooked, pour some of grease out of pan, making sure to reserve drippings. Then we use Brown sauce, out of Julia Child’s cookbook, but if we’ve run out and we’re desperate, we may buy some demi glaze. So we cook up the brown sauce, add a 1/2 cup of merlot, couple of pats of butter, and a half cup of chopped shallots. Cook until the merlot has cooked away and it’s a sauce rather than a liquid in general.