The quest for the (frugal man’s) perfect steak

Vegetarians, look away now. There will be plenty of posts for you, but unless you have a carnivore in your home, you can just skip this one.

Steak – not ours; we ate it all before remembering to take a pic!

Of course to achieve perfection in the preparation of steak, most people would begin with a beautiful, expensive, organic piece of meat. Well, we had a craving for steak and were somewhat limited by what was near us since we didn’t feel like driving all over creation for it today.  That, and K is (self-described)  a “cheap bastard.” She hates paying top dollar for food.

We went to the local Chinese grocery store which was teeming with people since it was a Sunday. K found some nice looking rib eye steak for a reasonable price. When she got it home, she was rather dismayed by the uneven cut. Both pieces were kind of lopsided, so cooking it evenly looked like it might be a challenge. K went on to curse the butchers, with racial epithets that she is seemingly allowed to use since they are of the same race. Funny how that works.

Anyway, she had some realizations about cooking steak from this experience. The final product was darn tasty, but she claims to have overcooked it. Here’s what she recommends when it comes to preparing steak:

  1. Pick a nice piece of meat (K says “don’t do what I did – don’t cheap it out!”)
  2. Salt it on both sides using course sea salt. You don’t need to rinse the steak at this point since you’ll be doing it later. You don’t need a crazy-good salt like Maldon for this; just use basic course sea salt. Salt that’s too fine will absorb directly into the meat, causing it to be too salty.
  3. Let it sit with the course salt for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  5. Wash the salt off and then pat it dry with paper towels.
  6. Sear the steaks quickly on a pan (K uses cast iron) on high heat until it’s just brown, then flip it and sear it briefly on the second side.
  7. Place the steak in the oven (in the pan) at about 375 F for 5 minutes or more depending on how well-done you like it.
  8. It’s ready as a medium rare steak when you press it and it feels like the mound of your thumb (for more about how to tell if your steak is ready, see http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/the_finger_test_to_check_the_doneness_of_meat/ )
  9. Take it out of the oven, put it on a plate and cover it with foil (or a plate) so that it’s completely sealed and let it rest for about 5 minutes.

Enjoy!!!

We had this with a simple green leaf lettuce salad and a homemade vinaigrette. Yum.

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