As I'm writing this blog today, I'm thinking about my husband (you are seeing this blog much, much later). Today is his birthday, and I can't think about any other dish that he likes as much as steak. Yes, my husband is a meat and potato guy. He loves his steak medium and prefers rib eye to any other cuts. LOL.
And for me, the girl from a place where meat is always cooked to death, I have a husband who desires a medium steak and me, on the other hand, prefers a rare steak with nice pink marbling inside. Isn't that weird?
In my family, about once a week I prepare steaks that come from grass fed cows. My boys are meat lovers and me as a mom it is absolutely crucial that my children get the right of quality protein. Last year I published Flank Steak with Wild Mushrooms and Crème Fraiche. This is an elegant and very tasty dish perfect for serving company.
Today the star of the recipe I'm sharing with you is grass-fed rib eye steak.
This Pan Seared Steak has everything you can imagine from a good steak. Shallots, rosemary and garlic do the magic, by infusing the glossy sauce. You’ll be impressed at how easy it is to make the perfect steak that makes it taste like a good steakhouse. This recipe creates a steak with beautiful caramelization on the outside with a tender and juicy inside.
Is your mouth already watering? But before we dive into the recipe, please note that it really isn't a recipe, but rather a technique. First, let's talk a little bit about meat, more specifically, the quality of meat.
When you go to the store to pick up a steak, there are so many choices of cuts. But on top of it, there are grass-fed and regular steaks. Which one should I buy? I'm sure it's a debate for many people, the question of why should I pay more? My mother-in-law, many years ago when I had to drive to the farm to get grass-fed meat, she would say, "I tried this meat and the taste wasn't much different, so why should you go through all this trouble?"
On meat: Grain vs Grass-fed beef
True grass-fed beef contains two to three times more cancer-fighting CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) than grain-fed beef. In addition to fighting cancer, CLA helps with weight loss and reduces the risk of heart disease, according to many specialties including Dr. Axe. Besides, steak is a simple satisfying meal that is quick and easy to prepare. Just about everyone loves steak, making it a foolproof choice for any meat lover's dinner party. Also, grass-fed steak contains more omega 3, which makes healthy choice for people who doesn't have fish often.
Sad facts about red meat
As soon as people meet me and we dive into a food conversation, immediately they think I'm a vegetarian. Healthy eating equals being a vegetarian has been a big propaganda idea for the last 50 years. Therefore, consumption of red meat has dropped but interestingly enough heart disease and cancer continue to climb.
According to many specialists including Sally Fallon Morell, a nutrition and health publisher since the 1970s believes that the danger of red meat is due to modern methods of raising cattle. Most supermarkets carry meat that came from animals being fed grains (corn) or soy. High in pesticide grains is not only harmful to the animals but for consumers of meat as well. Also, let's not forget soy is a very high protein crop, and is toxic to cattle's livers. Further issues are the injections of steroids to make meat tender, and antibiotics to promote quicker growth that stave off infections resulting from their poor diet and overcrowded living conditions. THIS IS A PROBLEM! And yes, how could I forget about global warming?
It is said that cattle can cause global warming. There is much discussion about what is causing the rapid increase in methane during the last few decades; one culprit may be shale gas production but for sure it’s not cows. Because well-nourished pasture is a big sink for carbon, thus reducing the really long-lived so-called greenhouse gas. Please, read more on this topic, here and here.
Go ahead; enjoy your grass-fed hamburger without any guilt about destroying the planet. Why is grass-fed better in terms of the climate change arguments?
The global warming folks are not likely to give in to a rational discussion any time soon. For now, our governments will encourage confinement systems of dairy and beef production so that the methane can be captured and turned into natural gas. There will be lots of grants and other incentives given to the corporate farms to assist with this idea. Unfortunate, isn't it? The cows raised outdoors will remain targets since it’s harder for the small farmer to fight back. So, please, support your local farmer, eat smart! Go for quality vs quantity.
Basic Rules for a GOOD steak
1. Choose a thick cut, and yes, the thicker cut is easier to control the doneness of the steak. By the way, it took me a while to convince my husband about this fact. Usually, a good size steak is 1 pound and 1 1/4″ thick.
2. A more marbled steak will give you the juiciest results. Why? The marbling in the steak begins to melt during the cooking process and coats the muscle fibers surrounding it. As a result, rich flavor and perfect texture are achieved.
3. Preheat a cast iron pan 5 minutes before adding the steak for a great sear with good color and flavor. Remember NO COLOR = NO FLAVOR.
4. Let the steak rest on a wooden cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing.
5. Slice steak against the grain and at an angle in order to create a steakhouse presentation.
How to Pan Sear Steaks:
Pat dry – I like to use paper towels to pat the steak.
Season generously – just before cooking steaks, sprinkle both sides liberally with coarse salt, I like Celtic salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat the pan on medium heat and brush with oil.
Lay steak in the pan away from yourself - avoid splashing of the hot oil.
Sear steaks – add steaks and sear each side 1 minute per side, keep flipping until a brown crust has formed and the middle is cooked to your liking. Use tongs to turn steaks on their sides and sear edges (1 min per edge).
Add red wine, butter and herbs – wine gives extra umami flavor by mixing in with all bits from the pan. To evaporate alcohol quickly, increase the heat for a minute or so. Adding herbs like rosemary or thyme adds more flavors along with shallots and garlic. Butter works like magic by picking up all the good stuff in the sauce and making it glossy perfection.
Remove steak and rest 10 minutes before slicing against the grain.
Steak Doneness Temperature Chart:
Medium Rare (soft, dark pink inside): 145 degrees F
Medium (soft, some pink inside): 160 degrees F
Well Done (very firm, no pink inside): 170 degrees F
How to Store Beef:
Refrigerate steaks (at 40˚F) for 3-4 days from purchase date.
Freeze steaks for up to 6 months.
Refrigerate or freeze right after purchasing.
Place in freezer bags or vacuum seal.
What to serve with this steak?
Pretty much anything you like from sweet potatoes to anything you can imagine.
By the way, did you try my Miso Mashed Potato? Cheesy Cauliflower "Mashed Potatoes". If not, try serving these with this steak and see how your man will start to love you. In my household for a side dish, I always have a variety of vegetables, lacto-fermented veggies like sauerkraut and pickles, and cruciferous veggies like broccoli or cauliflower.
Tips on seasoning steak
Seasoning meat at a distance is as important as using coarse salt. You may have seen this technique on a cooking show where the chef holds his or her hand high above the meat and begins to sprinkle the salt over it. This allows for better distribution of the salt to the meat without over salting. Keep in mind that using good quality salt for finishing a dish is a must do! Celtic salt is my favorite. This salt is the original and most trusted brand of sea salt and is referenced in more culinary and nutritional books and journals than any other salt in the world. As vital as salt is for seasoning, let's not forget the other key spice: coarse freshly ground black pepper! They are a dynamic duo for your steak.
Let's do it...
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Author: Inna of innichkachef.com
Servings: 2 people
1 and half lbs. rib eye steak (1 lb. 1 1/4” thick)
1 1/2 tsps. coarse Celtic salt
2 tsps. coarse black pepper, freshly ground
1-2 Tbsps. unsalted butter
2 cloves of garlic
1 sprig of fresh rosemary or thyme
1/2 cup red wine
Thoroughly pat the steak dry with paper towels. Just before cooking, generously season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Heat the cast iron pan until hot. On medium heat add steak to the skillet away from yourself. Sear the steak on the side that looks like it sits vertical, for this way you are cooking the fat quickly and helping give the steak nice color and to crisp faster.
Sear one side for 1-2 minutes, then flip. Do this a few times until the steak is done to your liking. See the chart for temperatures above. Slice the shallot and add to the pan next to the steak along with the rosemary.
Transfer the steak to a plate and allow it to rest. Place the crispy shallots onto the steak.
To the pan add wine, garlic cloves split in half and using a wooden spoon scrape the bits. Cook for two minutes, and as soon as you see the wine reducing, add COLD butter. It's important to have emulsification happen, so that the fat and acid (wine) marry together.
Cook and stir for a minute or two, until the sauce looks glossy and thick. Fish out the garlic and rosemary. Pour on top of steak and enjoy!