Pan-Seared Steak with Shallots
September 21, 2020
MY FAVORITE CUT OF STEAK
I could go into a lengthy post about different cuts of steak and their pros and cons, but for the sake of being succinct, I want to recommend a cut that I think is a great choice for just about anyone – the NY Strip Steak. I like it for its tenderness, beefy flavor, and portion size. It’s widely available and beloved. Pan-seared steak can be prepared either bone-in or boneless, but you essentially cook them the same way.
You’ll want to look for steaks that have a uniform appearance to the meat. If possible, avoid steaks where the grain seems to switch directions halfway across the steak. Also, look out for any steak that has an “eye.” The eye is a section of meat that is offset by a gristly, chewy membrane.
TEMPERATURE TIPS FOR SUCCESS
Picking a good steak is important, but not nearly as important as cooking it correctly. Nothing is more important than internal temperature when it comes to cooking a steak. It’s the key to doneness rather than time or color. I’d be lost without my ThermoWorks Thermapen and wouldn’t dare to cook a steak without it – it’s that reliable.
Here’s a simple guide to temperature that you’ll want handy when preparing steaks. Especially if you’re cooking for family or friends who like their steaks prepared differently.
A rare steak will be just past raw in the center and very red and cool to the touch. The texture and flavor aren’t for everyone as the cooking process can leave the meat with an iron taste.
A medium rare steak typically embodies juiciness and texture. At this temp, you’ve developed the flavor a bit more and achieve a nice mouth-feel when it comes to texture. In my experience when you’re at a restaurant and tell your waiter that you want your steak prepared according to what the chef recommends…you’ll usually get a medium-rare steak. (and it’s my preferred doneness!)
A medium-cooked steak will be a bit firmer with a warm center that’s pink in color. It tends to be juicy and has good flavor.
A medium-well steak will be slightly pink in the center and much firmer, having lost more of its juices during the cooking process.
WELL DONE 155°F
A well-done steak won’t be very tender and nearly all of the juiciness will be gone which affects getting the full effect of that beefy flavor. To be honest, I don’t think it really matters what cut of steak you’re working with when it’s well done, but that’s just my opinion!
We can’t discuss how to cook steak successfully and not address carryover cooking. The temperatures discussed above are the finished temperatures. Because steaks are cooked at such high heat either on the grill or in a cast iron skillet, it’s best to pull them about 2-3°F early to allow for carryover cooking. This also gives your steak a few minutes to rest, which will result in a juicier result.
If you are in the market for a new Cast Iron Skillet, check out my review for the 10″ Lodge Cast Iron here.
SEE HOW IT’S DONE
Remember that it’s the internal temperature of a steak that determines its doneness – not time or color. It’s critical to monitor the temperature with an instant-read thermometer like the Thermapen which enable you to have the control you need to cook your steak perfectly every time. Check out my step-by-step recipe video with ThermoWorks where I’ll share what I plan to make this Valentine’s Day and how I use my Thermapen to check for the proper temperature. There’s a reason I make this year after year on this holiday, it’s that good!Print