Pan-Seared Steak with Shallots

September 21, 2020
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To be honest, you can make a steak at home that is every bit as good—maybe even better than—most of the steaks you will get at a busy restaurant. This method and recipe can help you create that restaurant experience right at home. Let’s break it down!
pan seared steak on a white platter with shallots and fresh rosemary
In partnership with ThermoWorks, I’m going to walk you through my Pan-Seared Steak with Shallots with helpful hints to make it successful. All opinions expressed here are my own.


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.


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.

RARE 120–129°F

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!)

MEDIUM 135–144°F

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.


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. 


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!

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Pan-Seared Steak with Shallots

  • Author: Kelsey Nixon
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2-4 servings 1x


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 it’s tenderness, beefy flavor, and portion size. It’s widely available and beloved. These steaks can be prepared either bone-in or boneless, but you essentially cook them the same way.


  • 2 strip steaks (1 ½ inches thick)
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 2 shallots (thinly sliced)
  • 1 garlic clove (smashed)
  • ½ cup low sodium beef broth
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter


  1. Heat a 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat until very hot, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, dry steaks and lightly coat each side with olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Add 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil to hot cast iron. Add the steaks, being careful not to overcrowd. Cook each steak 3-4 minutes on the first side. Using tongs, flip them and cook 2-3 more minutes or a lowest measured internal temperature of 127 F degrees is reached for medium-rare, or 133°F degrees for medium. Transfer steaks to a plate and cover with foil. Let rest at least 10 minutes before cutting.
  3. Meanwhile, add the shallots and garlic to the steak cast iron and lower heat to medium. Cook until they just begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the beef broth and 3 rosemary sprigs. Remove from heat, add vinegar and swirl in butter. Season with salt and pepper. Slice steak and pour sauce over.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes

Keywords: steak

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