Unless you’re a chef by trade, you have probably noticed that your steaks at home don’t quite match up to the flavor and quality of those in a good restaurant. Unsatisfied with run of the mill steak, my husband and I did some research. We wanted to know just how they make those great tasting steaks and try to copy the method at home. A little trial and error, and voila! We figured out a fairly easy way to make great tasting, restaurant style steaks in our own kitchen. My kids now prefer my steak over anyone else. High praise especially from my son who refused to eat meat until he was 4!
What you need:
- Any cut or size of steak. This method can make even poor cuts of steak taste good. Though do keep in mind that a thicker, well marbled, quality cut of steak will turn out better. The marbling (lines of white fat) will help the flavor tremendously.
- One stick of unsalted butter.
- Table salt or Sea Salt
Restaurants will dry and age their steaks. This gives the steak texture, makes it tender and more flavorful. With out this step, you won’t get that steak house flavor. However, I know very few families who have the time or the space to age their meat, so we can cheat a bit and achieve a similar result with a good meat mallet and some salt. Ideally, you want to do this step at least 3 hours before you need to cook the meat.
- Tenderize your steak. Go over the entire surface with good hard wacks and repeat. It should feel soft and squishy when you are done, no tough bits. This is actually a pretty good way of releasing pent up frustration, so don’t hold back! Remember the cow is already dead, so it won’t mind. TIP: Place your steak cuts inside a freezer bag while you tenderize them to keep from splattering all over the counter.
- Put your tenderized steak in a deep bowl or dish. Smother them with an ample amount of salt. Make sure every surface and side is covered. Don’t worry about adding too much, you’ll rinse it off later.
- Cover bowl and set it in the fridge to do it’s thing. The salts will draw out the juices and dry out the steak. You need to let it sit for at least an hour, though longer is better. I’ve found 3 hours to be the magic number. Too long and the steak is too salty, too little and it doesn’t have enough time to dry out.
- Preheat your oven to 500 degrees.
- Rinse your steak cuts thoroughly in warm running water. Don’t leave any salt. Check folds and cuts in the steak for any lingering salt. NOTE: If the salt did it’s job properly, the surface of the steak should feel leathery and be brown in color.
- Pat steak completely dry with a clean cloth or paper towel and put on a plate to the side to dry a bit more.
- Add 2 table spoons of butter to a skillet and preheat on medium high (8). TIP: Add the butter before you turn on the heat. Adding later will cause a fire. (I know from experience!) Cast Iron is best, but if you don’t have a cast iron, please note that cooking steak this way may cause discoloration to the bottom of you pan.
- Once the skillet is warmed up (usually about 5 minutes), carefully add your steak cuts and sear them on both sides for 1-2 minutes each side. This will cause a LOT of smoke, but that is normal. Just open some windows and be prepared to fan your smoke alarm. This is an important step, so don’t skip it. It caramelizes the fat, creating the flavor and texture you get in a steak house.
- Remove skillet from heat immediately once steaks are seared on both sides.
- Keeping the steaks in the skillet, let it cool for 1-2 minutes.
- Cut up 6 tablespoons of butter and place them on top of the cuts of steak in the pan. Add rosemary and pepper to taste. I like to use fresh sprigs of rosemary, and typically need 2 sprigs for each cut of steak.
- Stick the whole skillet in the oven and bake 10-30 minutes. Ovens vary tremendously on this step, and it depends quite a lot on if you want a rare or well done steak. Cook at least 10 minutes for a rare/medium steak. Cook longer for more well done, checking on it periodically.
There you have it! A wonderfully delicious, restaurant style steak. Enjoy!