Steak Night ~ Cooking Steaks Indoors
Rain won't damper my steak plans... No siree. Now I have on many occasions grilled outside ...
No siree. Now I have on many occasions grilled outside during a light drizzle of rain, dodged a passing thunderstorm and took cover between rain clouds while barbecuing, even stood over hot embers flipping chicken with one hand while holding an umbrella with the other; not too much will keep me from missing my outdoor cookouts. But when a nasty and hellacious thunderstorm system with tornadic conditions sets up camp right overhead, what's a hungry man to do?
It's indoor cooking time! But how do you make a steak cooked indoors taste just as good (if not better) than one cooked on a grill? Cook it like any respectable restaurant will do. Here's how . . .
First, depending on the type of steak will decide the length of time it will take to cook it. On most occasions, the favorite around our house is a good thick rib-eye or a nice filet of tenderloin. Of course, depending on what meats are on sale will too decide the cut. Sirloin and strip steaks cook a bit differently than say a filet. Are you using a wet marinade or a dry rub? And how you want your steak cooked, as in the degree of doneness depends too on the time taken to cook your steak.
Now, there are many cooking methods too. Some argue to cook a perfect steak indoors, as with the oven method as I do, you have to start with a fairly medium heated oven and lastly sear it on the stove over a high flame. This works and produces a very juicy steak, but it is not the only way.
I like to cook my steak using the older restaurant method. Start out with a fairly quick sear stove-top before moving it to a moderate hot oven to finish cooking. Of course, here again, how hot the heat on the stove will depend on how you prepped the steak. Too hot of temperature and a spice rub or sugar/soy based marinade will burn, and totally ruin your steak right from the get-go. Best to sear using a moderate to medium flame if this is the case.
Here is how I cooked the filets above:
Be sure to purchase nice, thick steaks. 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch thick for rib-eyes, porterhouse, sirloin or strip steaks. A little thicker for filets is always nice. Mignon takes no time at all and can be cooked either stove-top or oven, rarely both as these are too small and will overcook in a hurry. See below for further explanation.
|Square Grill Pan|
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Heat a heavy cast iron skillet or grill pan, an oven-proof skillet or griddle over medium high heat. Use a grill pan as shown to get good grill marks on most steaks. I used a flat-bottom skillet this time 'cause I wanted to savor all the toasted garlic, you'll see...
Pour a good amount of peanut oil or an extra light olive oil ( or one for sauteing high temperature with a smoke point over 450°F ) over each steak and coat all sides liberally. I like to add a good dose of minced garlic to mine, (like a teaspoon to each side, the kind from the jar) right on top of each steak. When the skillet gets hot, place the steaks in the pan, not crowding, garlic side down and give the top of each steak another spoonful of garlic. Watch the steaks carefully turning down the heat as soon as you think the garlic is starting to sizzle. If you got the temp right, things should be fine. Let the steaks sear for about 3 minutes and turn the steaks over cooking another 3 minutes. Remember, this is for steaks about 1 1/2-inch thick.
|Quick Read Thermometer|
Remove when internal temperature is right for you.
The most accurate way to determine doneness of steaks is with an instant-read thermometer by inserting it horizontally into the side of the steak so that the temperature sensitive tip of the thermometer reaches the thickest part of the center of the steak. Be careful to not touch bone or fat. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Culinary Center recommends cooking steaks to medium rare (145°F) or medium (160°F) doneness. I find this is overcompensation and will overcook the steak, at least in my house.
Here is a quick chart I use:
Internal Temperature Guide for Steaks
|Doneness:||Desired Temp:||Stop Cooking At:|
|Very rare||120 °F||115 °F|
|Rare||125 °F||120 °F|
|Medium rare||130 °F||125 °F|
|Medium||140 °F||135 °F|
|Medium well||150 °F||145 °F|
|Well done||165 °F||160 °F|
Allow steaks to set in pan for at least 5 minutes to reach desired temp before serving. If you cut into the steaks before this time, all of the glorious juices will run right out.
Serve with Horseradish Cream, Mushroom Ragoo, Marchand de Vin or enjoy just as it is. In the case of the garlic steaks above, we enjoyed them with just a tad of Horseradish Cream.
Notes: If cooking steaks at varying degree of doneness, I will use several skillets starting at different times so that all steaks will come out at the same time. Its not hard, you just gotta pay attention.
If using a wet marinade or sugary rub, you probably will need to sear the steaks at a little lower temperature to avoid burning the coating. Keep it hot enough so that it is cooking away the outside moisture, not allowing liquid to puddle in the skillet as is the case of latter stage braising technique.
Above is the beloved tenderloin, some say the crème de la crème of beef, the little used muscle that starts just past the rib cage and extends to the sirloin section of beef cut. While the entire muscle is termed tenderloin, the smaller end is where the true filet mignon comes and toward the opposite end comes the Chateaubriand.
While many folks including myself make a fuss over tenderloin, some say it is over rated and over priced. I will certainly agree with the latter. I do however find it is one cut of beef that is deserving of a rub or marinade of some sort. Ya gotta add flavor to it, even the old standby of a wrap of bacon helps immensely.