Steak. The meat that stayed in my mouth, as I proclaimed as an opinionated (some would say picky) 3 year old. I have to admit I have never cooked a steak before today. As a part-time vegetarian since about 15 years old, I hadn’t eaten a steak since I was a teenager living at home. When I do eat meat, one thing that is important to me is to buy my meat from humane, free range Alberta farms (organic for bonus points!), as often as possible. I had no clue what I was doing when I picked out my steak at the Farmer’s Market but the butcher complimented my choice, so I must have done something right! The next challenge was to turn this tender cut of meat into a perfectly cooked dinner that would make the cow proud. Enter the meat thermometer. I rely on one of these gadgets while cooking or I will turn a fine piece of meat into a cardboard substitute. As much as I am lusting over a ThermoWorks Themapen, my $5.00 Ikea one will have to do for now. And for someone who doesn’t particularly love steak, I have to say I did a pretty good job on this one! And it was super easy! The killer Red Wine-Mushroom Pan Sauce was just the cherry on top!
The Perfect Medium-Rare Steak
Adapted from The Kitchn
Serves 2, depending how hungry you are
You will need a cast iron skillet and sturdy kitchen tongs.
- Approx 1 lb. good quality steak (I used about 2/3 lb. Top Sirloin Steak from Silver Sage Beef)
- 1-2 Tbsp Canola/Vegetable Oil
- Sea Salt
- Freshly cracked Black Pepper
- Blot the steak with paper towels and let it come to room temperature. (For me this was a phone call to chat with my parents, about 45 minutes or so).
- Turn oven on to broil and place the cast iron skillet in the oven to heat up with the oven.
- Brush steak with oil all over. Generously sprinkle with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper over both sides of the steak, patting it gently to make it stick.
- Turn the stove burner on to high heat. With your thickest oven mitt, carefully remove skillet from the oven and place on the stove. Using sturdy tongs, place the steak in the pan. It should sizzle immediately.
- Cook the steak for 30 seconds then flip to cook the other side for another 30 seconds. The steak should release easily from the pan, if it sticks, let it sear a little longer.
- After cooking both sides, turn off stove burner and place the skillet back into the hot oven and cook for 2 minutes. Carefully flip the steak with tongs and cook the other side for another 2 minutes. This will cook your steak Medium-Rare (the internal temperature will be between 120 and 125 degrees Fahrenheit), if you prefer your steak cooked to Medium (130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit), leave it in the oven for an additional 2 minutes.
- Remove steak from oven and place on a cutting board. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes (internal temperature will rise about 5 degrees). During this time, I prepared the Red Wine-Mushroom Pan Sauce (recipe below).
- Slice across the grain and serve immediately.
Red Wine-Mushroom Pan Sauce
Makes about 1 cup
- 1 Tbsp Canola/Vegetable oil
- 8 ounces white mushrooms, sliced thinly
- 1 small shallot, minced
- 1 cup dry red wine (I used a Cabernet Merlot since they were out of the Merlot I wanted! Tragedy!)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces, chilled
- 1 tsp minced fresh thyme (or, in my case, a dump of dried thyme)
- salt and pepper
- Using the skillet you cooked the steak in, pour off excess fat. Add canola/vegetable oil and heat up over medium-high heat.
- Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to brown, about 5 minutes. Add shallot and cook, stirring frequently until softened, about 1 minute.
- Increase heat to high, add broth and wine, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Simmer rapidly until liquid and mushrooms are reduced to about 1 cup, about 6 minutes.
- Add vinegar, mustard and any accumulated steak juices. Cook until thickened, about 1 minute.
- Remove from heat and whisk in butter and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Spoon sauce over steaks and serve immediately.