We are here today to talk about steak. Foolproof steakhouse steak to be exact. Foolproof steakhouse steak without a grill to be utterly and completely clear.
Where did I learn how to make the perfect steakhouse steak recipe? Why none other than the master, Alton Brown. Now, he uses a rib-eye for his recipe. We do not generally like rib-eye as much as we like filet mignon.
What’s the difference between a rib-eye and a Filet Mignon?
A rib-eye comes from the upper cage area of the animal. It has lots of marbling (i.e. fat) so it brings a lot of flavor to the table (literally). While very flavorful, like I said, we prefer the filet mignon. BUT, the rib-eye does tend to be less expensive. So, if you want to cook a rib-eye, without a grill, follow Alton Brown’s recipe (which includes an easy-to-follow video).
We had to experiment a bit because if you follow Alton’s methodology for a filet mignon – it will not turn out right. Filet mignon (which by the way is French for “cute fillet”) is the most tender cut of beef, and therefore the most expensive. And most delicious in our opinion.
See how cute?!
Foolproof Steakhouse Steak Recipe
You will need a cast-iron skillet. Yes you will. Preferably a 10-to-12-inch cast-iron skillet. If you do not have one, you can buy some cheap, but very good quality cast-iron skillets at Target or Bed Bath & Beyond.
Place your cast-iron skillet in the cold oven and heat the oven to 500 degrees F. This will allow the skillet to get warm with the oven and it will create that steakhouse steak sear on your meat.
While the oven is pre-heating remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring it to room temperature. Make sure you purchase good quality meat as the steaks in steakhouses are usually top grade. I tend to get mine from Whole Foods or Fresh Market.
Anyway, bring to room temperature. It is always important to bring your meat to room temperature because it allows for even cooking.
Once the meat is at room temperature rub both sides with oil. You need an oil that can sustain high temperatures, so olive oil is not an option. If you use olive oil with high heat it will change the flavor complex of the oil and become very bitter.
You can use vegetable oil or canola oil or, if you are paleo, use coconut oil. All these oils can withstand very high heat.
Then you can season your meat with:
- salt and pepper OR
- salt and cover in ground whole peppercorns
We like to use ground peppercorns because it adds a nice crust. Simply take a tablespoon of whole peppercorns and place in a mortar and pestle and crush them until they are broken up, but not too fine.
If you do not have a mortar and pestle you can throw the whole peppercorns in a plastic baggy, remove any air, seal, and crush with a heavy food can or a meat tenderizer. Then pat the peppercorns on both sides of the meat.
Once the oven is pre-heated, remove the skillet from the oven and place it on the stove onto a burner turned to high heat. Let it sit on the burner for 4-5 minutes. We want this skillet screaming hot.
Now, place the meat in the middle of the hot, dry skillet.
And DO NOT TOUCH THE MEAT. It might seem like awhile but let the meat sear – untouched, for three minutes. After three minutes turn the steak over. Let them sear on the other side for another three minutes.
You are looking for a nice brown crust. If you turn your meat and it is not brown just let it keep searing for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Once your meat is seared, you will put the skillet back into the oven.
This is where you cook it to your degree of doneness. Beau and I like medium rare to medium.
For that it takes 4 minutes on each side. So the steak cooks on both sides for four minutes.
If you like rare, bump the time down two minutes. If you like well done, bump the time up by a minute or two (more like 5-6 minutes on each side). I have never tried cooking it well-done as a filet mignon is always recommended to be cooked at medium rare.
Finding your perfect temperature of meat might take some testing. See, your oven and stove are not like mine 🙂 But it is ok, a meat thermometer can help you. This is also cheap and it will save you on a lot a meetings.
What meetings, do you ask? The, “Hey, someone come to the kitchen and tell me if this meat looks done” meetings. Which always lead to cutting into the meat which means you will lose precious juice from the meat – the juice which makes the meat JUICY! It’s an all around a disaster.
So, yes, meat thermometer. They are cheap too and you can get them anywhere really. I bought mine at Publix and I use it EVERY TIME I cook any kind of meat. Chicken, burgers, steaks…on and on. Just be sure to insert it down into the the middle of the meat – not all the way through and not on the very top, or you will get a very wrong reading.
But what temperature should it be?
Rare: 120-125 degrees F
Medium Rare: 130 to 135 degrees F
Medium: 140 to 145 degrees F
Medium Well: 150-155 degrees F
Well Done: 160 degrees F
Note: this is only for red meat. Poultry is a whole different story.
Once your meat is cooked to your preferred temperature, remove the skillet from the oven.
Place the steaks on a platter and tent with foil.
Be sure to let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes. Why? If you cut right into the steak all the juices will pour out – and the steak will become tough and less juicy. Resting the steak will allow the juices to distribute throughout the meat so you get the perfect bite every time.
What Sauce Do I serve with my Steak?
What to put on your steak? We only take two routes. If you want it to be a true steakhouse steak, add a pat of butter (about 1 tablespoon) to the top of each steak when you remove it from the oven. It will melt and pool all over the steak and bring a buttery, creaminess to each bite.
Or, we love Ina’s red-wine shallot sauce.
What sides do I serve with my steak?
We always plate up our savory sweet mashed potatoes! The garlicky, sweet spoonful of the sweet potatoes compliments the rustic bite of the steak. And it brings a brightness to your plate.
We also serve a simple vegetable, like steamed green beans or roasted broccoli. The steak is the star! No need to get crazy with the sides.
If you really want to go all out, serve a caesar salad as a starter using the best caesar dressing I have ever tried!
What Wine do I serve with my Steak?
Lastly, what to drink? Red wine of course! Steak always pairs perfectly with red wine. But like I said, we are trying to keep this party on a budget, so try Red Truck (brand name). Their red table wine is so delicious and it tends to be in the $9-$11 range.
If you want to go all out and get something fancy, try a Shiraz or a Pinot Noir. We love the following brands:
- Chateau Ste. Michelle
But the best experience is asking someone at your local wine store. They always have a wealth of information and tell you everything from the flavor profile to the best taste and the best buy. It is fabulous.
Lastly, dessert. I have made fancy desserts on nights like these, but we are usually so full and satisfied that we did not want dessert…I should mention, we are not huge dessert people either 🙂
BUT, most steakhouses carry the signature chocolate lava cake, and this brownie recipe will fit the bill for sure.
Otherwise, we typically serve a cappuccino or french press coffee. It is the perfect night cap. Or, pour another glass of wine and relax into the evening with your company.
And that about covers it. Did I miss something?
This is a beautiful meal for date nights, special occasions, Father’s Day or even just to have one or two of your closest friends over for a special evening.
How do you like to bless others? How do you like to be blessed?