A juicy seared steak is something that so many people look forward to as a special treat. It’s not always cheap so you want to get it right in order to savor every bite and make your friends and family very happy campers! There are so many cuts of steak out there depending on your budget and your preference. No matter how you slice it, our skillet technique is a sure winner and you don’t even need to fire up a grill! Follow these easy tips and in less than ten minutes, you will have a seared steak on your plate that competes with any restaurant.
We decided to go with flank steak because it’s a medium-priced cut that becomes tender with a great rub and it can be sliced thinly to feed a table full of hungry people. Six ounces per adult should do the trick. There are countless seasonings that you can buy or make in a snap. We put together a delicious dry coffee rub that really enhanced both the taste and searing process, creating a sweet and smoky bark on the outside with tender, juicy meat inside. If you prefer something more simple, salt, pepper and garlic powder should do just fine, but a rub or marinade with a touch of sugar, citrus, or vinegar will tenderize your meat. Whatever your flavor choice, here is how to sear a perfect steak right in your very own kitchen:
First, you will want to get your steak up to room temperature before you start cooking. Unwrap your steak and lie it flat on a sheet pan. Rub it well with seasoning on every single side. Let it sit for at least 20 minutes so that the meat relaxes for maximum flavor and even cooking.
While the meat is resting, pull out a heavy cast iron skillet if you’ve got one. These retro pans last forever and don’t cost as much as most pans, but it you don’t have one, just pull out the heaviest skillet you’ve got. You will also need a flat, metal spatula, a sauce pot that is as big as your steak yet smaller than the skillet, tongs, a piece of foil larger than your steak, and a cutting board (with a rim if possible).
Gather your rosemary, thyme, unpeeled garlic cloves, halved shallot, butter, and olive oil next to the skillet. You want to keep the peels on the garlic and the shallot so they don’t burn! Once the meat is relaxed and at room temperature, place the butter and olive oil in the skillet and heat them up to medium high. You will know it’s the right temperature when the oil and butter star to shimmer. Then, add your herbs, garlic, and shallot. The butter and oil will start to hiss and foam. Let them cook for a minute or so and then make sure the skillet is evenly covered in butter and oil, pushing the herbs, garlic and shallot to the side of the melted butter in the skillet.
Place your steak in the center of the skillet, pressing gently with the bottom of the sauce pot for 1 minute or so, until the steak stays flat and sticks to the skillet. Carefully tip the skillet toward yourself and skim the foam off the butter with your spoon and pour it on top of the steak. Keep doing that several times while the steak continues to sear. Keep in mind, for a medium rare steak you want to give 6-7 minutes minutes per inch, so for our flank steak, we divided that in half and seared each side just over 3 minutes. Flank steaks tend to run about an inch thick.
Before you turn the steak over, lift it up off the pan so that you can add more butter and oil underneath, or let some of the leftover melted butter and oil in the skillet slide over to center of the pan before flipping the steak over.
Follow the same steps again. Once the steak is cooked, it will gently spring back if you press it with your finger. Remove the steak from the pan and place it on a cutting board, preferably one with a rim to catch the juices. Drizzle a little of the pan butter over the steak and place the roasted garlic, shallot and herbs on top. Drape it in foil for ten minutes, leaving the edges of the foil detached so the steak can breathe.
Slice the steak thinly with a sharp knife, in the opposite direction of the lines in the meat for a clean and even cut. Plate your steak, squeeze the roasted garlic and caramelized shallots out of their skins on the meat then drizzle more pan juices over the slices and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Enjoy!
10 minutes active; 30 minutes inactive to prepare serves 4
- 1.5 lbs steak
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons steak rub
- salt and cracked pepper for finishing
- 3 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 shallot, halved, skin on
- 6 garlic cloves, skin on
- Rub steak evenly with all of the rub on all sides and let it rest for 20 minutes or until room temp.
- Once the steak is room temp, heat the pan to medium-high, melting the butter and adding the oil.
- Add herbs, shallot halves skin side down and garlic to the melted butter and oil.
- Swirl the ingredients, coating the skillet and creating a flavored foam.
- Add the steak to the middle of the skillet, press gently with a heavy sauce pot for 1 minute to flatten and stick.
- Remove the sauce pot, tip the pan and skim the foam, spooning it over the top of the steak repeatedly.
- Once the first side of the steak has cooked, lift the steak up and allow the butter and seasonings to re-coat the pan or add more butter.
- Repeat the searing technique, spooning more foam over the top of the steak.
- Once the steak as cooked, remove and place the steak on a carving board, placing the herbs, shallot and garlic on top with a drizzle of pan butter before tenting with foil.
- Let the steak rest while covered with foil for 15 minutes to seal the juices.
- Remove the foil, herbs, and skins from the shallot and garlic after the steak has rested.
- Slice the steak in thin strips with a very sharp knife at an angle against the grain of the meat.
- Before serving, top the steak with the roasted garlic, shallot pieces, salt, pepper, and a generous drizzle of pan juices.
Recipe written by Melissa Maxwell