True story: We bought some huge steaks the other night and planned to grill. But when a big storm rolled in, we were forced to go with Plan B — delicious, delicious Plan B. Luckily, we have a cast-iron skillet, which is the next best thing to grilling (if you have to cook indoors, that is).
The MEAT: You want a thick (about 1.5 pounds) steak for this recipe, even better if it’s bone-in. We bought a bone-in rib roast steak with lots of marbling, but if you can’t find that, ask your butcher for something similar.
The METHOD: For those times the grill isn’t an option, the next best thing is a cast-iron skillet. When used on the stovetop at a high temperature, it creates a perfect sear. A little basting with butter and sprigs of fresh herbs finishes the process and produces steaks with plenty of rich, aromatic flavor.
This is also one of those recipes that doesn’t require much measuring or precision. But there is one area where you want to be precise: the temperature. Use a digital thermometer toward the end and take the meat out of the pan when it reaches an internal temperature of 120ºF to 140ºF—because you do NOT want to overcook these beautiful steaks.
The MEAL: Don’t buy two small steaks for two people, buy one large steak and slice it up to share (or buy two and don’t share, like we didn’t). The bigger the steak, the more even the cook, and generally, the better the end result. Serve with potatoes, something green and a good red wine.
Cast-Iron Stovetop Steaks
Large, well-marbled steak(s)
Your favorite steak seasoning
About 1 heaping tablespoon of butter per steak
Handfuls of your favorite fresh herbs
Season the steaks liberally with salt, pepper and steak seasoning and allow to come to room temperature, 30-60 minutes.
Heat your cast iron skillet over medium heat until it’s on the verge of smoking. Add olive oil and allow the oil to warm for 2-3 minutes.
Add the steaks to the pan and allow them to sear. Turn them often and allow them to brown for about 6 minutes. Add the butter to the pan and once it melts, lay the herbs on top of the meat. Use a spoon to baste the steaks, pouring the liquid butter over the herbs, continuing to baste with butter infusing the steak with the herb flavor and aroma.
Remove the steaks from the pan once they reach an internal temperature of 120ºF degrees for rare, 140ºF for medium-rare, and anywhere in between for your desired doneness.
Allow the steaks to sit for 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving.