Perhaps it's your body telling you that you need more iron, or maybe it's a commercial you saw on TV, but sometimes you get a hankerin' for a big juicy steak that just can't be satisfied by any other means. In New York that usually means you head to Peter Luger's, Strip House, Craft Steak, or one of the other dozen premium steak houses in town. This also means your wallet will be about $150 lighter.
Being on a budget, I almost never go to a steak house, as it's about the easiest thing you can make at home, and it will cost less than ⅓ of the price. All you need is a good cut of meat, a heavy bottomed pan, and timer. I went with two 10 oz. dry aged rib eye steaks from Whole Foods at $25 a lb. It's not the best piece of meat I've ever had, but it was a heck of a lot better than most steaks I've had in restaurants and took me about 10 minutes from start to finish.
The trick is to get a heavy bottomed pan (which means the heat is distributed evenly) really hot, then sear the steaks on either side for a few minutes. Doing it over medium heat ensures an enticing brown crust without destroying a stainless steel pan, and a sheet of aluminum foil prevents a huge mess of splattered grease.
Chimichurri sauce is an Argentinian condiment served with meat that usually consists of oil, parsley, and some kind of acid. For my version, I opted for mint and lime. It lightens up the heavy hunk of beef and provides a nice tart contrast, while the olive oil adds some extra body to the meat.
- 2 ribeye steaks (1" to 1 ¼" thick)
- olive oil
- fleur de sel (or other sea salt)
- ground black pepper
for chimichurri sauce
- ½ packed cups mint
- 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
- ¼ cups olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- If you just took the steaks out of the fridge, give them 45 minutes to an 1 hour to come to room temperature. Rub both both sides of the steak with some olive oil and sprinkle a large pinch of salt and black pepper on both sides.
- For the sauce, put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. If you're doing it by hand, you can mince the mint with sharp knife, then combine the ingredients in a bowl.
- To cook the steak on the stove, heat a stainless steel or cast iron pan just big enough to hold your steaks over medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until very hot (there's no need to add oil). Never use a non-stick pan for searing as the high temperature will make them release a toxic gas.
- Add the steaks and place a splatter shield or sheet of aluminum foil on top of the pan (if you use foil, just lay it on top and don't seal the edges). Let it cook on this side for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes for a rare steak, cook longer if you want it well done.
- Serve immediately with the chimichurri sauce.