Pan-seared steak

Eating steak, is something I do very, very rarely. It’s just difficult for me to get excited about a hunk of meat on a plate. But it’s hard to not associate warming temperatures and sunnier days with grilling and that perfectly crusted piece of meat. Alas, a grill is not at my disposal, but its still possible, indeed a bit easier, to get the perfectly crusted piece of steak using a stove.

Because steak requires very little cooking, there is not much room to screw it up. This also means that the quality of the meat is really the only thing standing between you and a restaurant-grade steak. So I say spend the money where it counts and get a top quality cut.


This recipe uses rib-eye, and in my opinion rib-eye is one of the tastiest cuts of steak because it tends to be well marbled with fat. Other cuts that can be considered in place of rib-eye include porterhouse, T-bone, or sirloin if you’re on a budget. Sirloin is the leanest of the cuts mentioned.

One thing you’ll notice about this recipe is that even though the yield is for two people, I only call for one large ribeye. This is because A) it’s not possible to buy a small ribeye, and  B) I really can’t fathom eating 16 ounces of steak by myself. So I cook one ribeye and cut of a little portion for me while my boyfriend gets the other piece. If you and your guest are more carnivorous, add another steak to the pan (but don’t overcrowd) and increase the amount of the other ingredients by about 50%.


Pan-seared steak

serves                  2 (for one ambivalent, one enthusiastic steak eater)
difficulty             easy
cook time           20 min

Because this dish is so substantial, I recommend serving it with a light salad, and not much more. My preference is a simple green salad with butter or red leaf lettuce, dressed with olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and some salt.

If you are in the New York area, I highly recommend the prime rib-eyes from Pat LaFreida, which can be found at Eataly or ordered online.


1 large ribeye, about 1 lb / 500 grams, appropriately marbled
1½ tsp kosher salt
1½ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 + ½ tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large garlic clove
2 tsp flour
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
1 sprig of sage

  1. Pat steak dry with a paper towel. Generously season both sides of the ribeye with salt and pepper. I don’t usually make a distinction for the type of salt to use, but here kosher, flaky salt makes a difference. Use your hands to gently pat the seasoning into the steak.
  2. Let the steak come to room temperature by resting it on a plate for about 30 minutes, covered loosely so as not to dry out. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Smash a garlic clove by hitting your palm over the back of knife, the garlic below it (you’ll use this soon in the pan).
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter and the olive oil over medium high in a medium ovenproof pan or cast-iron skillet. Go for a large pan if cooking two steaks.
  4. While the oil is heating up, sprinkle flour over both sides of the steak and pat gently
    into the meat with your hands. When the oil is very hot but not smoking, add garlic,
    rosemary, and sage. Then add the steak, ensuring that it sits directly on the pan rather than on the garlic or any herbs. The butter may brown but that is okay. Note: the flour helps make a crusty steak. 
  5. Sear the steak for 3 minutes on each side, or 2 minutes if it is less than 1 ½ inches
    thick. The exterior should be crusty and a deep brown color. Occasionally spoon the hot oil over the steak to evenly spread the flavor and aid in the coloring of the steak.
  6. Once the steak is seared, place in the oven cook for 5-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the steak and the desired doneness. You probably should not exceed 5 minutes in the oven for medium rare steaks.
  7. Remove pan from oven and finish with another pat of butter, about ½ tablespoon.
    Spoon the melted butter and oil over both sides of the steak. Remove steak from the pan and let rest loosely covered for 5 minutes on a cutting board.
  8. Just before serving, slice the steak at an angle into 1 inch pieces.

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