- 1lb steak - Try to get a cut of decent thickness of at least an inch. Thinner cuts cook faster but that means there’s less room for error. -
- Thats it!
- Half bunch of cilantro
- 2-3 cloves of garlic
- Olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- Half a lemon
- Salt and pepper
The right tool for the right job
When you’re searing something you really want the heaviest pot you can find. Cast iron is good and so is thick bottomed stainless. Stay away from the nonstick stuff because at high temperatures they put off a deadly toxic gas which would ruin our dinner.
Searing, The Basics
Rule 1: When searing, water is not your friend.
What are you doing when you put water in a pan and heat it? You’re boiling it. Do you want to boil your yummy steak? I dont think so. So take your steak, rinse it off and pat it dry. The drier the better! Now I know. You want to season it at this point.
You have your salt and pepper mill and this steak is a canvas. The problem is that putting salt on the meat draws water to the surface and what did we already establish? Water is bad. It’s counter productive to the lovely brown crust we are trying to achieve.
Putting the metal to the flame
Pre-heat your oven to 350 F and place your pan on high heat. Let it heat for a few minutes. It’ll be ready when you sprinkle some water into it and the droplets slide around as if they aren’t touching the bottom of the pan at all. At this point you can season your meat liberally with salt and pepper and place it in the pan.
Rule 2: Don’t touch it. Don’t play with it. It’ll make you go blind.
Seriously though, just let the steak brown and the magic happen. It should take 5 minutes or so at that point flip it over and brown the other side.
Transfer the steak from the pan onto a cookie sheet and place it in the oven for about 10 minutes. At the 10 minute mark you want to start checking for doneness.
True Story: Its easy to keep cooking a under cooked steak, but its hard to uncook an overcooked one.
Now there are temperatures that translate to doneness, but there’s a much simpler to figuring out the doneness of steak without matho involved. Poke the meaty area between your thumb and fore finger on one hand. That’s rare. Make a loose fist. Poke again. That’s medium. Make a tight fist and poke again. That’s well done. If you need the numbers medium-rare is about 135. Medium is about 140 and medium well is 15 and above. The meat is going to keep cooking after you take it out so removing it from the oven 5-10degrees under the desired doneness is fine.
After you have your steak to the desired doneness remove it from the oven. I know. It looks delicious. You want to get all up in that. Don’t. If you cut into it now all the delicious juices will run out and the experience from first bite to last isn’t going to be very consistent. Let the steak rest for 10-15 minutes.
While the steak is resting you can make the sauce. Put the cilantro, garlic and spices into a small food processor along with a tablespoon or two of oil. Juice half the lemon into the food processor.
Start pulsing the food processor until you have a paste going at this point you can add oil until you get to the consistency of a soupy dressing, but its really a matter of taste. Some people like it thick. Set the sauce aside.
Now that the steak should be rested and you can slice it. Slice the steak with a sharp knife against the grain. If you can see long fibers, you’re probably going with the grain. You may have to angle your cuts to get across the grain. At this point its just a matter of plating spooning some sauce and you’re good to go.