In my family we like a good steak. We have been trying to find the best technique to get the perfect prepared steak every time. We have been sous vide-ing steaks, the nerdy way to getting a steak with the same color and temperature all the way trough the steak. But not all people have the equipment to cook sous vide, even though it's become more affordable the last couple of years.
I think it's a lot of work and effort, making a water bath and vacuuming the steak, for just ONE steak. The time aspect is another thing. Sous vide 2 hours at 131℉/55℃, or 8 minutes in a skillet at high heat. If we were having company, I would make it sous vide for making more than 3 steaks.
A few years ago we started to slice up the cooked steak, and sharing just one steak. Somehow I think a steak is more enjoyable thinly sliced. I know some people likes a large steak for themselves, go ahead and indulge. But I find less is more, when you get a good quality meat.
I alway buy grass-fed boneless ribeye steaks at Whole Foods Market. They are about an inch (3 cm) thick, with a good marbling.
After a lot of trials, I perfected my steak-cooking-skills, and this is how I cook the perfect steak.
- 1 ribeye steak
- olive oil
- salt & pepper
- 1-2 teaspoons butter, cold and salted
- 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
- 1-2 sprigs of thyme
Let the Steak get to room temperature.
Pad the steak dry with a paper towel, and season it with a good amount of salt and some cracked pepper.
Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Sear the steak on both sides, and keep turning the steak every 20-30 second, still over high heat. This will cook the steak faster than just flipping the steak just once.
By flipping just once, the steak won't cook faster or more evenly, it's just easier. Generally you can say, that the more you turn the steak, the faster and more uniformly it will cook. Of cause within limits. When you sear food the surface touching the skillet, will quickly get hot, dehydrate, caramelize and get well done and overcooked. The overcooked part will act as an insulation layer between the heat source and the rest of the food. Resulting in longer cooking time and sometimes even burn food. By flipping the steak more often, you get a cooling of the searing surface, helping to heat up the center of the steak, and getting less of an insulating layer.
Keep cooking and turning until just under the preferred doneness. (Rare: 130℉/54℃, Medium-Rare: 135℉/57℃, Medium: 146℉/63℃, Well done: 155℉/68℃.) Generally I cook the steak until it has a dark sear, and the steak has some give to it, about 8 minutes in total, this will result in a medium to medium rare steak.
Turn off the heat, add butter, thyme and garlic. Baste or turn the steak in the now seasoned butter, and let it rest for a few minutes.
Slice the steak in thin slices, and serve immediately.