My mother instilled in me a love of cooking. Growing up she made the most delicious candies, sweets and other decadent desserts. Two things held her back from being a professional quality chef in my mind. One, she couldn’t always tell when something was done when it can to the actual meal…you know, brown is cooking, black is done kind of concept…I think this was because she was a busy working mom with a long commute and because of her second challenge. She only knew recipes, not techniques. So if the recipe said 30 minutes but it was done in 25, she kept cooking. However, as a retired lady, she began pursuing her passion for gourmet food and cooking by taking (and succeeding) at multiple and on-going gourmet cooking classes.
Our family has really gotten all the perks of her training. For starters wonderful, decadent, yummy meals when she cooks for us (not to worry, there is no more brown is cooking, black is done). And, she passes on her techniques to me!!! My personal gourmet lessons! One lesson was how to cook a perfect steak. I’m not a big meat eater but I do love a perfectly cooked steak. Over the years, I have seen just how mutilated a steak can get in the hands of a bad cook – we are talking black brick, rubber chew toy or flavorless flank. Its a little more consuming that just throwing the steak on the grill but it is so worth it!!! Its like cutting butter and eating a slice of ambrosia when you cook the perfect steak.
What You Need:
Good Piece of Steak – for my photos I used a T-Bone and a New York Strip
Cookie Cooling Rack
Skillet or Grill Pan
How to Cook the Perfect Steak:
1. About 10-20 minutes before you want to cook the perfect steak, set it on a cooling rack with a plate large enough to catch drips underneath. Salt and pepper both sides generously and let set.
2. Add about 1/2 to 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and heat the pan to a medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, place the steak into the pan. Be sure to not over crowd the steaks or they will steam cook rather than heat through.
3. Turn the steak every 90 seconds until cooked through.
Tip (see photos): In order to know it is cooked through, use the “hand firmness” test. To do this, take one of you hands and hold the thumb and first finger together. Press on the mound adjacent to the thumb. This is medium rare. If you want a medium rare steak, keep flipping every 90 seconds until your steak is that texture. Mild finger is medium, Fourth/Ring finger is medium well and pinky is well done.
4. Once your steak is cooked to the temperature you want (medium rare, medium, medium well, or well), remove it and place it back on the cooling rack. Cover the steak loosely with aluminum foil in a tent fashion. Your steak needs a small nap – about 5 to 10 minutes to let the meat retain its juices. If you cut a steak right off the heat source, it will loose its juices and turn dry and hard.
5. Put on your own plate, cute and enjoy your perfectly cooked steak.
Give it a try and let me know what you think.