Beef Steak (cooked in the Pan)

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After so much fish, here it is finally a nice and juicy beef steak…in the way I like it, of course 🙂

Before starting to talk about the recipe, which is quite simple (there are just details to take care 🙂 ), I think it’s important to talk about the main ingredient…I’m far to be a vegetarian, but as I eat beef meat usually just few times a month, then I have even one reason more to want a good quality one 🙂

So, as I’m not going to use many ingredients, it’s very important to choose a perfect meat to have a good result…since now I’m living in Hungary, I have to say that here it’s not so easy to find a really good quality beef steak to buy, the best animals and the best cuts go usually to the restaurants or abroad, and in most of the shops/butchers there is not a big choice, few beef cuts and mostly just cuts for soups.

But luckily, with some more efforts in the research, it’s possible to find good products also here so, happily, I managed to buy  good quality steaks for home too, and not only by going in some restaurants. And some of those good quality products are sure from the company called Terra Pannonia (I’m not advertising them, but I’m just giving a good suggestion to other people living here, maybe it can be useful since it’s not easy to find a good steak as I said 🙂 but for sure there are some others too!)…they have very good quality Angus beefs next to Balaton lake, and most of the year they stay at open air, mostly eating grass in the fields, and I can be sure of it since I often see them when I pass by with my car. So I think it’s a trustworthy product between the ones available here.

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Moreover, this meat is 21 days dry aged, which is already a good period of time (though it could be longer). Indeed, all food lovers know that a beef steak with a short dry aging time will be harder to chew, and also its taste will be less intense and less tasty. That’s another problem here: in most of the shops the meat is sold after very few days spent in the refrigerating room (I heard there is also some old national laws that somehow force the butchers to sell the meat after 48 hours from the moment they slaughter the animal, but since I’m not sure I’ll look for more information when I’ll have some time). So, ask always about the dry aging time of your steaks.

What did I want to say with all these words? That it’s very important to know always the products, and to ask always for details 🙂 the choice of good ingredients is always fundamental, and in simple recipes like this one even more.

After all this looong introduction, which I hope someone will find it useful, let’s talk about the cuts 🙂 as we know, a steak can be made with different cuts, and depending on your taste you can choose between the tenderloin, sirloin, rump steak, T-bone, porterhouse, rib-eye, strip steak, flank steak, skirt steak, etc.

In this case I chose a rib-eye steak (rostélyos in hungarian), I really like it and its intramuscular fat marbling gives an amazing taste and juiciness…moreover it’s also a bit cheaper than some other steak cuts 🙂

Here you can see a crop of what I mean for “marbling“, we need it to obtain a great steak:

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Now let’s talk about the size: personally I like the steak cooked medium-rare, and I think that to have a good result the steak should be at least 2 fingers thick (or higher, for example all the times I went in holiday in Tuscany I ate grilled Fiorentina steaks of 3-4 fingers thick! and they were always amazing).

And when you want to cook it at that point, the importance of the dry aging comes even more clearly: a shortly dry aged steak would be quite tough to chew when cooked medium-rare or rare.

And what about the sauce? Personally I like to stay “simple”, when I buy a good quality steak I don’t really want to cover its natural taste with too many sauces or other ingredients, but I want to taste and realize that difference of quality, so usually all I add is just salt, some pepper and a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil…that’s how we mostly use to do in Italy 🙂 the meat itself must have already enough taste and juiciness to be enjoyed, in my opinion.

But this is up to everyone’s taste.

Wow, I really talked a lot till now 😀 let’s go finally to the recipe now 🙂

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 steak (in this case it was about 450 g and 2 fingers high…and I shared it with my wife 🙂 )
  • rock coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper 
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. First of all preheat your oven at about 60 °C, we will need for the last step.
  2. The steak must be taken out from the fridge at least 40/50 minutes before cooking it, it must be at room temperature.
  3. Choose a NOT nonstick pan, the best choice is an iron pan (or cast iron), with it you can have a perfect Maillard reaction and so a perfect crust with a tasty taste 🙂
  4. Now heat the pan with a high flame. No fats are strictly needed in my opinion (or if you want to use some, choose a clarified butter, resistant to high temperatures). When you see the pan smoking, that’s the good moment to cook your steak. Personally I add coarse salt on the meat few minutes before cooking it, someone says it’s better not to do it because the steak juices could come out easier, but since I’m going to cook it very fast, I don’t think it’s a problem and I didn’t notice any difference. But you can try both “philosophies” and decide what you prefer 🙂
  5. Now that we put the meat in the hot pan, start counting the time with a watch and don’t move the steak, just push it from up (not too much, just enough to make every part of the bottom surface to adhere with the pan) and let the Maillard reaction do its job 🙂 When to turn the steak on the other side? Well, it depends from the thickness and from the cut (and from which level you want to cook it), here you need some experience to do it exactly how you like it. In this case, with a 2 fingers thick rib eye steak, I cooked it for 2:30/2:40 minutes for each side, to have it medium-rare (but for less thick steaks 2:00/2:20 could be enough). Turn the steak with a spatula, and not with a fork, don’t make holes in the meat.
  6. Now that you cooked the steak on both sides, add some pepper on it and close it in an aluminium foil, and let it rest 5/6 minutes in the oven. During this time all the juices of the meat will distribute homogeneously inside the steak, the internal fat/liquids will also thicken while cooling down a little bit, avoiding in this way to have a “bloody” lake in your dish when you will cut it.
  7. After this time, serve it in your dish and add a drizzle of good extra virgin olive oil, and if you would like also some of the juices remained in the aluminium foil (you could also put these juices in the pan where you cooked the steak, and reduce it to a thicker sauce, maybe with a little bit of balsamic vinegar for example 😉 )
  8. Enjoy! Next to it you can add potatoes, grilled vegetables, salad, etc…or your favorite sauce…and a glass of red wine too 🙂

Calories x 200g steak (average man): 30′ running / 40′ cycling / 1h05′ wood cutting 😀

Calories x 200g steak (average woman): 40′ running / 50′ cycling / 1h25′ wood cutting 😀

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