With a few pointers, home cooks can prepare restaurant-style steaks — those juicy pieces of meat that are crusty at the edges and loaded with flavor. Begin by letting the seasoned steaks sit on the counter for a little while so they’re not cold when they hit the pan. Then put the steaks in a heavy, hot pan with the fat cap side down (to cook four steaks, you’ll need two pans). This crisps the fat and flavors the cooking oil. Then sear both sides and finish by spooning browned butter on top. The steaks need to rest on a rack for a few minutes to come up to the optimal 120 degrees for medium-rare and to retain their juices. Season with pepper right before serving so the pepper doesn’t burn in the pan.
|4||boneless strip steaks (14 to 16 ounces each)|
|Salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste|
|2||tablespoons canola oil|
|8||cloves garlic, unpeeled and lightly crushed|
|2||sprigs rosemary, broken in half|
|1||lemon, cut into wedges|
1. Have on hand a rimmed baking sheet fitted with a wire rack.
2. Remove steaks from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before cooking to come up to room temperature. Season both sides liberally with salt.
3. Heat 2 large, heavy-based skillets (cast iron is ideal) over medium heat for 10 minutes.
4. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil to each pan. Place 2 steaks in each pan with the fat cap down. Let the fat render for 6 to 8 minutes.
5. Turn each steak on a flat side and sear for 6 to 8 minutes. Turn the steaks. In each pan, nestle 4 garlic cloves, some rosemary sprigs, and lemon wedges. Continue cooking for 6 to 8 minutes more on the second side.
6. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of a steak. For medium rare, the steaks should read 110 degrees at this stage. If necessary, continue cooking for a few minutes (the temperature will rise as you finish cooking).
7. Tip the pans and spoon off the oil. Add 2 tablespoons butter to each. Let the butter brown as you spoon it over the steaks until they reach 115 degrees. Transfer steaks to the wire rack. Season with pepper.
8. Let the steaks rest in a warm place for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. The temperature will rise a few more degrees while the steaks rest. Transfer the steaks to 4 warm places and spoon browned butter, garlic, and rosemary on them. Karoline Boehm GoodnickKaroline Boehm Goodnick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.