I know we are approaching grilling season-- and there's no more romantic a scent than the wafting smoke of barbequeing beef flesh. But in terms of actual quality of the final product, this technique for cooking rib eyes, NY Strips and Filet Mignon can't be beat.
In culinary school (and almost every other recipe in the world), we're taught to sear the meat at a high temp, then finish it in an equally-hot oven. The technique below seems so counterintuitive to that-- roasting meat in a cool oven, then searing it afterwards? But just THINK ABOUT IT! In a 275 degree oven, the meat can gently warm to temperature, and the exterior has a chance to "dry out" a bit. Then, when you throw it in a screaming hot skillet, the outside can caramelize quickly and develop that beautiful crust-- yet still ensuring a gorgeously perfect medium-rare throughout.
And the best part: if you are entertaining, you can do the oven part for the steaks before your guests arrive! Then you pour yourself a hipster cocktail, kick back, chat on the porch-- and then when the mosquitoes start coming out, go inside, sear those puppies for a minute and a half per side, and you are good to go!
Rib-eye, NY Strip or filet mignon of similar thickness can all be used for this recipes. If using filet mignon, increase the oven time by about 5 minutes. If desired, serve with a pan sauce, relish, or butter. Or don't. As long as you use good meat, that's all the flavor you need.
1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Pat steaks dry with paper towel. Cut each steak in half vertically to create four 8-ounce steaks. Season entire surface of steaks liberally with Montreal steak seasoning or salt and pepper; gently press sides of steaks until uniform 1 1/2 inches thick. Place steaks on wire rack set on rimmed baking sheet; transfer baking sheet to oven. Cook until instant-read thermometer inserted in center of steak registers 90 to 95 degrees for rare to medium-rare, 20 to 25 minutes, or 100 to 105 degrees for medium, 25 to 30 minutes. You can do this step up to a couple hours ahead. Leave the steaks at room temperature until ready to sear.
2. Heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat until "almost" smoking. Place steaks in skillet and sear them until well-browned and crusty, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Using tongs, turn steaks and cook until well browned on second side, another 2 minutes.
3. Transfer steaks to wire cooling rack and let rest, loosely tented with foil, for 10 minutes.
4. While steaks are resting, get your pan sauce, relish or compound butter ready-- or perhaps another Caprice?