Yes, you read the title right. Pan Seared. Not grilled….p-a-n, pan. Seared.
Although I will use any excuse, or optimize any window of time, to light up the coals, sometimes I decide to keep it indoors and break out the cast iron.
For this instance, I had two other reasons. It was cold outside and I had a new toy. A new kitchen range.
Speaking of which, funny story here.
Remember how Zoë's family came over from England for Christmas? After bringing us joy for the holidays, as a parting gift they destroyed our range. On their last day, someone had the hot idea to bake fish. The oven was brought to temp, the fish was slid in, and the entire electronic control panel went up in flames like it was Guy Fawkes Night.
All I heard was shrieks. All I smelled was burnt electronics…and fish.
I quickly determined the damaged electronics were beyond repair. I further determined the uncooked fish was unreachable thanks to the electric lock, which was no longer electric, but plenty locked. Joy.
Zoë's family flew back to England and stateside, for seven long days, uncooked fish sat in a tomb, made by Sears.
Greenville, Ohio, a short 30 minute drive, is home to Kitchen Aid and the Kitchen Aid Experience and Factory. In 1919, Kitchen Aid introduced the first stand mixer. In 2013, they dropped off a professional range at our house. The 1919 date is interesting. The 2013 date is damn right exciting.
I wish I could say this was an original idea, but truthfully, I stole the experience and model number from Bryan. He has had his for years and has given it nothing but high praise.
Enter the pan.
Cast iron is actually a great way to cook a steak. Coupled with an extremely hot burner, cast iron not only cooks an amazing piece of meat, but makes the base for a wonderful pan sauce, which when cooking with cast, is always a necessity.
Pan Seared Steaks with Shallot Sauce
Sauce adapted from Epicurious
1/2 cup beef broth
3 T sherry wine vinegar
1 shallot, chopped
1 1/2 T chilled butter
1/4 dried tarragon
Steaks x 2
The recipe calls for "steaks." Use what you wish. When we cook steaks, it's always an odd couple. Zoë likes a lean filet. I like a meaty ribeye. Anything will work.
Allow the meat to sit at room temperature about 30 minutes before cooking.
Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and heat the oven to 300 F.
Season the meat with salt and pepper. Less is more.
Add a small amount of oil to the pan and sear the meat.
After both sides are browned, about a minute or two each, move the meat to a plate and place in the oven.
Allow the meat to cook another 15-20 minutes. For medium rare, cook until the internal temperature hits 130 F. Remove from the oven and allow to rest.
Add the sauce ingredients to the pan and boil until the sauce thickens. Be sure to scrape up the black bits left over from the steaks. This takes about 3 minutes.
What makes a great vegetable for steak? Kale. In fact, Kale is great with anything. Lightly sauté it and add a splash of balsamic vinegar towards the end. Perfect.
With the steaks at temp and the sauce done, serve.
Pan seared steaks are easy and the sauce is always an added treat. In fact, the great results take away my guilt from not going outside.
Fear not, the new range will not diminish my grilling. It will, however, make me thankful the fish smell is gone.