several weeks ago i was grilling for some friends when my propane tank went out halfway through (of couse), and i haven’t quite gotten around to replacing it yet. combine that with the *insane* 50mpg gusts of icy wind yesterday, and you had me not feeling the need to fire up the grill last night. there was, however, a really nice ribeye in the freezer (aluminum foil for freezing steaks, people. just as perfect months later as the day i bought it), and a really nice bottle of reserve zinfandel calling my name, so it was time for alternate methodolgy.
the guys over at discuss cooking have long recommended a sear in the pan, finish in the oven technique for good cuts of beef, so last night i decided to give it a go. following the suggestions of the forum over there:
That is my favorite way to do filet. I sear them on both sides in a combination of butter and oil then put them into a 350 F oven to finish. If the filets are 1.5 to 2 inches thick, leave them in the oven for 8-9 minutes. Then remove them and let them rest, covered loosely with foil, for 10 minutes. While they are resting you can make a pan sauce from the drippings or just have some bearnaise standing by to serve with them.
my steaks were a hair thinner than that, so they were only going to be in the oven for 5 minutes. after patting fresh-cracked pepper & sea salt onto each side, i got the plain stainless pan (don’t have any heavy cast iron, though that is apparently preferred for this technique) scorching hot on the stove top, tossed in some olive oil and then a small pat of butter, dropped a spoonful of diced garlic into the mix, and then started searing. good god that smelled wonderful, not at all like the “plain beef” aroma i was expecting. it got about a minute on a side before popping into the 350F oven. after taking it out and wrapping in foil to “rest”, i added another small pat of butter to the delicious frond, and sauteed red onion & mushroom with some of my zin to deglaze in there. while i did overcook closer to medium than the desired rare, the taste was amazing. i’ve always prided myself on my steak marinade, but the super delicious crust on this one is making me re-think my love affair with the grill.
don’t know how well it would work out cooking more than, say, 2 steaks at a time, as i think the addition of so much room-temp stuff at once would make it hard to keep the pan up to heat. i’m pretty darn sure though that i’ll enjoy further experimentation over the long cold winter in getting that rare timing just right.