Monday, November 08, 2010


While I consider myself to be an adequate cook, I have to tell you about two things I've never been able to cook properly:  fried chicken and steak.  I can now mark steak off that list.  
I love a good, medium-rare steak; sometimes I make Cliff splurge and take me to Outback just so I'll get a decent one.   
When we had Sir Loin butchered, we ended up with some lovely steaks to put in the freezer, two to a package.  My original thought was to save them for one of those times when the daughter's family is here for a cookout;  the son-in-law does a great job with steaks.  
But one evening a couple weeks ago while Cliff was at work, I decided to try cooking a decent steak one more time.  I was the only one here, so I wouldn't have to feel bad watching Cliff chew on shoe-leather and pretend it's good.  
I searched the Internet and found a couple of recipes I thought might work for me.  
At this point, those of you who have cooked pan-fried ribeye steak all your lives are laughing at me, wondering what's so hard about cooking steak.  I know you are, so don't deny it.   
I found the Pioneer Woman version and used some of the seasonings she mentioned, although I really didn't make a rub as she did.  I looked at the pictures (by the way, you know I love you, Ree, but there can be such a thing as too many pictures) and found one that put me on the  right track.  Hopefully she won't mind my stealing this picture.

I never knew I was supposed to actually burn the butter.  
I ended up cooking the steak longer than her recipe suggested (two minutes on one side, two and a half on the other) because there was too much blood coming to the surface to suit me.  
But somehow, the steaks ended up tender and quite good.  I used extreme self-control and saved one for Cliff.  He had it for breakfast the next morning and agreed that I had hit on something; it was even good left over.  
Yesterday I decided to try steak again, using another person's methods.  
This recipe said not to go crazy on the seasonings; I decided to use no seasonings at all.  I read the instructions over several times, and realized this person addressed everything I have ever done wrong with a steak:  Don't use a fork to turn it, that lets the juices out.  Don't move the steak around in the skillet except when you turn it. Leave the heat on medium; don't turn it down.  Don't cover the pan.  Oh, and get the steaks out of the refrigerator at least an hour before you're going to cook them.
The cooking time suggested on this site was four minutes on the first side, five on the second.   

I threw those babies into the smoking hot cast iron skillet and came to my computer room so I'd leave them alone for the allotted time.  The timer beeped that four minutes were up and I turned them with tongs, set the timer for five minutes, and came back to my computer.  
They were as good as any steak I've ever had at Outback, fork-tender, juicy, and pink in the middle.  
Cliff agrees.  
Now if only I could learn to make fried chicken as good as Mother used to make.    


Toon said...

My recipe for steak is just salt, pepper, heat.

Anonymous said...

I have never pan fried a steak...always grill...even in the winter hubby will do it...because we like them medium doesn't take long!!! but happy to know you have conquered the "steak" cooking for chicken...I have found I always cooked it too fast...left fire on to high...chicken fries slow...real slow...cover the skillet...I put flour, salt, pepper in plastic bag...put chicken in their...coat nicely..and fry away...I think mine is as good if not better than Mom's...but bless her heart...she isn't here to dispute it LOLOL...happy day are a hoot!!!!

Barbara In Caneyhead said...

I've always had good results broiling steaks. And we've done some in our George Foreman grill that turned out quite well. But never packs in the flavor like a good pan frying or braising.

Lindie said...

I was just 19 and in Germany when I first did a pan fried steak. After The fire hit the ceiling and i put it out and cleaned up the mess, I didn't try another for about 20 years!

Hollie said...

Woo-Hoo! You did great!

small farm girl said...

It took me a while to get it right also. I still mess up sometimes.