Best Skillet Steak is for those who want that steakhouse flavor without the high price. You won’t need a grill for this simple recipe, but if you have one, go for it! The secret is all in the preparation, method, and finish. There is no marination time nor special ingredients required, so this is the perfect choice for a no-hassle, yet elegant meal at home.
I prefer top sirloin steak because of its rich, beefy flavor. Some folks complain that top sirloin is too chewy. It is important to select the right steak. Do not be fooled by a lean cut with a rich, red color. Look for a piece that is well-marbled with thin streaks of fat throughout. The color should be more pinkish than red. The redder the meat, the leaner (read tougher) it will be. However, if you are not so lucky as to find such a slice, consider tenderizing with my favorite meat tenderizer. It doesn’t take long and will make a world of difference in the end result.
The steak should be at room temperature before it goes into the skillet. Take it out of the refrigerator, season as below, and let it rest on the counter until it is no longer cool to the touch, usually around 15 minutes. This resting period also allows the seasoning to penetrate. Resting after cooking is also an important step.
Never pierce the meat or cut into it to determine doneness. Doing so allows all of those tasty juices to drain out, resulting in a dry and tasteless steak. Get into the habit of feeling the meat by pressing gently in the center with your tongs. The harder the meat feels, the more done it is. Medium-rare is the optimum doneness for a good steak. It should give a little when pressed with the tongs, and feel like the fleshy part of your hand between your outstretched thumb and fore-finger. No matter how prime the steak, the longer you cook it, the tougher it will become.
The type of skillet is also important. You just can’t get a good sear with a non-stick pan. A hard-anodized or cast iron skillet is the best friend of a steak cooked on the stove-top. If you have one with a ridged bottom, all the better.
Read on for the secret tip used by restaurants to add even more flavor. Let’s get cooking that juicy steak!
Best Skillet Steak Recipe
1 pound beef sirloin steak, 1-inch thick (The weight doesn’t really matter — it’s all about the preparation and method. See Notes.)
1 Tablespoon (about) Worcestershire sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon (about) vegetable or olive oil
1 teaspoon (about) butter, at room temperature
Spread a think layer of Worcestershire sauce on each side of the steak, and rub it in with your fingers. Sprinkle lightly with the garlic and onion powders. Then sprinkle more generously with the salt, which will help give a good crust and sear in the juices. Lastly, a healthy dose of freshly ground pepper or crushed black pepper.
Let the steak rest until it reaches room temperature and is no longer cool to the touch, about 15 minutes.
Place a hard-anodized or cast iron skillet over medium-heat and let it get very hot. A drop of water should immediately sizzle and evaporate away when it is hot enough. Add the oil to the pan and swirl to coat the surface. Place the seasoned steak in the pan and sear until it is almost blackened before turning. Cook to desired doneness, preferably medium-rare. (See my comments above.)
Removed the steak to a platter, and smear the top with the butter. Let rest for at least 5 minutes to allow the juices to reabsorb into the fibers before cutting. (These are the restaurant’s secrets to a flavorful steak.) Slice into strips to serve, or cut into serving pieces.
Yield: 3 to 4 servings
Best Skillet Steak Recipe Photo © 2017 Peggy Filippone
• Of course, other more tender cuts of beef may be substituted for sirloin, such as T-bone, strip steak, or rib-eye.
• Use this method as well with boneless pork steaks.
• If you have a grill, by all means, use it!