It’s Time for a Steak Break!
Carnivore should’ve been my middle name – it’s Faith, actually but that’s irrelevant. I love red meat and I’m always looking for new ways to work it. I adore my grill – almost pathologically so, but there are times when it’s just not feasible. Then what? Hit the oven Baby, take a left after the stovetop.
Steak is not easy to make at home. For years I never understood why my steak was always grey and tough from the oven. The stove didn’t do much better. However, I found the path to indoor steak heaven somewhere in between the two. You’ll need an oven safe pan, a good hunk of meat and one hell of an oven mitt.
The theory is to start the steak on the stove and finish it in the oven. (Yes Folks, you would be wise to utilize your digital probe meat thermometer here.) “Sear” is the magic word. I like to take my meat out of the fridge at least a ½ hour before cooking. The closer the meat is to room temperature, the easier it will be to cook with juicy results. I marinate my steak with 1 Tbs. Magic Oil.
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Marinate your meat and sprinkle it with a little Kosher Salt. Set your oven to 475° and put the rack in the middle of the oven. Test-fit the pan in the oven before you preheat it. You need enough room in the oven to slide the pan in and out without setting yourself on fire.
Get your oven safe pan, scorching hot on top of the stove with with an additional Tsp. of Magic Oil. Once you place the steak in the pan, let it sit. DO NOT TOUCH IT!!!!
You want a really good sear on both sides, if you tug before it’s time, you’ll tear the meat and destroy it’s much desired crust. I like my meat med rare and crispy ‘round the edges. Because our goal is soft, juicy meat, we gotta keep a close eye on this steak. You’re searing this bad boy in a very hot pan, burning it would be a huge waste. So don’t walk away from your meat while it’s cooking.
When the edges are rich brown, give the pan a little jiggle, if the meat releases easily, take a peek underneath. When that side of the steak is well browned, flip ‘em over. If the steak doesn’t give, it’s not ready to be flipped. When it does, stick it in the oven. If not, hang out and keep yourself entertained until it does.
Once the pan is in the oven, you need to have that good oven mitt handy. You’ll need two; one for moving the pan and the other to protect you from it. One of the most common kitchen burns is from an under-estimated oven pan. This one is even worse; it has a handle to really throw you off. Trust me, it’s instinct to turn around and grab the handle. That’s what the oven mitt is for. (As well as the Aloe plant on my window sill for that matter)
After you take the steak out of the oven, immediately place an oven mitt over the handle and leave it there until it is time to wash the pan after dinner. Trust me, you’ll thank me later. (Either that or you’ll call me from the burn unit.)
There are actually silicone pan handle covers. They’re great! We’ve been talking about silicone a lot lately, this is just another example of its fantastic heat resistance. It’s a 6 inch tube that slides over the narrow handle after you take the pan out of the oven. Look for them in places like Bed Bath & Beyond or Linens & Things. Yeah for Silicone!
I like my meat Med-Rare and about 1 ½ inch thick. I usually set the oven timer for about 8 minutes. If you want to check for doneness you can gently press on the top with a long handled utensil, if it jiggles like a cheerleader, put it back for 3 minutes more. DO NOT CUT INTO THE MEAT TO CHECK FOR DONENESS!
If your meat is thinner than 1 inch, sear on the first side and once it releases, flip and put the pan directly into the oven. Check after 3 minutes. It’s also a good idea to talk to that nice guy in the white coat behind the meat counter for cooking guidelines as well. Believe me, he knows his meat and he’s happy to help you.
Let the finished steak sit under tin foil for at least 10 minutes after cooking. Don’t worry, it won’t get cold, I promise. If you can pull this off, you’ll have a delicious, juicy piece of steak every time. You’ll love me for this one…...…even more. J
This method will work on all kinds of meat; you can use veal chops, pork chops, double lamb chops – if it walks, you can cook it this way. But, as I mentioned before, a meat thermometer is still a good idea.
How about a side dish? When I have steak, there are some necessities, like sautéed mushrooms. Sautéed onions aren’t bad either. Oh! Can’t forget the creamed spinach, what was I thinking????
When sautéing mushrooms, there are a few things to note. For starters, they take a little while to cook, so get yourself a “beverage” and a stool to sit on next to the stove.
I always start with the pre-sliced mushrooms – yes, I know I’m lazy, but that’s what they’re there for. Someone just like me who wanted mushrooms for dinner but the idea of standing there cleaning and chopping gives them hives. I like pre-cut foods, so easy to just dump and cook. Hey, what ever works Babe. They even have “Thick Steak Cut” sliced mushrooms – what a coincidence! Michael likes those.
Preheat your pan on Med-Hi with 2 – 3 Tbs. of Magic Oil (Cook@Iveysinmykitchen.com for FREE samples). I know it seems a little more than normal, that’s ok, the mushrooms soak it up like a thirsty sponge. However, they’ll give it up like a tramp after a few minutes on the heat. Once the mushrooms begin to release all their juices, that’s the time for the butter………………………
You want approx 1 Tbs. of butter – don’t talk to me about your cholesterol. The butter will melt and seep into the mushrooms for a rich flavor – it also makes nice golden brown edges.
It will take you about 10 solid minutes more to cook after you put in the butter. I use a Med-Hi heat and a big wooden spoon. While you don’t want the mushrooms to burn, you do want them to brown, so let the mushrooms sit for a little while in between stirs. Mushroom doneness is relative. I like mine really cooked to death, but your consistency is completely up to your desire.
Oh, and before I forget, make a lot of them. They shrink by ½ and it’s hard not to pick at them while you’re cooking anyway, they’re fabulous! I have to hide them from Michael. He usually busts me on his way up the stairs though – can’t exactly hide that smell. Nothing tastes like mushrooms sautéed in butter – except maybe onions sautéed in butter!
Sautéing the onion is the same process as the mushrooms. Unless you find pre-cut onions, chop them to your desired size. The smaller you cut the onions, the faster they’ll cook. However, you still are looking at 10 – 15 minutes cooking time, so don’t forget that beverage to keep you company! Truth is, once that smell starts wafting through the house, you’ll have no shortage of company.
The while the mushrooms are relative, the onions need to be golden brown. So don’t try to rush it and don’t forget the butter!!!!! Make the onions and mushrooms separately – we have dual-purposes coming up.
Ivey’s Sinful Creamed Spinach
You want to start with frozen chopped spinach, 2 packages. Let it thaw in the fridge overnight – or thaw it under cold running water. Squeeze the spinach dry, really dry. Warm up a small saucepan with 1 Tbs. of Magic Oil and cook the spinach for 4 - 5 minutes. For FREE samples, email us at Cook@Iveysinmykitchen.com
Add 1 Tbs. butter and ½ Cup of heavy cream. Now, I also use ½ & ½ if that’s what I have in my fridge. If you’re thinking to yourself….maybe I’ll use milk or low fat…, stop right here, go buy “Cooking Light” and call me in the morning. For the rest of you with some guts to be decadent for a good meal, whip out that cream and let’s keep going.
Actually, keeping going is the theme here. I don’t eat starch, so when I created this recipe, I deliberately omitted it. Lot’s of restaurants use flour to make their creamed spinach the right consistency. That’s not creamed spinach, that’s floured spinach. If you want the creamy texture of heaven, you’ve gotta keep stirring and be patient.
You are reducing the liquid by ½. But, similar to the mushrooms, consistency is your call. I like it really creamy. Cook the spinach on Med-Hi to Hi and keep stirring. You are looking for bubbles which will evaporate most of the liquid. I would say you’re looking at approximately the same timing as the mushrooms and onions – that’s why they are perfect steak accompaniments and terrific stove-top mates. It’s a good idea to cook the mushrooms, onions and spinach on the stove at the same time. Different pans of course.
Just before you take the spinach off the stove, add ¼ tsp. of Kosher Salt and ½ of the sautéed onions. Yummmmmmm!
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