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Cast Iron Steaks with Herb Butter

Why This Recipe Works

To pan-sear a thick-cut steak, we turned to a cast-iron skillet since its heat-retention properties are ideal for a perfect sear. We chose the moderately expensive boneless strip steak for its big, beefy flavor. But when we tried preheating the skillet on the stovetop, cast iron’s uneven heat distribution properties created an equally uneven sear on our steaks. As a result, we ended up preheating the skillet in the oven. To get a perfectly even sear, we used quite a large amount (2 tablespoons) of oil, since this meant that the steaks’ surfaces remained in contact with the heat even as the steaks unevenly contracted during cooking. We started out flipping our steaks only once, halfway through cooking. But we found that flipping the steaks more often led to a shorter cooking time and a smaller gray band of dry, overcooked meat just under the surface of the steaks. After testing different flipping techniques and heating levels, we found that flipping the steaks every 2 minutes and transitioning from medium-high to medium-low heat partway through cooking resulted in a perfectly browned, crisp crust and a juicy, evenly cooked interior every time.

Ingredients

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2 (1-pound) boneless strip steaks, 1 1/2 inches thick, trimmed
Kosher salt and pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Nutritional Information

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION

Per Serving (Serves 4)

  • Calories 655
  • Cholesterol 197 mg
  • Fat 53 g
  • Sodium 595 mg
  • Saturated 21 g
  • Carbs 1 g
  • Trans 0 g
  • Dietary Fiber 0 g
  • Monounsaturated 23 g
  • Sugar 0 g
  • Polyunsaturated 2 g
  • Protein 39 g

The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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Instructions

Serves 4

Don’t forget to take the butter out to soften at least 30 minutes before you start to cook.

1. Sprinkle entire surface of each steak with 1 teaspoon salt. Let sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position, place 12-inch cast-iron skillet on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine butter, shallot, parsley, chives, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in bowl; set aside.

3. When oven reaches 500 degrees, pat steaks dry with paper towels and season with pepper. Using potholders, remove skillet from oven and place over medium-high heat; turn off oven. Being careful of hot skillet handle, add oil and heat until just smoking. Cook steaks, without moving them, until lightly browned on first side, about 2 minutes. Flip steaks and cook until lightly browned on second side, about 2 minutes.

4. Flip steaks, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, flipping every 2 minutes, until steaks are well browned and meat registers 120 to 125 degrees (for medium-rare), 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer steaks to carving board, dollop 2 tablespoons herb butter on each steak, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Slice steaks 1/2 inch thick and serve.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.

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Season 17, Ep. 1

Hosts Julia Collin Davison and Bridget Lancaster debunk cast iron myths and share the basics for cast iron care. Then, Julia shows Bridget how to make the ultimate Cast Iron Steak. Next, equipme...