Friday, October 20, 2006

Steak Adventures

I did it! I learned how to cook a steak on my stovetop! Steak has been a craving with my pregnancy that I have just not gotten to indulge in much. On a whim I decided to try to cook some frozen steaks I had even though they weren't that high of quality (Top Sirloin Steaks, 3/4 " thick, about $3 a pound). I was so excited because they came out wonderful...much better then we expected. Along with the steaks, we had a green salad, and mashed potatoes. Justin was wonderful and mashed up the potatoes as I was cooking the steaks. I wish I had pictures because it was beautiful. First I gathered as much information about pan frying steaks as I could. This was important because I learned a lot that I didn't know.

Here are a few of the links where I gathered information:

A message board with lots of opinions
How to Cook the Perfect Steak
HGTV steaks
Pan Fried Strip Steak (with good photos)
Making a sauce with the drippings (good photos)
Everything you need to know about Cast Iron Skillets

Important things I learned:

Always use a cast iron skillet if possible.

The cast iron skillet must be heated to a very high temperature before meat is placed on it. I preheated my skillets in a 500 degree oven and then placed them on hot preheated burners.

Always let the steaks come to room temperature before cooking.

Marinate the steaks in some olive oil or use some olive oil in the pan.

Don't salt the meat ahead of time because this could draw some of the moisture out of it.

Don't stir them around as they cook on the stovetop. You want a black crust to form.

Don't overcook. I cooked my steaks 3 minutes on each side in a sizzleing hot skillet. The skillets were then placed in the 500 degree oven for 5-8 more minutes to finish cooking. Even then, by the time we ate them, they were completely cooked through, and I like a little pink in the center.

Use the drippings in the pan to make a sauce or gravy. Yummy!

Be prepared for lots of smoke!

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