Beef / Entrees / Holiday Food / Potatoes / Sunday Dinners / Vegetables

Cook: How to Cook the Perfect Steak

…In my opinion.

…Without a grill.

…In a tiny kitchen.

I’ve learned in my year or so of really eating red meat that people’s opinions about it vary drastically.  Burgers are the subject of serious thought and debate, roast beef can be completely polarizing (and completely delicious) and as far as the perfect steak goes, well, it can go any which way depending on the person.  Cut, thickness, grill or no grill, marinated or just salt and pepper–these “perfect” recipes abound.

This steak had a nice crust on the outside that was well seasoned and, considering the amount of salt I used, not at all salty.  The sear on the stove, finish in the oven method makes for a perfectly cooked steak, which for me is medium rare.

This method of cooking steak is also pretty easy.  With the right tools, a great cut of meat, and plenty of butter, you can make a steakhouse quality steak in about 30 minutes.

If you have strong feelings about what constitutes a perfect steak, I’d love to hear them.  But if you’re still searching for a way to make quality steak at home, try this method.  Add some potatoes and a vegetable and you’ve got a delicious, and impressive, meal in under an hour!

Here’s the recipe!

The Perfect Steak


  • 2 beef tenderloin (filet mignon) steaks cut about 1 to 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1/2 a stick of butter, plus two tablespoons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. About an hour before your estimated cooking time, take the steaks out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature on the counter.  About 15 minutes before cooking, liberally season with salt and pepper, but especially with salt–about 1/2 a teaspoon of salt on each side of each steak.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  In a large, heavy, cast iron skillet, melt the butter and olive oil over high heat.  When the butter and oil is melted and shimmering, add the steaks.  You should hear a loud sizzle.  Let sear on each side for about 3-4 minutes, until a dark crust forms on each side.
  3. Top each steak with about a tablespoon of butter and transfer the whole skillet to the oven.  Let cook in the oven for at least 6 minutes.  I probably left mine in there closer to 8 minutes because my oven is weird.  Check for desired temperature by pressing on the middle of the steaks with tongs.  The steak should not feel to soft, and should give about the same amount that the palm part of your thumb does.  Is that confusing?  Here, look at this.
  4. When the steaks are done, transfer them to a plate and cover with foil.  Let them rest for at least 10 minutes, which will let the juices have time to redistribute throughout the steak.
  5. Serve with desired sides and steak sauce, if you must.  

5 thoughts on “Cook: How to Cook the Perfect Steak

  1. It's so odd that you just posted this, because last night my boyfriend and I made steak! And we are also in a tiny apartment and have yet to find the perfect method. We did them entirely in a pan, and I think moving them to the oven would make a big difference. Can't wait to try this next time! Thanks for sharing!

  2. This was f'in awesome! I've tried a similar recipe but without the butter and foil for 5 minutes at the end. Wow did it made a difference.

  3. So glad it worked out! The oven helps bring the steak up to temperature without making your apartment completely smoky (and burning the outside of your steak!) and of course, butter makes everything better! 🙂

  4. Pingback: List: 5 Years of Valentine’s Meals at Home | See Hatsie

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