This is the most basic way to cook a steak properly. You can follow this recipe to the letter, or consider it a blank canvas for you to get creative. Experiment 'til your heart's content!
Some suggestions for added pleasure:
marinate your steaks before cooking;
serve the steaks "au jus" (that's French for: "with its own juices") rather than the reduction sauce described below;
make a sauce in lieu of the reduction sauce described below;
saute onions/shallots and/or mushrooms before searing the steak. Remove the add-ons from the pan before adding the steak, then add them back before it goes in the oven. Using the same pan to cook all the ingredients results in a reduction sauce or "jus" with complex and layered flavors.
Another moment for creativity is when you are deglazing the pan. You can use almost any liquid (think seasonal): water, cider, red wine, beer, pomegranate juice, stock etc. If you use wine or beer, serve the same with the steak at the table: Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon all work well, as do darker beers like a Belgian-style double or a porter.
How to Cook any Steak for any Season
Any KOL Foods Steak (bone-in or boneless)
kosher sea salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons oil for searing (something with a high smoke point like schmaltz or grape seed oil)
Beef schmaltz for flavoring (sub with other schmaltz,margarine or coconut oil)
Pinch of garlic powder per steak
1 cup water for deglazing
1-2 tablespoons flour or other thickener (arrow root, potato starch, etc)
Defrost the steak(s) in the refrigerator. Once thawed, bring them to room temperature right before cooking - leave on the counter for 30-60 minutes (no more than 2 hours).
Rinse steak(s) under cold water and pat dry thoroughly with paper towels. If you want to salt them (not usually necessary with KOL Foods meat), lightly salt them 5 minutes before cooking so the salt will cling to the steak rather than absorb into the meat or fall off during cooking. Pepper to taste.
Bring an oven safe skillet to a high temperature (sprinkle a little water in the pan; if it dances, it's ready). Add the oil and sear the steak quickly on all sides until it has a nice, brown color (30-60 sec/side). Always use tongs when handling the steaks, fork holes will cause all the juices to flow out and dry out the meat.
Remove from heat. Lightly sprinkle each side of the steak with garlic powder. Then put a nice big dollop of schmaltz on the top of each steak.
Note:if the steak is very thin (hanger, skirt, etc) reduce heat to low on the stove and finish steak there instead of the oven.
Put oven safe skillet in a preheated oven at 225 F. This low temperature allows the meat to cook through but not overcook. A thick steak may take as long as a half an hour at this temperature - that's okay. Flip steaks once to ensure even cooking.
Take the meat out when it is 5 degrees shy of the desired internal temperature (yes, you should use a thermometer for this). You can also use "the finger test" to determine doneness if you have mad skills (see video below for details). The finger test is great because you won't put any holes in the steak. Remember the higher the internal temp, the tougher your steak will become. We recommend med-rare to med.
Rare: 120 F
Medium-rare: 125 F
Medium: 130 F
Medium-well done: 135 F
Well done: 140 F
When the steak has reached the desired temperature, remove from pan and let rest on a covered plate, away from the heat, for 10-15 minutes. Do not cut or pierce the steaks. During this time the internal temperature should continue to rise about 5 degrees and the juices will reabsorb into the muscle fibers. Also, adding a bit more schmaltz to the top of the steak at this time won't hurt its flavor.
Meanwhile, deglaze the the pan with water, wine or stock. Bring to a boil, scraping all the brown bits from the pan, and add flour to thicken (it's best to make a "roux" of equal parts flour to schmaltz or mix the flour with water first so it doesn't clump in the pan). You can add more schmaltz to the reduction sauce at this time as well. If you are serving "au jus", deglaze but don't add the thickener. Taste sauce. If it's too salty, add more water (you may have to add more flour to thicken it again).
Cut the steak into portions as needed with a sharp knife. Serve with plenty of vegetables.