Sunday, March 1, 2009

Cooking Steak in a Studio Apartment

As much as I love to spend time researching complicated recipes and toiling in the kitchen, sometimes all I want is some meat and potatoes. When I was younger, my father would often grill steaks for the family on Saturday nights, and I've try to recreate this meal in my kitchen every so often. The trouble is that I do not have access to a grill, and I find that steaks broiled in the oven or seared on the stovetop are rarely as delicious as a grilled steak. Without a grill, it's impossible to achieve the perfect crust or the smoky flavor of a grilled steak, but I have been following a technique for cooking steak indoors that appeared in The Wall Street Journal a year or so back and have had great results with it. It's no match for a steak on the grill, but the technique does a good job of getting a nice crust and cooking the steak to a perfect medium rare.

Last night, I cooked filet mignons using this technique. I served them with a baked potato, sauteed spinach, and a California cabernet. While the meal did not touch that of the steak Saturday of my youth, it certainly hit the spot. The picture doesn't do it much justice, but here you go:

Steak, Cooked Indoors

  • 2 very thick filets mignons or strip steaks
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs grapeseed oil
  1. 2 hrs prior to cooking, let steaks come to room temperature on counter
  2. Heat oven to 400F
  3. Liberally salt both sides of steak
  4. Heat oil in cast iron or other heavy bottomed skillet over medium high heat until very hot
  5. Add steaks to pan, sauteeing for 2 min. per side
  6. Put pan in oven and roast for 8 to 9 min. for medium-rare
  7. Once cooked, put steaks on heated plate and cover with foil. Let rest for five min. before serving


  1. You can do the entire cooking with a stainless steel pan, grapeseed oil and medium heat. With room temp. steaks, put them in the pan and don't move them for 8-10 minutes at which time they begin to sweat blood (literally). At that time, turn them over for another 3-4 minutes. Let them sit for 7-8 minutes. They will be perfectly medium rare with a seared outside.

  2. I'll have to try your method soon. Thanks for the advice!



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