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Holy Smokes Steak

This recipe almost burned down my apartment, but it still was delicious.

– Sarah Reagan

Sheltering in place these past three months has forced me (and probably many others) to cook for ourselves more often than before. For better or worse, I have grown more daring in the recipes I’ve been trying. This week’s experiment was cooking steak for the first time.

Steak was always an intimidating recipe to master, in my opinion. For one thing, pretending to know the difference between different cuts of meat can be dangerous and expensive. My ignorance had bought me a fine piece of ribeye with no bone. Remember that—it’ll make a difference.

Next on the ‘Ignorance-is-Bliss’ list comes the cookware. I bought my first cast-iron skillet, because that is what various YouTube videos said I should do. There are a lot of steps to taking care of a cast-iron skillet. Apparently, seasoning is more important than what goes on the steak!

Finally comes the actual cooking. Do not be afraid of the blazing hot skillet, but also do keep a fire extinguisher on hand. My boyfriend always wants to help with meal preparation. Luckily, his time to shine came when I needed an extra hand to fan the smoke away from the smoke alarm while also turning over the steak. Overall, the ordeal could have gone worse. The steak cooked in the blink of an eye, and while the smoke indicated that the crust quickly developed a nice char, the inside miraculously cooked to a juicy medium-rare. The butter sauce was excellent, and no, we didn’t need A-1.

Ingredients:
13 oz. ribeye steak (boneless, if you want a quick cook)
vegetable oil
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed and peeled
1 sprig of fresh rosemary
4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Utensils:
Cast-iron skillet (and oven mitt)
Long arm tongs
Spoon for basting
Meat thermometer
Dish towel (to fan smoke away from smoke alarm)

Rub salt and pepper onto the steak and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour. On stovetop, heat cast-iron skillet on high heat for 5-10 minutes, which may be way too long. Pour the smallest amount of vegetable oil into the pan, prepare for smoke show. Open all windows and doors for ventilation. Place steak in skillet, and depending on how thin your steak is, flip as soon as the pan will release your meat and a crust forms.

Place in pan the crushed garlic cloves, rosemary, and butter. When the butter is melted, use a spoon to baste the top of the steak. Cook until the steak reaches an internal temperature of 125º F. Let steak rest 5-10 minutes, or until you are able to get all the smoke out of your home. Enjoy!

Sarah Reagan is an Assistant Conference Planner for Symposia Medicus. She lives in Concord, CA.