Making a pan seared steak come out right is easier than you may think. We cover this steak in a delicious sauce made from butter, wine and cilantro!
It's a well-known fact in my neighborhood that my husband can't grill a steak to save his life. I love the man dearly and he has made several wonderful things on the grill (bacon-wrapped cheeseburgers anyone?), but he just can't cook a steak on the grill. He always ends up over-cooking it and it tastes like shoe leather.
If you watch many cooking shows, you will see that they often will cook steak on the stove, not on a grill. Done correctly, a good pan seared steak can be more delicious than anything you can do on the grill!
The key to success when cooking a steak on the stove is using a good quality pan. I have tried this with cheaper pans, and it does not work. Your steak will burn before it's cooked. A good quality, heavy-bottom pan will evenly distribute the heat and prevent burning. That being said, if at any point it appears that your steak is cooking too high, turn the heat down a little. You want to hear a nice sizzle the entire time it's cooking, but it will be fairly obvious if the heat is too high.
If you have time, I suggest salting the steak 24 hours in advance. I'm not a food scientist so I don't know exactly why or how it makes it better, but my steaks always have a better flavor when I salt them the day before.
We used grapeseed oil because it can withstand high temperatures, but you can use any kind of oil you want as long as it has a high smoke point and a neutral flavor. Some others would be peanut oil, sunflower oil, or corn oil.
We like our steak medium-rare, so this is cooked for exactly three minutes on each side and allowed to rest. This is almost foolproof when cooking a 1" steak, but using an instant-read meat thermometer will ensure you get the steak done exactly to your liking. Medium-rare should register at 135, medium at 140, and medium-well at 150 degrees.
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Pan Seared Steak with Cilantro Butter Sauce