You made it through your first holiday season gauntlet unscathed! We are so proud of you! As a reward for the making it through every family dinner with your plastic smile intact, you should treat yourself to a perfectly-cooked piece of fine steak. Here's how to achieve a restaurant-quality steak with a few simple steps.
2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt & pepper
Fresh rosemary and/or thyme
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic
1 stick of butter
More salt. Salt makes food taste more like itself, and is the simplest and best way to bring out the flavor of your beef. You want to get a salt crust all over the meat, adding extra salt if it's an extra thick steak. Put the salt and pepper on first, rub it all over the meat and press it into the skin. Initially, the salt will draw moisture out of the steak, so season it and set it aside for about 20 minutes, both to bring it up to room temp and to let the moisture and salt re-absorb into the steak.
Peel the zest off of half of a lemon in wide strips.
Peel and gently crush the garlic enough to release the oils. No need to chop or smash it.
Coat your steak in olive oil on both sides after the resting time.
Rub the ever loving shit out of your steak with the garlic, fresh herbs, lemon zest. Really work it in there, moving your seasonings around to release their oils. Go crazy. Give that meat a deep, herby Thai massage. Let it rest again for a few minutes to absorb the flavors.
While your steak is hanging out and getting its oily flavor zen on, heat a sturdy pan up to high.
Remove the various plant matter on top of your steak, add a little extra oil to it, and lay it in the pan for 1 minute.
Flip it over and add a stick of butter to the pan with a few fresh sprigs of herbs and some of your garlic cloves. Take the butter-soaked herbs and lay them on the steak. Tip the pan up to about 20-30 degrees and spoon the butter onto the steak for about 2 minutes, then flip again and spoon butter for another minute for a rare steak, 2-3 for a more done but unruined steak. Keep in mind that you are also cooking the top somewhat with the butter, so err on the side of undercooking and let it rest to temperature. (I don't have any photos of this and I'm so sorry)
THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP: Let it rest for AT LEAST 10 minutes. Ideally, you'd set it on something where air could move under it to keep the bottom crust crisp, or you could just put it on a plate and let it hang out in the (off) oven or microwave, flipping it halfway through.
Enjoy like the boss and champion you are.
Editor's note: Cooking time reflects a rare (120-125 degrees) steak about 1 inch thick. Thicker steaks will require as much as 6-8 min for rare, 8-10 for medium (130 degrees) If you put steak sauce on this beauty after all that loving work, you should seriously re-evaluate your choices and life.