Every so often we get a craving for a nice steak dinner, usually on a Sunday night accompanied by a great baked potato and a vegetable side. When that time comes, we find ourselves in a bit of a bind.
You see, we are apartment dwellers, with no access to any sort of outdoor grill. Also being in the Northeast, it’s horribly cold out for a good portion of the year. What we need is a way to cook these steaks indoors. Our biggest problem is always the large amount of smoke that cooking steaks on the stove top creates.
We had been using Alton Brown’s Sirloin Recipe, which cooks the steaks on the oven rack directly with a tray or foil underneath to catch drippings. This technique works well, though is not only messy, but also requires shifting the height of multiple very hot oven racks during the cooking process.
One weekend a few weeks back I wanted to make a steak for Erin on a mini special occasion. I decided to “upgrade” the steaks for this meal to something of a little higher caliber. I decided on a couple of Rib Eyes. Now I just needed a recipe/technique to cook them. I should have known Alton would have me covered there as well.
I actually like this recipe a lot more than the Sirloin recipe, as it requires no oven rack shifting or extreme cleaning methods afterward. All it does require is a nice Cast Iron Skillet and a hot oven. One of the main tricks to successfully cook this (in my mind) is finding an oil with a high smoke point. For our purposes, we were lucky enough to have some refined Safflower Oil laying around, which has one of the highest smoke points of all oils. In most cases Canola oil is going to be your best bet.
As for preparation, we prefer a basic steak: coat steaks with oil via a brush, and then liberally apply salt and pepper to both sides.
To cook the steaks, get the cast iron skillet up to 500 degrees by sticking it in the oven for a good 10 minutes (can be done while prepping the steaks, naturally). Once the skillet is hot, take it out and put it on the stovetop over high heat and throw the steaks on, leaving them for 30 seconds on each side. After that, you throw the whole skillet back into the oven at the same 500 degrees for 2-3 minutes on each side (we like ours medium, and 3 minutes made our steaks perfectly so). Take them out and let rest for 2 minutes. At this stage we usually place a little pat of butter on top, steakhouse style.
Pair with your favorite vegetable and a nice baked potato and enjoy with a good beer or Gin and Tonic.