COOK TIME 5 mins | TOTAL TIME 5 mins | SERVES 2
I kept calling this “pan-fried steak” but that sounds too much like chicken-fried steak, so here we are. It’s steak, cooked in a frying pan, in the house. Read on, or just watch this episode of the 20-Minute Cooking school.
A great steak starts with a great steak–to paraphrase Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, 90% of the work is done before you buy the damn thing. The way a beastie is raised, slaughtered, butchered and packaged has much more impact on its flavour than anything you do to it at home.
That said, keep it simple. Start with a good steak, season it with salt, cook it hot and fast and rest it well.
The best cuts are both tender and well-marbled. It’s the intramuscular fat, aka “marbling”, that makes steak juicy and delicious, not the dry-rub or the wet brine or the expensive salt or the fancy barbecue. For special nights, I prefer ribeye and striploin (not sirloin. Very important distinction!) and for ordinary occasions I like flank steak too.
I always use a cast-iron pan. Non-stick pans don’t get hot enough, and non-cast iron not-nonstick pans aren’t non-stick enough. (That may be the most ridiculous sentence I’ve ever written. Sorry.) If you don’t have a cast-iron pan, but you love steak, it’s time to get one. (Read this if it’s your first time).
Resting is the most underrated part of steak cookery. You know how yoga teachers give you five minutes of delicious savasana at the end of every class? Well, your steak needs a little savasana, too. Seriously, it’s game-changer.
I always serve steak sliced. It’s easier to eat, prettier for presentation, and makes a smaller amount go further. Serve this glorious thing with whatever your heart desires– salad, baked potatoes, fried eggs, garlic spaghetti, chopped cucumbers, whatever. Just try not to eat it all while you’re slicing it….
Steak, Cooked in a Frying Pan
500 g boneless ribeye, striploin or flank steak
Heat a cast-iron frying pan over high. Heat it for a few minutes. It needs to be screaming hot.
Pat the steak dry with paper towel. Sprinkle about ½ teaspoon salt (1 teaspoon if you're using kosher salt) into the pan. Place the steak in the hot pan. Cook 1 min without touching it, then flip it, moving it around to catch all the salt. Cook 1 min. Flip every 30 seconds until it's been cooking for about 4-5 min total for rare, 6-8 min total for medium, 10 min total for well. Transfer to a plate and let rest 5 to 10 min before slicing and serving.
TIP: We share one steak for two adults, or two steaks for two adults and one steak-loving 6-year-old.
Click below for a printable version of this recipe.