10 Steps to the perfect western steak.
When people visit Montana for the first time, I’m always amazed that they talk as much about the food as they do about the wild landscapes and teeming wildlife.
The mountain west is firmly in meat and potatoes country, but don’t let that fool you. We can pack a tremendous amount of flavor into a 12oz sirloin. Here’s how we do it.
Steak (cut of your choice)
Salt and Pepper (nothing too fancy here)
Thick-bottomed, oven-safe pan (cast iron works best)
Time to Cook
1. First, pick a quality cut of meat. Look for a deep red color, no brown spots or bruising and no oily gunk. That’s how you know it’s fresh. Top Sirloin is a great choice. Other cuts that cook well using this method are Rib Eyes or New York Strips. There’s really no bad choice (except for stew meats), so use whatever looks good.
2. Season your steak generously and evenly on both sides. We use coarse sea salt, cracked black pepper and some garlic powder. We keep it simple out west, but you can use whatever you like.
4. Let your steak warm up to room temp for about 10 minutes if it was in the fridge. You never want to throw cold meat on a hot pan. While this is happening, preheat your oven to 425 Degrees.
5. Use a thick bottomed, oven safe pan to cook your steak in. We use a cast iron skillet. They’re cheap, last forever and have great heat retention to get that perfect sear.
6. Turn the stove on high and let the pan get very hot before you put your steak in. Put in a little bit of oil 30 seconds before gently placing the steak in the pan. Careful not to splash any hot oil.
7. Cook on high heat for about 3 1/2 minutes for this side. You should have a nice sear with a dark brown color on the steak. Flip it and repeat on the other side but only for about 2 minutes.
8. After those 2 minutes are up, take the pan and put it in your preheated oven for 2-3 more minutes to finish cooking. Use oven mitts, that pan will be hot.
9. When it’s done, remove from the oven then move the steak onto a plate. Cover with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes. Don’t move or cut into your steak. This lets the juices settle back into the meat.
10. After letting it rest, your steak is ready to enjoy! This is cooked medium rare. Leave it in the pan for an extra minute each side and in the oven for an extra minute for medium well.