There are two types of people in this world: those who order their steak on the rare side, and those who are wrong.
I mostly jest; in fact, I’m happily married to someone who would prefer a gray boulder of a steak over anything that is remotely mooing. And I have friends (looking at you, Ben) who prefer to eat away from me since I basically ask the chef to walk the cow through a warm room.
To be honest, I did not discover anything less than well done until I got to college. My dad (who has thankfully reversed course on this) would cook steaks and burgers way past the done stage, so I just assumed beef came bundled with A-1.
And I’ll never forget the first time I got the medium rare taste. Outback, October 2002. 12 ounce prime rib. Medium rare. A magnanimous moment of youth seared into my brain like, well… today’s recipe.
For this volume, we are going to reverse sear a ribeye. To start, you have to bring the internal temperature of the steak up. You have a couple of options depending on how much of a tech geek you are with your culinary prowess. For me, I love my sous vide (pronouced “soo veed”), which is a fancy way to cook food submerged in precise temperature water. In fact, we’ll do a sous vide recipe in the next couple of weeks with chicken thighs.
For those who prefer a regular oven method for prep, it’s still an easy process. Regardless of how you choose to prepare, the real magic happens in the final stage: the reverse searing.
After prepping your steak, you’ll take it to the hottest pan you can possibly heat that has just a bit of oil in the middle. I use my grandmother’s nearly century old cast iron skillet over a convection plate (again, tech geek). Once I’m satisfied that touching it with my bare hand would put me in the ER, it’s ready for showtime.
Get your hand towel ready by the smoke detector, because if this is done right, you’ll have some major vapors in your kitchen. But man, is it worth it. The searing only takes about a minute on both sides first, and then you add glorious butter for the remainder of the process. There are a few steps in the middle that we’ll get to, but for now focus on the words “ribeye” and “butter.”
After the cooking is complete, resting is not even necessary because the juices remain in tact in the middle. Plate with your favorite sides (I prefer sautéed mushrooms and bacon-wrapped asparagus), or get creative and use in fajitas.
As always, thank you for reading, and enjoy!
1 lb ribeye (look for an inch thick cut; I prefer lots of marbling, but you do you)
2 sprigs thyme (fully intact)
2 sprigs rosemary (fully intact)
2 whole cloves of garlic (peeled and smashed)
Salt and Pepper
4 TBSP salted butter
1 TBSP cooking oil (canola or olive work great)
- Prepare ribeye by generously salting and peppering both sides of the ribeye.
- Option 1: Prepare sous vide at 129 degrees and submerge in vacuum sealed bag for 1 hour.
- Option 2: Place steak in a 200-degree preheated oven over a wire rack for 45 minutes.
- While the steak is cooking, peel garlic cloves and smash with the side of a knife.
- Prepare skillet to hottest setting with the cooking oil in the middle.
- When oil begins to smoke, sear both sides of steak in the pan.
- Remove steak and lower temperature to medium high.
- Place butter in pan and add steak into the middle as the butter melts.
- Top steak with the garlic, thyme and rosemary.
- Carefully, tilt the pan (with an oven mit) toward you and spoon the liquid butter on top of the steak.
- Flip and repeat the process.
- Sear the edges and ends, ensuring the entire steak has kissed the hot pan.
- Take steak out and place on cutting board.
- Carefully cut into strips.
- Optional: heat the goodness left over in the pan back to liquid and pour over the top.
- Serve with your favorite sides.