Pan Seared Steak Recipe
This flat iron pan seared steak recipe is: Paleo, Primal, Gluten Free, Low Carb, Wheat Belly and damn tasty.
Who is in the mood for some red meat? If someone were to ask that question, I’d always raise my hand. This pan seared steak recipe is perfect for the carnivore in you too! I have to admit that I’ve had somewhat of a love affair with beef since childhood. Maybe not pan seared steaks, but burgers for sure. Maybe some beefy mac-n-cheese. Meatballs, meatloaf, tacos and my favorite, sloppy joes. All full of beefy goodness.
The sad part is that growing up in my family, a steak wasn’t done until it was cooked through. Gray. Shoe leather consistency. Blech. Might as well have been boiled steak. For years this is just how I ate meat. Then one day, about 20 years ago, I cooked up a steak on my back porch in the pitch black of night. Turns out my grill ran out of propane pretty quickly without my knowledge. I had flipped the steak once and then left it on there for a long time. When I pulled it off, as bachelors often will, I took a big bite before it even hit the plate.
WOW! My mind was racing… What kind of beef did I buy? It tasted so juicy and delicious. I sat down in a chair and ate the rest in the darkness, smiling from ear to ear. When I went inside my steak eating world was turned upside down. Never again would I eat a well done steak. Now, rare is the preference. At restaurants, charred rare plus if they can do it for me. Oh steak, you sexy beast.
What makes a good steak? 5 not-so-secret principles:
- It starts with a good grade and cut of meat. Meat comes in different grades, from Select through to Prime. Most of the Select cuts need to be cooked for longer times to become tender. Prime steaks are well marbled with fat and produce a tender and juicy steak. The problem with Prime is the price… it’s expensive. I typically buy a Choice steak (between Select and Prime) and try to get it either local or grass fed.Different cuts are going to have different levels of flavor and tenderness. The ribeye or Delmonico has lots of fat, typically resulting in a really juicy, tender steak. The hanger steak has a truly delicious and rich beef flavor. The strip has both good flavor and a nice texture. The tenderloin is going to have the least flavor but will be silky smooth, particularly prime grade. It will cut like a hot knife through butter. The flat iron steak is less popular and a little more tough… but if you cut across the grain (like with flank or skirt) it is beefy and flavorful.
- Preparation. After you have your meat selected, the next step to a good steak is to prepare it to be cooked. Bringing the meat to room temperature is very important. If you toss a freezing cold steak on the grill right out of the fridge, the outside will cook much faster than the inside. You run a much greater risk of dry, unevenly cooked or tough meat this way.
- Seasoning. While it is coming to room temp, season it liberally on both sides with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper. These are the only seasonings a good steak really needs. Let the meat speak for itself! Put down the Montreal steak seasoning and step away. Did you know that Montreal steak seasoning is based off a pickling dry rub? All you will taste are the huge flavors in the seasoning… including coriander, dill and cayenne pepper flakes. If you love these flavors, add them to chicken. Let your beautiful cut of beef show you just how beefy it can be without the steak seasoning!
- Cooking. The last secret to a good steak is this: high cooking temperatures. For the pan seared steak recipe, I would highly recommend using cast iron to cook the steak. There are a couple reasons for this: it can get really hot and maintain a high temperature even after the meat is added to the pan to get that nice, flavorful sear quickly on the outside of the steak and maintain consistent interior temps. Plus, it is easy to put in the oven, which is what we will be doing for this recipe.
- Rest. After the steak has been through the inferno, it needs a little time to rest. This will allow the meat to relax and the juices will redistribute throughout the cut of beef. Trust me on this one- it’s important! While the steak rests, it’s a great time to make some veggie sides… or drink a glass of wine.
QUICK COOKING TIP: With any high temperature cooking that uses butter, we have to combine it with another cooking fat so that the milk solids in the butter don’t burn. Try to use an oil with a high smoke point, like grape seed, avocado or even coconut oil. Or, use ghee which is butter with the milk solids removed. For this pan seared steak recipe, I used good olive oil and my butter browned just a bit more than I would have liked, but it still tasted great.
No let’s get to the flat iron pan seared steak recipe!
Five simple steps to achieve the perfect pan seared steak. Rosemary, crispy shallots and roasted garlic compliment the beef so well.
- 1 Flat Iron Steak brought to room temp
- Kosher Salt & Fresh Cracked Pepper
- 2 TBSP Grass Fed or Organic Butter
- 1 TBSP Olive or Avocado Oil
- 1 Sprig Rosemary
- 1 Regular Shallot sliced thin
- 3-4 Cloves Roasted Garlic
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
- Add the olive oil to a cast iron pan and heat over medium high heat. When the oil shimmers, add in the sliced shallot with a pinch of kosher salt.
- Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring until the shallots begin to crisp.
- Remove from the pan with a fork or tongs, leaving the oil in the pan. Set aside.
- Add the butter into the pan. Turn the heat to high. When the butter has melted, lay the beef in carefully so as to not splash the hot oil.
- Add in the rosemary on the side.
- After 2 minutes, using tongs, flip the beef. The beef should be nicely browned.
- Cook for 2 minutes, basting the steak with the rosemary butter from the pan. Then place the pan into the oven.
- Cook in the oven for 5-6 minutes, depending on your desired level of doneness.
- Remove from the oven and set on the stove. Flip with tongs and baste again.
- Remove the steak from the pan and set on the cutting board. Cover with foil and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Slice against the grain, top with the crispy shallots and roasted garlic.
- Serve hot and enjoy!
Check out my Roasted Garlic Recipe which I used for the Flat Iron Pan Seared Steak Recipe.
Final thoughts on the Pan Seared Steak Recipe:
The cooking method that is used on the flat iron steak can be applied to any standard cut of beef. Adding in the rosemary to the butter is a great way to impart complimentary flavor right into the beef. Adding in the roasted garlic right at the end heats it slightly and tastes just so good with the beef. Crispy shallots add some complexity without overpowering the dish, bringing together so many perfect bites that it will be hard to figure out which one to save for last.
You can serve a ton of different low-carb side dishes with the pan seared steak. Try some roasted cauliflower, or a cauliflower puree… maybe some pan seared brussels sprouts or bacon sauteed spinach? Looking for something a little different? Try these two sides: butter and thyme braised carrots and creamed leeks! Either would be just divine. Serve any of these up with a nice Bordeaux and enjoy!