Translation: Sliced Steak with Garlic-Sautéed Artichokes (Part 1- The Steak)
Recipe: (as adapted from Williams-Sonoma’s “Rustic Italian”)
- 1 large boneless Sirloin Steak (about 1 1/2 lb)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)
Is this cut not absolutely gorgeous!? I’ll be honest, I use to HATE grilling steak, and as luck would have it, my husband LOVED steak dinners! (Such is marriage, right? 😉 ) I didn’t hate it because I hated steak, quite the contrary actually; I am a proud carnivore and I never intend on changing! I hated it because I never seemed to be able to get it quite right. No matter the cut, my steak would either bleed out or be desert dry….yummmmmm….not.
It wasn’t until Robert’s 32nd birthday dinner, and my ambitious attempt at FILET MIGNON. Excuse me, did you hear me…? FILET MIGNON PEOPLE!!… That everything changed. Talk about pressure. I realized quite early on that evening that if I messed that meal up, I might as well kiss our precious pinched pennies goodbye! So, what changed? Well, I’ll share my little secret with you in the “Tips” section of this post, but let’s just say it’s the beautiful union of BUTTER and a well heated oven.
But back to tonight’s dish…
(this recipe can be found on p.136 of Williams-Sonoma’s “Rustic Italian”)
“Rub the steak with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle on both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Put the steak on either the grill and sear each side for two minutes. If using charcoal, move the steaks to indirect heat. If using gas, reduce the heat to medium. Grill for about 8 minutes longer for medium-rare, turning over once or twice. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.”
Perhaps you’ll disagree with me, but personally I don’t think you can get a prettier cut than a boneless sirloin on a…humble…budget. However, I will be honest, when it comes to steak, as well as produce, I believe you absolutely get what you pay for, and therefore I will always champion buying these items from either your local farmer, or a quality market such as Whole Foods.
With this recipe, I found that the directions Williams-Sonoma gave are quite easy and straight forward. In addition, the seasoning of the steak sounds incredibly simple, however, a straight salt and pepper rub is ALWAYS my seasoning style of choice.
I wouldn’t say anything about this dish “didn’t work”…however, I will say that I think you need to be a tad more generous with the salt and pepper rub. My advice is to really coat each side of your steak with a healthy portion of both seasonings. I also found that rubbing a bit of olive oil on each side of the steak helps both the salt and the pepper to really absorb into the meat.
In addition, if the directions above were all you were left with, and you DIDN’T own a charcoal or gas grill, you may be completely deterred from this dish. Therefore, I wish the authors would have also included directions for those of us working with limit tools…such as a grill pan.
But fear not, I will pick up the slack here in the next section 😉
What if I don’t have a grill?
As stated above, a grill pan will do just fine. Simply place your grill pan on a large eye on your stove and turn the eye on medium-high heat. Sprinkle a bit of olive oil onto the grill pan (in addition to the olive oil that has already been rubbed into the steak). When the pan is hot enough, place the sirloin onto the grill pan and sear each side as directed above (about 2 minutes per side). TIP: in addition to sprinkling olive oil into the pan, also include 2 tablespoons of butter at room temperature. The butter will melt onto the pan, and thus coat each side of the sirloin with the velvety, melt-in-your-mouth texture that only BUTTER can provide.
Next, transfer the steak (grill pan and all) into your oven that has been heated to 375 degrees. Cook for 10 minutes for a nice medium-rare. Once the 10 minutes is up, follow the same directions as the above recipe: transfer to a cutting board, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting.
Why do you transfer the meat to the oven?
I have found that this is a fool-proof method when cooking most cuts of steak. Searing each side first on the grill pan locks the juice and the flavor into the meat, and transferring the steak to the oven allows the steak to cook evenly without drying out in the process.
Why must the steak “rest” for 5 minutes?
This is important because it prevents the steak from “bleeding out” and thus losing all of the beautiful juice, flavor, and moisture you have worked so hard to achieve. Also, we transfer the steak to a cutting board instead of leaving it in the grill pan (or on the grill etc.) because while the steak is resting it also continues to cook to achieve the desired degree of done. TIP: I will cook my meat in the oven to a “medium-rare” and allow it to sit for 5 minutes because I like my steak “medium”…make sense?
How should I cut my steak once it has rested?
Carve the steak against the grain into slices 1/2 inch thick and transfer to a serving platter. This is the point in which you can squeeze the 1/2 lemon juice on top should you choose to.
Bon Apetite! XO.