I don't eat a lot of meat. Mostly because I don't eat out a lot, and I don't want to have to take the time to watch what I'm doing because of contamination issues.
But, sometimes, you just want a steak.
This is the steak I wanted to make: Pan Seared Rib Eye
Alton's easy recipe and trusty perfectionism led my wide-eyed, steak making virgin soul to the butcher counter at Whole Foods, where I was promptly disillusioned. There was no way I was paying $24.00 for a steak to serve two college students, I don't care how amazing it is.
I eventually came home with $7.00 worth of Top Round. Top round, top round, how do I know that name, I thought...
Oh, yes, that's the (in my dad's words) "cheap, tough, and dry" cut of meat he uses to make beef roast.
Marinated Top Round Steak
1 1/2 pound top round steak
Lots of balsamic vinegar
Lots of freshly ground Black Pepper
A cast iron skillet
At least 3-4 hours before take out a big GLASS bowl and throw that lean piece of beef in there. Cover it completely with balsamic. Yeah, I'm not kidding. Buy the cheap ass not-really-Balsamic Balsamic for this ... not that you can really find real Balsamic in your local grocer's aisle anyway. The vinegar part will break down the connective tissue and the sweet part (even if it's not authentic) will make the steak taste good. Add chopped garlic, a glug of oil, and lots of salt . Let this marinate in the fridge until dinner time.
THEN! IMPORTANT: an hour before you cook, take the steak out of the fridge and marinade and let it rest on a plate to come to room temp.
So, you're ready to cook. Preheat the oven to 400. Now put so much pepper on that steak you think it may suffocate. Now, put more on. You really can't put too much on. I didn't need to salt this steak because I knew I overkilled the marinade. You may have a different situation.
Heat up your cast iron skillet until it's really hot. Add a bit of oil. Put that sucker pepper side down and then pepper the other side. Don't move it! Three minutes or so later, flip it.
Three minutes have passed again, and your steak is super caramelized and wonderful, but I bet the inside isnt perfectly cooked, so put all of it, including your skillet, in the oven. Unfortunately, you are just going to have to figure out when it's done.
Better to stay on the rare side with this cut. It IS a tough, lean steak. Overcook it and it's bound to not taste too good. Thinly sliced is best, and a tab of butter doesn't hurt either.
I'm glad to say my first steak turned out wonderfully.
It was eaten along-side Lemon-Oregano roasted potatoes and sauteed chard. It looked a lot like that photo above before cooking.