Pan-Seared Grass Fed Steaks

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ny strip steaks
Photo: Bruce Cole
Sponsored by Roam Butcher Shop and Hestan Culinary

An expertly pan-seared grass fed steak is the holy grail of meat eaters and these juicy marbled 100% NY Strip steaks are cooked to perfection by flipping every 30 seconds in the pan.

We go back and forth on whether a NY strip or ribeye steak would be on our desert island dinner list, but one thing is for certain, its absolutely steak, not pork, chicken or fish, and there is a big plate of  shoestring fries along side. Plus chocolate pot d’creme for dessert.

Leaning towards NY strip steaks after Roam Butcher Shop (part of the Roam Artisan Burger group of restaurants) gifted us these glorious slabs of meat. Not only do they have a nice thick layer of fat along the edge, these steaks are richly marbled, which is an indicator of how intensely beefy they are going to taste. And did we mention these steaks are from pasture-raised 100% grass fed beef? Trust me it’s rare to see grass fed beef that is so beautifully marbled.

The thick strip of fat the butchers left intact is definitely appreciated. We started these steaks out in the pan, edge sides down to render the fat for cooking. We’ve been doing this technique forever, since we first read about it in a 2002 NY Times recipe from famed French chef Alain Ducasse:

Then I do something you will consider truly strange: I start by cooking the steak on its narrow side. I want to begin with the rim of fat on the edge, to render it so there is good, flavorful fat in the pan for the rest of the cooking. I’m also browning it so the finished steak will look immensely appetizing when it is served. —Alain Ducasse in THE CHEF; Steak With Style: Easy Does It for the NY Times

Note: grass fed beef fat has a high smoke point and as much as five times the amount of omega-3 fatty acids as grain-fed beef (in other words its good for you).

new york strip steaks cooking edge side down
Photo: Bruce Cole

Ducasse also mentions that he’s cooking his steaks over moderate heat because he’s not trying to carbonize or char the surface. We’re cooking these steaks over medium high in a Hestan Nanobonded skillet, which has quickly become our go-to pan for cooking meat. It’s even replaced our cast iron pans, and since it browns meat perfectly and evenly, and we don’t have to blast the stove at high heat with the exhaust fans roaring away either.

A perfectly browned steak is the holy grail of meat eaters, and as Harold McGee says in his book On Food and Cooking, you can easily achieve this result (most commonly referred to as the Malliard reaction) by cooking with medium heat and flipping steaks frequently, about every 15-30 seconds. But what does the Malliard reaction actually produce?

“One of the most important flavor-producing reactions in cooking is the Maillard reaction. It is sometimes called the “browning reaction” in discussions of cooking, but that description is incomplete at best. The important thing about the Maillard reaction isn’t the color, it’s the flavors and aromas. Indeed, it should be called ‘the flavor reaction,’ not the ‘browning reaction.’” by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young and Maxime Bilet in Modernist Cuisine

Flipping the steaks frequently is the other technique we religiously adhere to. Turning them every half minute or so means that the surface temperature of the steaks doesn’t cool down and not only will you get more evenly browned meat, it will cook more quickly. Says Kenji Lopez-Alt:

By flipping a steak multiple times—as often as once every 15 seconds or so—you not only end up with meat that’s more evenly cooked, you also cut down on your cook time by as much as a third, and develop a great crust on top of that. This is because with multiple flips, neither side is exposed to intense heat for too long, nor does it lose much heat to the relatively cool air above. It’s the equivalent of cooking it from both directions simultaneously. —Kenji Lopez-Alt in The Food Lab’s Complete Guide to Pan-Seared Steaks for seriouseats.com

We finished these steaks by basting them with butter, and deglazing the pan by sautéing swiss chard to soak up all the browned and caramelized bits left behind.

new york steak with chard
Photo: Bruce Cole
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Pan-Seared Grass Fed Steaks

new york steak with chard

Flipping the steaks frequently is a technique we religiously adhere to. Turning them every half minute or so means that the surface temperature of the steaks doesn’t cool down and not only will you’ll get more evenly browned meat, it will cook more quickly. We finished these steaks by basting them with butter, and deglazing the pan by sautéing swiss chard to soak up all the browned and caramelized bits left behind.

  • Author: Bruce Cole
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: meat
  • Method: saute
  • Cuisine: American

Ingredients

Scale

2 12-14 oz New York Strip Steaks, 1 1/2 inches thick, preferably with some fat along the edge

Kosher salt

2 tablespoons oil, preferably grape seed or canola.

2 tablespoons butter

1 clove garlic

1 shallot

1 bunch chard, stems removed and sliced into 1-inch strips

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Instructions

Salt: Put the steaks on a wire rack over a plate and season generously on all sides with kosher salt. Put in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, but preferably overnight.

Temper: Take the steaks out of the fridge an hour before cooking. Pat dry with paper towels.

Saute: Heat a skillet or cast iron pan over moderately high heat and add the oil. Place the steaks on edge, fat side down and cook for 2-3 minutes until the fat renders into the pan and the fat edge is browned.

new york strip steaks cooking edge side down

Flip: Turn the steaks onto their sides and cook for 30 seconds. Flip the steaks and cook for 30 seconds on the other side. Continue flipping the steaks every 30 seconds or so for 3-5 minutes and check the temperature of the meat by inserting a thermometer into the side. When the steaks reach 110ºF add the butter to the pan. Smash the garlic clove with the side of a knife and add it to the pan.

new york steaks sauteed in a pan

Baste: Tilt the pan towards you slightly so the butter and fat in the pan pools in the bottom near you. With a large spoon, begin quickly basting the steaks with the fat and butter for 30 seconds. Flip the steaks and repeat. Continue basting for a couple minutes and then measure the temperature of the steaks again.

Temperature: The USDA recommends steaks be cooked to 145º. We cook ours to about 120ºF, which is medium rare.

Rest: Remove the steaks from the pan and put on a wire rack over a plate to rest.

Drain: Pour off most of the fat in the pan, leaving about one tablespoon behind.

chard sauteed in a pan

Saute: Turn the heat to low and add the chopped shallot. Stir to coat with the fat and cook for 2 minutes. Raise the heat to medium and add the chard. Stir constantly so the chard dissolves all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan. When the chard is wilted but still bright green, squeeze a tablespoon of lemon juice on top and with a spatula, scrape the chard/shallot mixture onto a serving plate.

new york steak with chard

Slice: Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and slice across the grain on a slight angle, into pieces about 3/4 of an inch thick. Neatly stack the slices leaning onto the chard on the serving plate. Spoon the juice that has collected under the steaks onto the slices.

Serve: Grind some fresh black pepper over the plate, finish with a big pinch of coarse sea salt and serve.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 4

Keywords: grassfed beef, new york steaks, chard