Pan-Seared Steak With Herb Butter and Wilted Red Pepper Spinach
Is there anything better then a perfectly cooked steak? To me, a filet cooked to medium rare with a little blue cheese is about as close to heaven as it gets. Now, I know that cooking a steak can be daunting. There are just so many decisions to make when it comes to choosing, cooking, and preparing any cut of steak. Fear not, this method is foolproof and as easy as it gets. I chose New York strip steaks for this recipe because they are a fattier cut and will not dry out as quickly if overcooked. A leaner cut, such as a filet, is easier to accidentally overcook and dry out. So this is perfect for beginners or someone who doesn't have a ton of experience cooking steak.
Choosing the Right Steaks
For this recipe, I choose two beautiful New York strip steaks. When choosing this specific cut, there should be a little bit of fat lining one side of the steak and a good amount of fat marbling in the meat. The more marbling, the more tender and flavorful the steak (fat equals flavor). I prefer my strip steaks to be 1 1/2 inches to 2 inches thick. These were just about 1 1/2 inches and just under a pound each.
There are millions of options when it comes to seasoning your steak. For this recipe, I stuck to the basics and just used a good amount of salt and black pepper. Feel free to add whatever you like, but keep in mind you get a ton of flavor from the garlic and sage finishing butter.
If you have read any of my other recipes, you know that I try and keep things as healthy as possible. So when I made this on Friday, I kept it to basically no carbs (very Atkins). Fresh wilted spinach and steak are two of my favorite things, and it doesn't hurt that wilting fresh spinach is easy as pie. It also adds a little heat to the dish when you add the crushed red pepper, which is perfect for me because I love spice (if you don't like heat feel free to season the spinach however you like). However, if making this for Valentine's Day, I would definitely add a starch. I love scalloped potatoes, but if you prefer mashed, baked, or even roasted, the world is your oyster. Or you can keep it the way I prepared it if you don't want the carbs. Either way, the steak will still be amazing!
- 2 1 1/2 inch thick New York strip steaks
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 sprigs fresh sage
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and skins removed
- 1 big bag (or 2 smaller bags) baby spinach
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- This is crucial: remove steaks from refrigerator about an hour to an hour and a half to allow to come to room temperature. This will ensure that the steaks cook faster and more evenly.
- Pre-heat pan on high heat (and I mean as high as your stove will go) with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the pan starts smoking. *I prefer using cast iron or a stain less steel un-coated pan. They retain even heat better and offer a better sear to the meat.
- Season steaks generously with salt and black pepper.
- Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil 1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper and the spinach to a non-stick pan. Don't turn the heat on yet.
- Place steaks in the pan when it starts to smoke and sear for 4 minutes. DO NOT TOUCH THE STEAKS! They will not get that wonderful crust if you are touching and moving them in the pan.
- After 4 minutes turn the steaks and sear on the other side for another 4 minutes.
- Once the three minutes is up drop the heat to medium add the butter, garlic, and sage and let melt.
- Once melted VERY CAREFULLY tilt the pan and spoon the bubbling butter over the steaks for about 1 and 30 seconds.
- Remove from the pan and tent with foil. Let the steaks rest for at least 5 minutes.
- While the steaks are resting turn on the spinach and stir until wilted.
- After the five minutes serve steaks with spinach and top with remaining butter in the pan.
- *This is for a medium rare cooked steak.
Tips and Tricks
I normally salt and pepper my steaks about a half hour before I cook them and let sit while coming to room temperature. This starts pulling the juices to the surface and gives your steak a better crust.