About a year ago, a friend was telling me about a steak he had recently cooked at home, and uttered the words "reverse sear." Skeptical was I, but after several consistently amazing steaks, my mind is changed and I am officially a convert. We certainly don't eat steak every week, but when we do, it's got to be a nice bone-in Rib Steak, and if it's aged, even better. (This is where we go every year for Valentine's day steaks). Why go through the trouble of buying and cooking an expensive steak if not to do it really really really well?
So, what are the benefits? You'll get more even cooking (no grayish ring around the middle pink area), a more golden crust, and since the meat is rested before searing, there's no need to rest it again before serving, which means you can eat the steak at a warmer temperature. Be forewarned, though, this will take longer prep time than alternative methods, around 1.5 hours.
Reverse Seared Steak (for two)
- one steak (I like bone-in rib steaks), at least 1.25 inches thick, preferably close to 1.75 inches. This usually comes out to just over 2 pounds. Anything less and it won't work as well and will likely overcook.
- Kosher salt
- freshly cracked black pepper, medium-coarse grind
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for searing
- optional butter and rosemary
Generally speaking I prefer a "looser" form of cooking, but this is one recipe that leaves little room for deviation. You must have a thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steak, else, it will not work.
First, preheat the oven to 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay out a rack on top of a baking pan. This is for more even cooking, so that the hot air can circulate around the steak, and also to keep the steak surface dry, for more browning in the final steps.
Take the steak out of its package and place it on some paper towels to absorb any excess moisture. Generously (and I mean GENEROUSLY) salt and pepper the entire steak, taking care to do the sides and fatty pieces around the bone. It makes for excellent bone noshing later. Pat in the seasoning evenly, and let the steak sit on some paper towels until the oven comes to temperature. The, place the steak on the rack and place this in the oven until the internal temperature of the steak reaches 115-120* degrees F. The timing will depend on the size and thickness of the steak, but for me it takes anywhere from 45-60 minutes.
When the steak reaches the desired temperature, take it out of the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes. While it's resting, heat up a frying or cast iron pan with vegetable oil on high heat. When the oil is very hot (shimmering and slightly smoking), quickly sear the steak on ALL sides, for about 30 seconds each side. It will take significantly less time because the steak is already partially cooked, and you should see a deep golden crusty surface on the steak, after flipping. If you'd like, throw a pat of butter and rosemary in the pan and baste the steak with the melted butter to finish.
*I prefer steak rare, but if you want medium rare, cook it to 125 F.