I’d forgotten how much fun it is to take a three-year-old out to eat until Wade flew a paper airplane into the table behind us at Twisted Rooster. You see, around that age there’s this window where eating out becomes a bigger hassle than staying home and cooking.
Babies sleep or nurse through dinner. Toddlers are occupied by the adventure of a restaurant. By three they’re over the free crayons, and on a mission to prevent anyone within earshot from enjoying a quiet dinner. With David we avoided restaurants, other than fast food joints, for almost a whole year. We’re pretty much back to that now with Wade. Going out for a nice juicy steak isn’t an option unless we get a babysitter. And who can afford a babysitter and a steak these days?
So, I started making my own restaurant-style steak at home after doing some research, and cobbling together a few different recipes and methods. Now, the big secret is baking the steak instead of pan-frying or grilling.
The other secret is you need a good cut of meat. I buy our steaks from the meat counter at a local grocer. Don’t go to one of the big chain or box-store groceries. You just won’t get the same quality. I experimented and bought New York Strip from my local grocer and from the chain store. The steak from the chain store was tough and dry, and the one from the local grocer was tender and juicy, even though I cooked them both the same way.
First, you want to marinate your steak. At least an hour, but the longer, the better. I try to do it over night. Once it’s marinated long enough, you’re ready to start cooking. Set your oven to 400 degrees. You need an oven proof skillet. Cast iron is best for this. You’ll also need a meat thermometer.
Coat the pan with 2 tablespoons of oil, and get it nice and hot on your stove top. Place the steaks in the pan, and brown them on all sides, two or three minutes per side. You want to get a nice canalization on them. Do one or two steaks at time.
Once all the steaks are seared, place them all back in the skillet. Place the skillet in the oven, and bake until the meat reaches your desired doneness according to the temperature on the meat thermometer. 125 for rare, 135 for medium rare, 140 for medium and 150 for medium-well. We like them medium, and it usually takes about 10 minutes, but time will vary between cut and thickness of the steak.
It’s really pretty simple to make your own Restaurant-style Steak at home. It saves you money, and it prevents you from apologizing to everyone in the restaurant because your child shouted, “Poop, poop, poooooooooop!” during dessert. And if you have a meat-and-potatoes kind of guy, he’ll think you’re pretty swell when you cook this up for him in your own kitchen.
The recipes for the steak and our favorite marinade are below. Enjoy!
Steak Marinade Recipe
1/4 cup olive Oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tsp of mustard
2 tsp of minced garlic
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Place steaks in a large Ziploc bag. Pour marinade over steaks. Seal bag, and make sure the liquid coats the steak. Place the bag in a dish to catch leaks then refrigerate at least one hour, but up to 24. Turn bag a few times when in the fridge. When ready to cook remove the steaks and discard the marinade.
Restaurant-style Steak Method
Cast iron or oven-proof skillet
Pre-heat oven to 400. Heat oil in skillet on stove top. When hot place steaks, one or two at at time, in the skillet and brown on all sides for two or three minutes. When all steaks are seared, place them all in the skillet. Place skillet in oven and bake until desired doneness is reached according to temperature on the meat thermometer.