This is my formula for steak, and I almost never deviate from it:
Seasoning: Nothing more than a liberal amount of salt and pepper
Cook: Sear and baste with butter, thyme, garlic. Finish in the oven. Rest.
Sauce: Pan reduction sauce with wine or spirits, finished with butter.
Simple right? A great steak should be simple; treat it with care and respect, and let the quality ingredient do the work. When I was learning to cook steak, the sauces would end up over complicated and confusing. What I do now is way more simple and less time consuming, but the results are infinitely superior. It’s funny how a decade of experimenting in the kitchen leads to the pursuit of simplicity.
This recipe is only a slight deviation from the general formula, since re-hydrated mushrooms are incorporated into the sauce in the last step. Some exceptional, crumbly blue cheese is the perfect contrast to the richness of the beef and sauce.
You could also barbecue, but why miss out on the opportunity for a great pan sauce? Save that for the hanger and flat iron steaks.
Please opt for a smaller, but higher quality steak instead of the biggest behemoth you can find. You will end up with a better sear, more flavour, and a far superior presentation.
For the steak:
1 best quality rib-eye steak you can afford
Generous amount of kosher salt and coarsely cracked black pepper
1 tbsp grapeseed or light olive oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 tbsp butter
Couple sprigs of fresh thyme
For the sauce:
1/4 cup dried porcini mushrooms
1/2 cup boiling hot water
1 oz dry sherry
1 tbsp butter
Small chunk of good quality blue cheese
1. Re-hydrate the mushrooms with hot water in a bowl and set aside. Do not drain or discard the mushrooms.
2. Meanwhile, generously season the steak. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Get a cast iron pan piping hot, add the oil, then carefully sear the steak on one side. Do not disrupt it, this is important! You can take a peak after about two minutes by using a fork to pull up one corner. If you see a rich amber brown all over the full surface, not just the edges, then you can flip it.
3. After you flip the steak, add the butter, thyme, and garlic. Your pan should be hot enough that the thyme crackles as it hits the pan. Tilt the pan so that the butter infuses with the flavour of the garlic and thyme, and spoon the butter over the steak several times. Repeat for about 2 minutes, then toss in the oven for 5 minutes for medium rare.
4. After cooked, remove the steak from the pan and set aside to rest. Put the pan back on high heat, then add the mushrooms, including the brown mushroom stock resulting from the re-hydration. Reduce to a third, then add the sherry and continue to reduce to a nappe consistency. Remove from heart, add the butter, then strain with a fine mesh.
5. To plate, pour the sauce on a plate, arrange a couple stalks of seared asparagus in parallel, then top with some roasted potatoes. Place the steak on top of the garnish, then top with the blue cheese and serve.