Pan-Seared Butter Herb-Basted Steak

Your grill is going to miss you because once you've tasted this juicy, buttery steak you may never go back.

Prep:30 minutes
Cook:15 minutes
Yield:Serves 2

Can I set the stage for you?

It's Valentine's night around 2016 (something close to this?). I (Will here) had a surprise planned for Hayley with a delicious, home-cooked meal- seriously, menu and all! 

We LOVE a good steak, but it was freezing cold in February and, at the time in my life, I was without a grill. So, I thought, “Now is the chance to master a pan-cooked steak- indoors!”. I was thrilled. 

With an idea of how perfect this would work out, I set off to the kitchen to heat up my trusty cast-iron skillet. I read to get it smoking hot (literally) and to heat up plenty of oil inside. 

What I bypassed as a new cook was the low smoke point of olive oil. Meaning, 10-minutes had past and WHAM- my cast iron skillet morphed into a fire breathing pan with 7-feet of flames engulfing the vent hood. I immediately ran the pan outside to rest safely while Hayley and I burst into laughter (and embarrassment for me). 

Fast forward to 2020 and it's been nearly 4-years since this amateur mistake and I've learned how to perfect this method. In fact, my 85-year old grandmother looked Hayley in the eye last month after taking a bite and told her “it was the best steak she had ever had”. 

This steak is the most tender, juiciest, crispy crust forward ribeye you've likely ever had. And, it's made entirely on the stovetop making this the perfect cold-weather steak. 

You can do this! 

2 1-1.5" thick ribeye (or NY strip) steaks
2-3 tablespoons butter
3-4 sprigs thyme
2-3 springs rosemary
3-4 cloves garlic (smashed)
Kosher salt + black pepper
Let steak temp by putting on plate on counter for 15-20 minutes (the goal is to get the steak up to room temp for proper cooking)
Salt all sides of each steak heavily with kosher salt (it's tough to over-salt a steak of this size). This salt will help form a beautiful crust. Crack a bit of fresh, black pepper on each side.
Heat 12" cast iron skillet on medium-high heat until you can see a bit of white smoke coming off the pan (5-6 minutes). Add a small amount of oil (olive, vegetable or even peanut is fine) and drop steaks in the pan. Cook until golden brown crust forms on one side (4-6 minutes).
Flip steaks. Turn the heat down to medium/medium-low and carefully add butter, garlic cloves, rosemary and thyme to the pan. As the butter melts over the herbs and garlic, tilt the pan (careful, it's hot!) and with a spoon baste the steaks with the butter. One spoonful at a time, several spoonfuls for each steak. This is not only absorbing that delicious herb butter flavor, but the heat of the butter is also slowly rendering (breaking down) the intramuscular fat of the steak. This creates the most tender steak ever.
After 4-5 minutes of basting on medium-low, your steak should be near medium-rare. Remove and let sit for 4-5 minutes prior to slicing. For a medium/well-done steak, flip and baste the other side for another 4-8 minutes.