Espelette Chili Sirloin Steak
- Take the steak out of the fridge, pat it dry with paper towels and rub the dry seasonings except salt (ground pepper, herbs and Piment d\'Espelette) in the steak with your hands (salt will make the steak release moisture in the pan when cooking). Let it reach room temperature for 40 minutes.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet or stainless steel pan on medium-high heat (do not set on highest) and let it get very hot for about 3-4 minutes. Add the butter to the pan, then sear the steak in the pan on one side for 2 minutes without touching/moving it. Flip the steak over using a pair of tongs and cook on the other side for 1.5 minutes (for medium-rare), once again without moving.
- Immediately remove from the pan to stop the cooking, leave the steak on a cutting board and cover with aluminum foil for 10 minutes. This is the most important step for the delicious juices to distribute and set in the steak.
- Add salt now to your liking. Slice the steak into strips against the grain and serve with steamed asparagus or your choice of vegetable.
Tips on pan-cooking the perfect steak: - Make sure the steak is not wet when you put it in the pan, or else it will simmer instead of searing and won't get that nice brown, crusty exterior you want in a steak. Pat it dry with some paper towel. - Leave the steak at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking: never cook it right out of the fridge, or else the heat of the pan against the cold meat will make it tough. - Do not season with salt before cooking in a pan, otherwise it will release moisture in the pan. Add salt after cooking. - Make sure the pan is VERY hot: heat it for several minutes on medium-high heat (not on the highest level). - Sear the steak for 2 minutes on one side, and DO NOT move it. Then flip the steak and cook on the other side for 1 1/2 minute. Once again, do not move it until the end. - Finally, after removing from the heat, place the steak on a cutting board, cover with aluminium foil and let it rest for 10 minutes for the juices to settle in the meat. If you cut it open immediately after cooking, the steak will loose most of its juicyness, and you don't want that! - If you slice the steak into strips, cut it across the fibers instead of along them (against the grain): this will make the meat more tender and easier to chew.
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