Dianne's Creative Table

I am inspired by light, all things natural, reusing previously loved items, and bargains!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Salt Fried Steak - Best You'll Ever Eat - Promise

When I was growing up, my step-father used to cook occasionally.  He always made fudge when it snowed and put the pan in the snow to cool. I don't have much opportunity to play with that recipe, living in TN.   One recipe that he perfected and now I cook all the time is how to cook the perfect steak.  This is our favorite way to prepare a steak.  I have tried multiple other prep methods and trust me, this is the best!  Everyone that I prepare this for, usually agrees.  
My favorite cut of steak is a New York Strip, but it will work with any steak as long as it's thick.  Publix had strips on sale this week and we think they have the best tasting beef.  This steak is about 11 ounces and is about 1.5 inches thick.  My husband and I usually share one this size.  

I trim almost all the fat.  If you don't, it curls and then the steak doesn't sit flat in the pan.  Flat is important when you salt-fry a steak. 
You will need a heavy, regular skillet that can stand up to high heat, (you don't want non-stick).  I use my Calphalon pan and after 15 years, it's still like new.  Turn the oven on at 450 degrees to pre-heat. 
While the skillet is cold, sprinkle the bottom with salt. I usually use finely ground sea salt or just plain table salt.  Don't use too much salt.  You can always add more, but you can't remove it if it's too much.  (don't ask me how I know this).  
Turn the heat up to high and let the skillet heat until it begins to smoke slightly.   
Place the steak in the skillet and let it sear for about 2 -3 min.  The sear time depends on how thick the steak is cut.  You really want a thicker steak for this preparation method.  For a steak 1.5 inches thick, I let it sear for 2 minutes.  Don't move it around, or peek while it's searing.
The salt combines with the protein fibers and forms a crust on the outside of the steak.  Whatever you do, don't scrap it off! This is where all the flavor is!
Hold the steak out of the pan with a fork to allow the pan reheat and sprinkle salt in the bare spot left in the pan.   It's very important to keep the pan hot so the other side of the steak sears.  If the pan cools down, the juices will be released and then the steak will boil in the juice and lose the delicious crust.   There is probably nothing worse than a boiled steak!
Turn the steak over and sear the other side.  I let this one sear for another 2 minutes on the second side until it achieved that perfect brown crust.    
At this point, I drizzled the steak with about a tablespoon of olive oil.  Then the pan went into a 450 degree oven.  How long in the oven depends on the thickness of the steak.  For this 1.5 inch steak, I let it stay in the oven for 5 minutes. 
While the steak is in the oven I prepared the broccoli and the sweet potatoes.   I buy the sweet potatoes in the plastic wrap because they are quick, easy and always delicious.  (I forgot to take a before photo). 
I love these Ziplock Zip n Steam bags for fresh vegetables. Just throw fresh cut vegetables in the bag and follow the cooking time guide on the outside of the bag.  
 This amount of broccoli filled 1/2 of the bag and the cook time was 1 .5 minutes.  
After 5 minutes in the oven, your steak should look like this.   Take it out of the pan ASAP to stop the cooking, cover, and let it rest for 5 minutes.   With nothing but salt left in the pan, it is not a good idea to use the same pan to make any type of sauce or gravy. 
The degree of doneness is a matter of personal taste.  We like medium rare so I am looking for a temperature 130 - 140 degrees. I use a ThermaPen instant read thermometer.
This is after resting five minutes.  If you don't like to see pink in your steak, you can cook to a higher temperature.  

Here's the after pic of the sweet potato in the jacket.  I steam them in the microwave for 8 minutes and they come out just perfect.  
I can't guarantee that you will think this is the best way to prepare a steak, but it's our favorite. We prefer this to grilling or broiling. 
As a side note, I had the nightly news on while I was preparing this meal and heard that a new study was released today that said eating red meat daily will increase the risk of premature death by 13%.  I have impeccable timing don't you think?  To be honest, we eat red meat less than once a month and I throughly enjoy it when I have it. Tomorrow we go back to chicken.   Enjoy and let me know if you try it and what you think.  
Linking up with Foodie Friday and Seasonal Sundays


  1. Similar to how I do steaks in my cast iron skillet but have not transferred them to the oven... Will give it a try! BUT, we eat red meat more than once a month... sometimes more than once a week... sooooooooooo I might ReAllY enjoy this recipe! Smile

  2. I need to find a good pan and try this. We seldom eat steak since we don't grill but this looks wonderful. I agree red meat once in awhile is fine! We eat lots of chicken here also.

  3. Diane - Still looking for the
    Maxcera Talevera salad plates..??
    Check eBay 170792678...Just discovered your blog and love it!!!
    We should connect soon....Much in
    Mary - Brentwood

  4. I love a pan fried steak!!! I do mine in a cast iron skillet, and its always perfect, don't like grilled meats. cleo

  5. This looks great! I've got to give this a try. Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  6. What about us poor souls suffering with the dreaded high blood pressure? Won't the salt kill us off? Poo! I want this salt-fried steak!!!!!!! It looks delicious! I love my steak with a lot of pink in the middle, so this one shown was done to perfection for me! We don't eat a lot of red meat anymore, either, but I sure love a good steak every once in a while!

  7. should I take the steak off the bone if using a different cut?

  8. I have done this with bone-in steaks and left the bone and it works just fine.