PUTTING IT ALTOGETHER
The instructions below will help guide you through this steak recipe. Trader Joe’s carries 100% grass-fed steaks in the freezer section. Any cut of steak will do, so long as it’s from a healthy grass-fed cow. The beautiful cut of beef used in these photos was a sirloin. We cut it into portions to cook it fresh each night. Cacao powder can be substituted with regular cocoa powder or omitted if you do not have any. Likewise, the paprika can be omitted if you do not care for it. A great steak can stand alone with just sea salt, pepper and butter. Steak can be cooked on a grill, under the broiler or on the stove-top. Your choice.
It’s good practice to pull out all the pots and pans you need before cooking. Likewise, pulling out the ingredients you need to measure or chop beforehand will simplify your cooking. The French call this practice mise en place which translates to “putting in place”. It is practiced in restaurants and taught to chefs in culinary school.
Place an oven-proof skillet or baking dish on the top rack, just under the broiler. Then preheat your broiler to full throttle. Allow the oven and skillet to heat up for at least 5 minutes.
While the oven is heating up, mix the spices together. A mortar and pestle make easy work of the blending. But any bowl and a fork will do in a pinch. Only mix the salt, pepper, cacao powder and paprika.
If your steak was frozen, defrost it overnight in the refrigerator. If you forgot to defrost your steak (it happens), you can put it in your stove on the warm setting or 160°F for about 20 minutes.
Take your defrosted steak and pat it dry with some paper towels. Then sprinkle each side with an even amount of the spice blend. Rub it into the surface and lightly press it into the steak. Set aside.
After your oven has heated up, carefully pull out the blazing hot skillet. Place the butter in the skillet and then the steak. Put the skillet back under the broiler. Set a timer for 2 minutes. Pull the skillet out and turn the steak over. Place it back under the broiler for another 2 minutes.
Remove the skillet from the oven. Check the doneness of your steak with this convenient hand guide. Poke the middle of the steak with a finger and compare it to the guide. We prefer our steaks medium-rare, but cook it to your preference. The timing on every steak varies by the thickness of the cut, the type of cut (how fatty or lean it is) and the cooking temperature. If the steak still feels rare, place it back in the oven for another minute per side. Check again until you feel it is done to your liking.
Once you feel it is done to your liking, remove it from the hot skillet and place on a plate or sheet pan. Completely cover the steak with a piece of foil. And let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Foiled again by not having any foil on hand? You can invert a bowl over the steak or put a lid from a pan on it. Just try to seal in the heat, so it stays warm.
Beef needs to rest so it retains its flavorful juices. If you cut right into that steak after pulling it from the pan, the juices would flow right out of it. That’s a surefire way to make a bland and boring steak. The larger the cut of meat is, the longer it needs to rest before slicing into it. Once rested, slice the steak, against the grain, into 1/4″ slices.
While the steak is resting and your mouth is watering, it’s a good time to make the simple and tangy arugula salad.
Pour the olive oil into a mixing container or bowl. Juice an entire lemon into the olive oil and stir to combine. For maximum freshness, only dress half the greens. Save the simple dressing in the fridge for the next night’s dinner. All salads tend to wilt when dressed, so they are best dressed at the last-minute.
Pour the olive oil and lemon juice over the greens.
Mix the greens to combine. Then add the parmesan cheese to the greens. Mix again until everything is even.
Serving size: Evenly divide the steak and greens between three or four plates. No need to measure anything if you measure the ingredients going into this recipe. The 1,500 daily calorie meal plan has 4 servings, the 2,000 daily calorie plan has 3 servings. Since this is a quick recipe that’s best made minutes before eating, consider only cooking the serving that you plan to eat each day.