Six OClock Solution: Thick-cut Steaks with Herb Butter

Recipes that really work, 580 of them, are the focus of the latest big all-purpose cookbook to appear, and just in time for holiday gift-giving.

Functioning equally as a cooking course thanks to the why this recipe works introduction to each dish, the new Americas Test Kitchen Twentieth Anniversary TV Show Cookbook (Penguin Random House, $50) is a winner and a beautifully illustrated one, too. From how-to directions for everything from a simple steak or baked potato to African Peri Peri grilled chicken and pan-seared brined salmon, Provenal fougasse bread or lattice-topped fruit pie, the staff of the Boston-based cooking show is out to improve and demystify all regular cooking procedures.

Americas Test Kitchen 20th Anniversary TV Show Cookbook

Known for their exhaustive testing I once spent an afternoon in their laboratory-like kitchen researching the fine points of chocolate the gang has survived the departure of one-time boss Christopher Kimball, who now runs a similar operation called Milk Street. We home cooks are the winner with two serious U.S. cooking companies offering shows, magazines, online services and excellent books. Heres how to improve your steak cuisine.

Thick-cut Steaks with Herb Butter

Serves 4

Herb butter:

4 tablespoons (60 mL) unsalted butter, softened

2 tablespoons (30 mL) minced green onions

1 tablespoon (15 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon (15 mL) finely chopped chives

1 garlic clove, minced

teaspoon (1 mL) freshly ground pepper

Pinch salt


2 boneless strip steaks (8 ounces/250 g each), 1-1/2 inches (4 cm) thick

1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons (30 mL) vegetable oil

Herb butter: In a small bowl, combine butter, green onions, parsley, chives, garlic, pepper and pinch of salt, blending well. Set aside.

Steak: With oven rack in middle position, place a 12-inch (30-cm) cast-iron frying pan on rack and preheat oven to 500 F (260 C).

Season steaks with 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt and let stand at room temperature until ready to cook.

Pat steaks dry with paper towels and sprinkle generously with pepper.

Carefully remove hot pan from oven, turn oven off, and place pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan and heat just until smoking.

Sear steaks, without moving them, until lightly browned on the first side, about two minutes. Turn steaks and sear until lightly browned on second side, about two minutes.

Reduce heat to medium-low and continue flipping steaks until well browned and an instant read thermometer registers 120 to 125 degrees F (50 C) for medium-rare, seven to nine minutes.

Transfer steaks to a cutting board. Spoon 2 tablespoons (30 mL) herb butter on each steak, cover with a tent of aluminum foil and let rest for five to 10 minutes. Slice into -inch (1 cm) slices and serve with more herb butter.

[related_links /]