Cooking: Reverse Seared Steak

This isn’t a recipe; it’s a good technique to cook tasty steak.

The end result – medium rare


This is definitely a more involved way to cook steak than just putting it into a hot pan.

But I think its worth the work – one of the issues with using a pan is getting it hot enough so you get a good sear to the steak, but not so hot that the outside is cooked, but the inside is cold & raw.

Using this reverse sear method avoids this by cooking the inside of the steak first!

Achieving at is why this is technique somewhat more complex & time consuming than just popping it in a pan. You’ll need:

  • A good butcher
    May as well use good quality meat if you’re going to put the effort in!
  • A digital meat thermometer
  • An oven which can hold a low temperature well
    This is surprisingly tricky – a lot of ovens don’t have good temperature control. An oven thermometer can be useful here
  • A grill pan with wire rack
    Need to get all of the steak surrounded by the hot air in the oven – if you just put it on the base of a tray the side in contact with the tray would cook more, which we want to avoid here
  • A skilet / pan which can get very hot
    I use a cast iron skilet which is designed to be put into an oven – means you can get a good heat on it
  • High temperature oil
    Not all oils are the same – they all have different smoke points. This is temperature where the oil will start to burn & if it gets to that, you’ll end up with a burnt flavor in the food
    I use rapeseed oil for this; peanut/groundnut oil also has a high smoke point

The first thing to do is get a good piece of steak – I prefer ribeye, although I’ve had good success with sirloin as well. Thanks to the cooking method, you can have a relatively thick steak if you so wish – just means waiting longer with it in the oven.

Pre-heat the oven to 120C / GM ½ / 248F / 100C fan.

Prepare the steaks by putting them out on the wire rack, giving them a good amount of salt on each side.

Preparing to season the meat

Leave them for at least an hour to get up to room temperature.

Put in the oven for around half an hour or so – the time taken will depend on the thickness of the steaks.

This is where the meat thermometer comes in – for medium rare we’re aiming for an internal temperature of 43C / 110F.

I tend to leave the steaks in for 20 minutes before checking their temperature and then take it from there.

If the steaks are really thick it could take an hour for their internal temperature to reach what we’re aiming for.

Once they’ve reached the desired temperature, take them out to rest.

Resting out of the oven

As they rest, we’ll prepare the onions for the gravy we’ll make for this.

Heating up the oil

Starting off the onions

Starting cook down the onions

Once the onions are nicely done, transfer them to a separate bowl and let the pan heat up more – this will take ~20 minutes to do, the amount of time you need to rest the meat for.

Add some butter to the pan for the steaks.

Melt the butter

Once the butter has melted, we cook the steaks – going for ~minute on each side.

Searing in butter

Once the steaks are done, set them to one side and we’ll finish off the onion gravy.

Return the onions to the pan to warm through and then add boiling water to deglaze the pan – we’re aiming to get the butter & meat juices into the sauce.

Deglazing the pan with boiling water

Mix some cornflour with cold water – I add ~2tsp – and then add to the pan. Cook it off until its the desired thickness; I aim for being able to pull the spatula across the base of the skilet so you can see the base of the pan easily.

Adding the cornflour & thickening up the sauce

Serve with some vegetables of your choice – below I’ve served it with asparagus and pointed spring cabbage finished off in butter with caraway seed.

The end result

If you like your steaks done rare or medium rare, I think this is the best way to do them. Even if this way does take a couple of hours to do.

The end result – medium rare

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