Skillet Seared Steak Frites

Story by Natalie
Skillet Seared Steak Frites
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When I was a young adult I remember thinking life was hard. I was so offended when people just ahead of me in years would roll their eyes at my incessant whining and griping. I thought I knew everything (really I did). Now, the older I get, the less I know. Cliché right? Seriously though, I now spend a decent amount of time with a coffee cup in hand looking out the out the window asking myself “how the hell do I get through this one?” In the midst of these overwhelming feelings that so often accompany adulthood, I've realized I don't know it all, and for the first time that knowledge doesn’t scare me one bit.

I’m currently reading Brene Brown’s 'Rising Strong', so I thought I’d put a few of her method into practice and take this opportunity to be vulnerable. So here it is: This week has been crazy, really crazy. Through various circumstances, my once youthful, pull-up-my-bootstraps and get-it-done attitude came crashing down on me like a pile of bricks. I felt defeated. Tired. Just done.  More than likely I was being harder on myself than I needed to be (which seems to be somewhat of a regular occurrence), but nonetheless my feelings were genuine and intense. Through the ordeal that was last week, no one came to my rescue. And the truth is, I didn't want anyone to help me. In the midst of it all, one night I started opening up to my husband about the stories I was believing in my head about our current circumstances. Once I started to verbalized some of my thoughts, I had some serious truth hit me hard and I started to well up with tears. The truth was this: “I’m surrounded by people who believe in my ending, I don’t have to succeed on my own.”


The best part is, you can have a beautiful steak in the dead of winter and on the rainiest of days. No grill required.

As Mort and I continued to process through my thoughts—he’s really great at helping me do that—I started realizing that I do in fact know SOME things (some really great things) because I’ve been surrounded by wonderful individuals teaching me my entire life those things that they know. And while some answers to life’s tougher questions I may have to find for myself, and being in the dark can be a scary place, truth is worth seeking. But, more often than not, I've come to realize those that are just a little bit ahead of me (in life, wisdom, experience, you name it) are there to give me reassuring answers, words of hope and above all, else love. And that makes all the difference.

While I could probably name well over fifty individuals who have played such a roll in my life, there is one that is extremely dear to my heart, Daisy. Daisy came into my life at that time when I thought I knew everything. She stuck close to me like glue and walked with me through some of my most vulnerable moments. She was so consistent, and so purposeful with her guidance that Mort and I both agree that our marriage would be nothing without her and her husband’s faithful support. Perhaps best of all, her words were not the only way she poured out her love on us. She always, always, fed us.

Skillet Seared Steak Frites

This last week as I was cooking dinner for my tribe, I was thinking about all the things that Daisy has added to my life and how often I reference her tips and tricks in my own cooking. And as I was staring at my (now massive) collection of cast iron skillets sitting on the range, I laughed to myself as I recalled a time I thought I knew better than Daisy. My husband and I had just acquired the most beautiful (and expensive) set of stainless steel pans shortly after our wedding and I claimed with full confidence that everything should be cooked on stainless steel except meat. Meat belongs on a grill or in the oven, no where else. I was sure of it. Daisy was the first person I ever saw cook meat on a cast iron skillet and even though I had watched her seer a steak more than once I was still convinced I knew best. Those who know Daisy and know her way with any kind of meat know how laughable this is.

Skillet Seared Steak Frites

It wasn’t until I got my first skillet and seared that first steak that I laid down my pride and accepted that a cast iron seared steak is where it’s at. Every. Single. Time. The even cooking surface creates a beautiful crust locking in a juicy, medium rare center (4% juicier than a grill if we’re being precise. Just trust me.).The best part is, you can have a beautiful steak in the dead of winter and on the rainiest of days. No grill required. Oh how right my friend Daisy had been, about the steak of course, and so many other things.

Skillet Seared Steak Frites

Holly and I were recently chatting about how sometimes we just need to get better at the basics. This principle really applies to all areas of life, but for the sake of keeping this post relevant to a food blog (even though I may have already gone a bit too deep for that) I’m going to apply it to steak. In the method section of this recipe we share a few tricks about searing a perfectly cooked steak on a skillet. We’re doing this super simple post because, just like so many things in life, if no one had taught us we would have never known. And this is very worth knowing.

Skillet Seared Steak Frites

This past weekend, I seared a beautiful ribeye on the stove for my husband and I. While it was resting I went and grabbed a very large order of my (and Holly’s...and anyone else who lives in our area) favorite fries on the planet: Rosemary Shoestring fries from Burgerville featuring Jacobsen Salt, thus turning our gorgeous skillet-seared ribeye into the french classic Steak Frites. It was a beautiful meal, and thanks to my trusty cast iron skillet, the perfect meal to remind me how little I knew, how much I’m learning and how blessed I am for all the people who've come in and out of my life to guide me in the process.

Skillet Seared Steak Frites

Skillet Seared Steak Frites

Serves 2

Ingredients

2 3/4 lb Ribeye or New York steak (or any other favorite cut)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp good butter
2 tbsp kosher salt or coarse sea salt
1 12 inch cast iron skillet
1 order of good french fries

Method

  1. Allow your meat to rest outside of the refrigerator for 30min until brought to room temperature. 
  2. Pat dry your meat completely, this will help with an even seer and then generously salt each steak.
  3. Heat your skillet, completely dry, over high heat until it begins to smoke. Then add 1 tbsp of olive oil. (Make sure to add the oil after the skillet is already hot.)
  4. Place the steaks on the skillet and allow to sear for 4 minutes. Do not lift or move the steak. Once you have your first sear flip the steaks over and cook for 2 more minutes. Continue to flip every 2 minutes until your steak reaches an internal temp of 140° for medium rare and 155° for medium.
  5. Move your steaks to a warm (not hot) surface, top each one with pat of good butter and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. You must let it rest or you will loose some of the juiciness!
  6. Serve with an order of your favorite french fries, aioli or mayo and some good katchup.