There are some recipes that I feel the need to really talk up in order to convince you to give them a try. Then there are recipes like this one. It’s not fancy, it’s not complicated in the least, but it’s always welcome at our dinner table. A simple 20 minute pan seared steak. There really isn’t a lot to say about this except that it’s foolproof. And it’s my husband’s favorite meal. And mine too. And the kids actually like it as well. And it only takes 20 minutes (or less) and only 4 ingredients (two of which are salt and pepper). Convinced yet?
There are two simple tricks to getting a mouth-watering, crispy sear on any cut of meat. First, do NOT use a non-stick pan. You’ll never get a sear using one of those things. What you want is a heavy stainless steel skillet, or even better, a cast iron skillet. You won’t believe the difference in the quality of the sear you’ll get by using cast iron. Ah-ma-zing I tell you. And the sear is the key to all that juicy flavor you want, especially from a steak.
Second, get the pan nice and hot before you add the meat. If you start the meat in a cold skillet you’ll end up with an overdone piece of meat before you get the crust on the outside. That’s the easiest way to end up with a dried out, flavorless steak. So let’s review. 1. No non-stick skillets. 2. Make sure the skillet is hot. 3. That’s all, remember?
When I make this for dinner I cook the steak for the kids in a second pan for two reasons. Cooking them separately means they can all be done simultaneously, saving me loads of time. Also, they aren’t fans of mushrooms and would never touch anything that has first touched a mushroom. If you’re not a fan of mushrooms, rest easy. They are totally optional. But are very highly recommended.
As for the kinds of steaks you can use for this – any beef steak will work well as long as it is between 1/2″ and 1″ thick. Any thinner and it comes out tough, any thicker and it takes too long to cook. I use eye of round steaks because they are an affordable cut with lots of great flavor. New York Strips and Rib Eyes work well too. If you have younger kids you might consider letting them split a steak rather than serving them each a whole one. Serve some steamed vegetables and a salad and you’ve got dinner in 20 minutes. (gluten free, dairy free, and low carb)
20 MINUTE PAN SEARED STEAK
- 4 eye of round steaks (6-8 ounces each), between 1/2″ to 1″ thick
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1-2 Tablespoons butter
- 16 ounces sliced mushrooms (this is the amount of 4 steaks, reduce to 8 ounces if not everyone will be eating them)
- 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon butter
To cook steaks:
1. Sprinkle steaks with salt and pepper evenly on both sides.
2. Preheat skillet over medium heat until a drop of water disappears when dropped in the center.
3. Melt 1 Tablespoon butter in the skillet, then add steaks.
4. Cook 7-8 minutes per side, or until desired level of doneness. If pan is dry add more butter when you flip the steaks. Adjust cooking time according to the thickness of your steak. thinner steaks will need less time per side.
5. Remove from skillet and top with mushrooms (see below) if desired.
To cook mushrooms:
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
2. Add tamari/soy sauce, butter, and mushrooms.
3. Stir occasionally, until mushrooms are dark brown and have released all their moisture, about 8 minutes.
4. Serve mushrooms and their sauce over the steaks.