Rob has been on fire recently with his recipe ideas. He has come up with a couple of different ways to make a Skillet Steak with a sauce. This was something that Rob had been talking about cooking for a while, but we hadn’t really gotten around to it. We ended up having a couple of opportunities pop up recently for celebratory or date night dinners. These steak recipes fit the occasions perfectly.
Like I said, Rob did all of the cooking. He made the steak with a fairly simple preparation. Start by searing in a skillet on each side to lock in the flavor and then stick in the oven to finish the cooking. Just make sure you have some good airflow as this can smoke up a little bit and you don’t want to set off a smoke detector.
This steak preparation method makes life really easy. If you don’t have easy access to a grill you can still cook a steak in a way that really lets the steak shine. The old school way of preparing a steak without a grill would probably be a broiler. Broilers are a little scary in my opinion and you really need the direct heat for a steak. The skillet method allows you to better control how your steak cooks and forms a really nice crust on the steak that grilling doesn’t always give you.
As a side, I would definitely go with something like risotto or mashed potatoes. To really save on stovetop space and make life easier, Rob and I decided to use the Instant Pot. For this recipe, we made my Instant Pot Risotto with asparagus. When we made this with a raspberry reduction, we went with Rob’s shallot-rosemary mashed potatoes since the reduction made a really great gravy too.
Steak Sauce Options: Reductions
Reductions are a great way to add flavor to red meats. As the name implies its basically a thickened up liquid, often using a combo of fruit and wine. Reductions are a pretty classic cooking technique and is definitely common in French cooking. You often see reductions with meats like pork, steak, lamb, or even something like duck. These meats do not take marinading well, as you will just acid cook the meat and likely damage it. Thanks Tyler Florence for that tip!
They generally pair well with seared meat where you typically haven’t given the meat a lot more than some basic seasoning. Generally, you can’t do too much to these meats anyways; therefore, the reduction is a great way to provide a lot of flavor to every piece. The other alternative is a glaze, but that is basically a surface treatment for the meat. The great thing to is that you can cook your reduction in the same skillet as the meat while it rests; the timing works out perfectly. The key is to get the heat up and really drive the reduction in that rest time.
The first steak we made recently had a raspberry-cabernet reduction. Rob was experimenting with this one a bit and as a result doesn’t have good pictures yet; however, they will likely be coming soon!
The second version, that Rob did get a lot of pictures for, is this Balsamic-Fig reduction. It combined shallot, fig, balsamic vinegar, and red wine into a super flavorful sauce. Rob had really wanted to use figs for a long time, but we had trouble find them. When I told Rob I saw them at the store, he bought multiple packages. Stand by for more fig-based recipes now that he has them to experiment with.
Wine Pairing: Lasseter Amoureux 2012
Amoureux is a Bordeaux-style blend from Lasseter Family Winery is Sonoma. As the name means “Lovers”, Rob felt that is was a perfect pairing for a date night steak. Rob definitely picked well for this pairing. I have to say that I love any of our Lasseter wines.
Amoureux primarily Malbec but incorporates a little bit of Cab and Merlot to round it out. I am glad we drank this now, since even by red wine standards it was a little more full-bodied than I would want once it gets warmer out. The wine definitely coats your palette well and has a nice lingering finish. Aroma and flavor-wise, its heavy on the fruit with some notes like vanilla. These flavors definitely go well with the fig and balsamic which provide a similar fruity sweetness.
Skillet NY Strip with Balsamic-Fig Reduction
- 1 Lb NY Strip Steak 1.25-1.5″ thick (per 2 people)
- 2 Tbs Grapeseed Oil
- 1 Shallot diced
- 1 Sprig Thyme
- 2 Tbs Butter
- 5 Figs quartered
- 1.5 Oz Balsamic Vinegar
- 3 Oz Red Wine like Cabernet Sauvignon
- Salt/Pepper to taste
- Remove the steak(s) from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In a skillet (preferably cast iron), heat the grapeseed oil over a high medium-high heat.
- Pat the steak(s) dry and salt/pepper both sides.
- Sear the steak(s) for about 4-5 minutes per side.
- Place the entire skillet in the oven for about 8-10 minutes, flipping the steak(s) about half way through.
- Remove the skillet from the oven, remove the steaks and tent with foil to rest.
- Put the skillet over medium heat, melt the butter, and then add the shallots. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the figs and cook for an additional minute.
- Add the liquids and thyme and allow to reduce for about 7-8 minutes or thickened.
- Cut the steak on a diagonal. Serve the sauce over the steak.