Remove your steaks from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before you plant to cook them - sometimes as long as 60 minutes (depending on size). Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel. You want to have a completely dry steak before cooking. If you steak is wet, you will essentially be steaming it! Coat steaks lightly with olive oil.
Do not salt your steaks just before cooking. Salt brings moisture (water) to the surface of the steak, and the water sits on the surface as you cook the steak. Thus, you are again basically steaming the steak. I know that a lot of people do salt their steaks before cooking, but trust me and don't salt - the result will be juicy, delicious steaks to serve your family and guests! Salt after the steak is cooked to your liking, has rested the required time, and just before serving.
Using the Pan-Searing or Sear-Roasting techniques (see below techniques), proceed to cook your steak to your desired doneness. You steak is done when the internal temperature registers 120 to 130 degrees F. on your instant-read meat thermometer:
Rare - 120 degrees F.
Medium Rare - 125 degrees F.
Medium - 130 degrees F.
What constitutes rare and medium-rare cooked meat? To satisfy government home economists, the Beef Council says rare beef means an internal temperature of 140 degrees F. Well, that is ok if you like well-done and dry meat. If you like moist, rosy meat (like I do), rare begins when the internal temperature registers 120 degrees F. and starts to become medium rare at 125 or 130 degrees F. T o cook your meat properly, you must purchase and use a good instant-read digital meat thermometer.
This is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking. I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the right. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined: Thermapen Thermometer.
Residual Heat or Carry-Over Cooking: Remember, the steak will continue to cook as it sets. The temperature will rise to 125 degrees F. to 130 degrees F. internal temperature (medium rare) at 15 to 20 minutes. So, pay attention to how long you let the cooked steak sit before serving!
Making Cabernet Wine Sauce: Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil, scraping any pieces of steak off the bottom of the pan and stirring them into the emerging sauce. Let the liquid boil until reduced to approximately 1/3 cup. Remove pan from heat. Add the butter and mix it in by swirling the pan. Pour the sauce over your perfectly cooked steaks just before serving.
Makes 2 servings.
Pan-Searing Steak Cooking Technique:
In a heavy frying pan (I use my cast iron frying pan) over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Sear the steaks, moving them with tongs a little so they don't stick to the bottom, approximately 5 to 6 minutes per side. Using this Pan-Searing technique, proceed to cook your steak to your desired doneness. Your steak is done when the internal temperature registers 120 to 130 degrees F. on your instant-read meat thermometer:
Rare - 120 degrees F.
Medium Rare - 125 degrees F.
Medium - 130 degrees .F
When the steaks are crusty-charred and done to your liking, remove from the pan, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving. During this time the meat continues to cook (meat temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees internal temperature after it is removed from the oven) and the juices redistribute.
Add any juices that accumulate from the resting steaks to Cabernet-Cherry Sauce. Serve whole or slice thin and fan onto individual serving plates.
Sear-Roasting Steak Cooking Technique:
Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (a very hot oven produces a juicy interior). Place a 10- to 12-inch ovenproof skillet or cast-iron skillet in oven. When oven reaches 500 degrees F., remove pan from oven and place on range over high heat (the pan and the handle will be extremely hot - be careful).
Immediately place steaks in the middle of hot, dry pan (if cooking more than one piece of meat, add the pieces carefully so that they are not touching each other). Cook 1 to 2 minutes without moving; turn with tongs and cook another 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and put the cast iron skillet with the steaks in it into the oven. Cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes, depending on thickness of steaks and degree of doneness you like. Using the Sear-Roasting technique, proceed to cook your steak to your desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.
Rare - 120 degrees F
Medium Rare - 125 degrees F
Medium - 130 degrees F
When the steaks are crusty-charred and done to your liking, remove from the pan, cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving. During this time the meat continues to cook (internal temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees after it is removed from the oven) and the juices redistribute (add juices that accumulate from resting steaks to the Cabernet Sauce). Serve whole or slice thin and fan onto individual serving plates.