Here are the steps I use to pan fry our grass-fed steaks whenever it's too cold to fire up my pellet grill. A little salt and pepper and a pat of butter in the cast iron skillet is all you need for top notch flavor.
If you have plenty of time, it's ideal to salt and pepper your steak at least an hour before grilling. This wait does two things. It brings the steak to near room temperature and.... draws the salt and pepper flavor deep into the center of your steak. Salt pulls the moisture out of the steak when you first put the seasoning on. But then with enough time, the meat reabsorbs that salty, peppery brine for perfect flavor throughout the entire steak.
If you don't have the extra time to season your New York Strip an hour in advance, then salt it just before you begin frying.
- Start heating the cast iron skillet while you prepare the thawed steak.
- Season generously with salt and pepper if you didn't already. Or create your own custom seasoning blend if you must... I prefer to keep it simple and let the meat stand for itself.
- Once the skillet is fully heated, add ghee, extra-light olive oil, or tallow.
- Lay steak away from you into the pan so you don’t splash yourself with hot oil.
- Sear both sides for 2-3 minutes on high heat
- At this point you can turn the heat back to medium high and add a large dollop of butter on top of the steak.
- Keep frying and baste the steak with the melted butter / oil to help keep the steak from drying out.
- Flip the steak every couple minutes and watch as it develops a caramelized crust.
- Remove from heat once the steak has reached an internal temp of 130 F for a medium-rare finish. (Even after you remove it from the heat, the internal temp will rise another 5 degrees to reach 135.) Be careful not to overcook or you'll end up with a dry, well-done steak texture.
- Let the steak rest 5 minutes before slicing... During this time the steak will reabsorb some of that amazing juice and give you a much more enjoyable, flavor-packed eating experience.
All the best of food and blessings,
~5th generation on the farm
- When heating the pan, check temperature with a drop of water to see if it sizzles... if so, it's hot enough to get started.
- Only oil the frying pan with ghee, extra-light olive oil or beef tallow since these have oils have a high smoke point of 400-450 F.
- For best results add butter only towards the end as you are finishing the steak. Butter has a smoke point of 300-350 F so the high searing heat at the beginning will burn the butter and can give your steak more of a bitter flavor.
- Use tongs to flip the steak so you don't poke it and let that flavor-packed juice escape.
- With lots of experience you may be able to judge steak doneness without even needing to poke your prized steak with a thermometer! :)
- Lay your steak on a hot plate for the 5-10 minute rest after frying so it cools down enough to reabsorb juices but not too much that your guests end up with a cold steak.