As much as we as foodies love to try jazzin’ up our vittles with spices, sauces and other accompaniments, there are times when simple is just… Well. Better. Some foods just don’t require anything other than their own inherent goodness and a touch of salt and pepper to make them fantastic.
At our local market, the steak pictured above is called a “Family Steak.” I suppose the butchers felt that chuck was out of favor at the moment due to fat content or some such, and changed the name on the package. I’m here to tell you folks, it’s a chuck steak, and chuck doesn’t require much in the way of help from anyone to be wonderful.
Oh, I could have smothered this little gem with sautéed mushrooms or caramelized onions. It would’ve tasted incredible with a number of toppings or sauces. The point is, it’s simply not necessary, and not what Mrs. seat of her Pants or I were in the mood for at the moment. The red beans and rice on the side was more than enough to set off all the flavors the beef had to offer, and there are times when simpler is just better.
As for the recipe….
- 1 2-1/2 to 3-1/2 pound chuck steak (after that weight, it’s a roast, and the method changes.)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat skillet over medium high heat. Salt and pepper both sides of steak.
- Add olive oil and continue heating until oil shimmers. Cook 3-4 minutes on first side or until marbling turns slightly translucent. Flip and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes. (for med-rare.. If you prefer it a little darker, add a minute per side.)
- Remove steak from heat, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
- Slice and serve.
What I would have done differently had I thought of it at the time:
I really wouldn’t change much about this one. The steak was moist and full of flavor, even when I managed to get to it over two hours later. (Cranky baby and a wife that had to be up and out the door at 0600 (or 6:00am, for the rest of us.), sometimes Dad eats a little later than everyone else.)
All-in-all, this is one of my “Go To” recipes. It’s great for those evenings when there’s not a lot of time to get anything done, and can easily be made from a frozen steak, since both my wife and I like our steak rare.
By the way, that’s a pretty good sized steak, and if memory serves, I paid less than $4.00 for it. For size comparison, that’s a 10″ chef’s knife in the top photo.