A question about a recipe: Sunday Steak with French Butter

I have a question about step 6 on the recipe "Sunday Steak with French Butter" from thirschfeld. It says:

"When your are ready to cook the steaks, season both sides with fresh ground black pepper. Place a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. When the oil is hot -- you don't want it too hot but you want it to start searing right away -- add the steak. Cook the steak on both sides until it is very brown and caramelized. Remove the steak from the pan when it has reached one temperature below where you like. If you want it cooked medium then cook the steak to medium rare and so on. Remove the steak to a sheet tray. " How long for medium rare?

Mark Campidonica
Sunday Steak with French Butter
Recipe question for: Sunday Steak with French Butter


ChefOno November 15, 2012

The only reliable method of determining if a steak is cooked properly is with an instant-read thermometer, preferably a digital version. To use a timer, you'd have to know the animal, cut, thickness and grade of meat. You'd have to factor in the temperature of the pan, the output of the heat source, temperature of the raw product and the ambient temperature among other variables. On the other hand, a thermometer can tell you most of what you need to know in less than 5 seconds.

pierino November 15, 2012
As usual, when it comes to cooking meat, ChefOno and I are totally on the same page, and for all the reasons he acurately recited. Where I live grass fed beef is hugely popular. The problem is that it has very little marbeling (that would be fat). A TRUE "instant read" will give you the information you need. So, if you cook a lot of meat buy a Thermapen.
ChefOno November 15, 2012

If you don't want to spend the money for a Thermapen (the thermometer I most often use at home), a Taylor 9842 (the model I use at work) shouldn't cost you more than $15 (Amazon or eBay).

Reiney November 14, 2012
Try to do it by touch - when the steak feels like the base pad of your thumb when the tip is pressed against the index finger, it's med rare (working across to the pinky gives you an approximation for medium, medium well and well). Remember to rest 5-10 minutes and that there will be carry over cooking during that time.
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