Cast Iron

Sunday Steak with French Butter

September 25, 2012
4 Ratings
  • Prep time 6 hours 10 minutes
  • Cook time 16 minutes
  • Makes 4 servings
Author Notes

When you purchase your steaks you will be looking at two similar cuts. The T-bone and porterhouse look very similar but they are not. Both are cut from the short loin but the porterhouse is going to have a bigger cut of filet (tenderloin) than the t-bone. Look for good marbling, in other words how much fat is distributed in and around the actual red protein. You also want a little fat cap. The other thing I look for is, on the strip loin side of the steak sometimes about halfway down, you will notice a thin line of gristle that extends from the fat cap into the middle of the steak. It is very tough to chew and, while if you like your steak well done this won't affect you, I always try to avoid them. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • 2 porterhouse steaks, 1 pound each
  • 1 pinch Kosher salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon shallot, minced
  • 1 pinch Freshly ground white pepper
  • 1/2 fresh lemon
  • 1 splash Oil
  1. At least 6 hours before and up to the day before you plan to cook the steaks place them on a cooling rack set over a tray with edges. You want to catch the drips.
  2. Season both sides of the steaks with salt. Put them back into the fridge uncovered until an hour before you want to cook them.
  3. Allow the butter to soften at room temperature. Meanwhile place the garlic, shallot and parsley into a mortar. Using the pestle bruise, crush, and pulverize the aromatics until they are mushy.
  4. Place the butter into a small mixing bowl and smear it around with a rubber spatula. Add the aromatics, a few drops of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a few grinds of white pepper. Blend the butter until it is one shade of green with no streaks.
  5. You can either refrigerate the butter as is or you can roll it up in parchment pepper, then foil and twist the ends to form a round log. The foil allows the ends to stay sealed.
  6. 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.
  7. Cook the second steak in the same fashion. Both steaks can be cooked up to an hour in advance and left to sit at room temperature. Do not refrigerate them.
  8. In your oven place the top rack so it is about 8 to 10 inches from the broiler. Heat the broiler.
  9. Using a filet knife cut the meat from each side of the bone then slice the meat into smaller bit size pieces. Re-assemble the steaks on the sheet tray. Smear each steak with some softened maitre d'butter then place a small glob on each steak.
  10. Place the steaks under the broiler just long enough to melt the butter and heat the steaks through. Serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Muriel Elliott Mimura
    Muriel Elliott Mimura
  • kasia S.
    kasia S.
  • Jack Mallory
    Jack Mallory
  • Jim Vijay
    Jim Vijay
  • Mark Campidonica
    Mark Campidonica

18 Reviews

Muriel E. January 22, 2022
Made a HUGE Porterhouse steak for my husband and step-son and they loved it!
kasia S. November 30, 2014
I will be cooking a 22oz Dry Aged Porterhouse Steak in a week, would the same method be used for it as in this recipe, with the salting and all that? Thank you! Stunning recipe btw, I'm always looking at it, I finally get to make it:)
CondimentQueen July 14, 2014
Oh thirschfield, I love you so! You are a man after my little carnivorous heart :)
clay G. June 25, 2014
I get my steaks to room temperature, lightly coat with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder on each side in that order. I then start the CHARCOAL in the pit, and let the coals turn gray. When the tempurature gets to seven-hundred degrees, (and temperature is important) , I put the steaks on for three minutes, flip, and another three minutes. Remove and let rest. As soon as they come off, I put a dallop of butter on the top, in the center, and sprinkle the butter with garlic powder. when the butter melts compltely, the steaks are ready to serve. Bon Apetit !
Jack M. March 18, 2014
My inner carnivore is weeping with joy.
Yellowishcanary February 16, 2014
I love using my cast iron for steaks.
Jim V. October 25, 2013
What do you do with the drips from the steaks?
thirschfeld October 28, 2013
Pour it over you salad with after you have tossed it with a vinaigrette
sharyn F. June 12, 2013
exactly how Peter Luger's cooks it.
I salt my steak (kosher)place in frig on a rack. I remove and bring to room temp. I preheat the oven to 300* cook steak to 100* (use meat thermometer through the SIDE of the steak not the top. Let rest: Sprinkle on pepper and grill at the highest level for 5-8 min depending on your preferred temp. Turn once. rest: garlic butter and enjoy.
Counselorchick March 19, 2013
This is AWESOME. Makes me pity the vegetarian.
Mark C. November 15, 2012
I cut the steak as indicated in the photo, but left the ends attached to the bone to allow easier handling. Also, I fried the steak (cold out of the fridge; forgive me for I have sinned) about 5 minutes on a side. Ended up with medium well. I was trying for medium rare. The steak was delicious and tender, nonetheless.
montana C. November 11, 2012
I'm a Montana beef producer....very particular about preparing to preserve yet! MONTANA BEEF!! French style! Best of both worlds! Thank You!!
the C. November 11, 2012
What a great web sight ! ** I love cooking and writing about it talking about it and sharing idea's . I will enjoy my visits here come join me *************************. Sincerely S.C in Coastal Carolinas.
lastnightsdinner October 22, 2012
Fantastic. Seriously.
thirschfeld October 22, 2012
So glad your liked it, hope Julian got a nible or two!
lastnightsdinner October 22, 2012
He sure did - ate probably an ounce or two each of the tenderloin and the strip!
MLOU October 18, 2012
i will have to try this!
Booba J. October 11, 2012