With only a few ingredients to boast, Celebration Steak with Pan Sauce is an easy way to elevate the common backyard steak-on-the-grill to a culinary triumph of simple, yet incredible, proportions.
When you Only Eat Steak Occasionally…Make it Count with a Pan Sauce
A few years ago, I would never have even turned my head at a steak cooked in a cast iron pan. Steaks were meant for the grill, right? “Come on over! We are having steaks in the pan!” just doesn’t sound like an invitation to a steak on the grill. But, “Come on over! We are having Celebration steak!” Now that’s another story.
What changed my tune? Pan sauce. There is nothing like deglazing a pan with butter and herbs and a little something I came up with myself. Brilliance in every bite, I might add. My family would shout a loud “Amen!” to that, because it is one of our top two favorite special dinners- right up there with Maple Glazed Chicken and Mashed Sweet Potatoes. In fact, it is my husband, Troy’s, birthday dinner every year. Thus, the name, Celebration Steak.
Prepping the Steak
For this recipe, I use my favorite cut steaks, Ribeyes. The marbling, the juicy bits of fat…it truly makes the perfect steak. I suppose you could use a New York, Filet, or even a Portabella Mushroom for all my Plant Forward friends (not that they would have even clicked on a steak post). This pan sauce is super easy and seriously delicious. The following are a few tips on prepping your steaks for the pan.
- Pull the beef out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking so it can reach room temperature.
- Generously salt the steaks all over.
- After 30 minutes, pat the steaks with paper towels to remove salt, and dry off any liquid so you can get a nice sear.
Steaks in the Pan
It is very important to make sure that your pan is very hot. These babies cook fast at only 3-4 minutes a side for medium-rare or more if you like your steaks pronounced dead. I prefer mine to moo a little bit, especially since I prefer a grass-fed steak. Grass fed beef has less fat, more nutrients, and cooks much faster. There is definitely a learning curve to cooking with grass-fed meat.
Just a note, because this steak with pan sauce is cooked inside on such a high heat, it can set off the “dinner bell”, which is what my family affectionately calls the fire alarm. Although I prefer to prepare dinner in the quiet atmosphere of candlelight, maybe with a glass of wine, and Michael Bublé on the speaker, this is, unfortunately, one noisy dinner prep recipe. Never fail, I have to have the vent fan over the stove on full-blast while the steaks are searing. Temporary noise pollution- but still, I will argue that the final results are still worth it. As soon as the steaks are taking their momentary nap, you can turn off the fan, and slip right back into your wine and dine atmosphere again.
The Pan Sauce
I have to say, sauce is what makes the ordinary, extraordinary. With a little effort, the common steak becomes a masterpiece. Pan sauce literally takes minutes to whisk together with nothing unusual required from the pantry, unless you don’t have apple cider syrup on hand. Apple cider syrup is totally optional, but because I use it in everything from my fall apple crisp to apple-glazed pork chops, I usually keep a few bottles stocked in my pantry. It still tastes totally amazing without it.
The Wine & Dine Playlist & Wine Pairing
Now, I don’t call this Celebration Steak with Pan Sauce for nothing. This is one special meal and birthday dinner worthy. Because it is a celebration, it requires a little extra effort to make the perfect celebration atmosphere. Our favorite red wine is of course, Meiomi Pinot Noir, and our favorite playlist includes:
- Diana Krall
- Melody Gardot
- Chris Botti
- Nora Jones
- Michael Bublé
- Andrea Bocelli
Recipe for Celebration Steak with Pan Sauce
- 4, 6-8oz Ribeye, New York, or Filet Mignon steaks
- 1 T lard, ghee, or avocado oil
- 2 T butter
- 6 T soy sauce or coconut aminos
- 6 T balsamic vinegar
- 2 T dijon mustard
- 3 T apple cider syrup (optional)
- 2 T chopped fresh herbs, such as (parsley, oregano, marjoram, rosemary, and thyme)
- sea salt to coat the steaks
- Generously salt the steaks and allow them to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking.
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet or heavy-bottom skillet over medium-hight heat until very hot.
- Add the lard, ghee, or avocado oil to your hot skillet. Then, add steaks and sear on each side for 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare, or longer depending on your doneness preference.
- While the steaks are cooking, whisk together in a small bowl, the soy sauce, balsalmic vinegar, mustard, chopped herbs, and apple cider syrup (if using).
- Remove steaks from the pan to a plate and cover with foil. Allow to rest for 5 minutes so the juices can run back into the meat.
- Turn the heat down to medium, and add the butter to deglaze the pan.
- When the butter is melted, add the sauce and cook down until it has decreased in volume by half. Be careful not to let it turn into a syrup. If this happens, add water to thin.
- After the steaks have had a quick nap, slice and serve with the warmed sauce.
- Feel free to hummmm.
Shop This Post
Meiomi Pinot Noir– The best price I have found is both at Costco and Trader Joes at around $16 a bottle
Carrs Cider Syrup– I love supporting the local family farmer. This cider syrup is pure and delicious, and the customer service is excellent.
Ribeye, New York, or Filet Mignon Steaks– My favorite local farm has the best grass fed and finished meat, dairy, and honey around. I miss living so close, but they do ship.