ATK Recipe #37: Pan-Seared Steaks with Worcestershire and Butter Sauce

It’s more than a little strange that at the times when we have the least money, we have to eat steaks since that’s what we have in the freezer. That’s the nice thing about buying value packs when they’re on sale. So in the interests of this blog project and trying to do something different with steaks, I chose this recipe. I’ve tried cooking steaks in a pan and making pan sauce before, with unimpressive results. But I’m a better cook, now, so I was hopeful.

The huge slabs of ribeye I had were too big to fit together in any of my pans. It’s funny to me that the recipe would have me put four steaks into one pan. Obviously, these people aren’t from Texas. So I used two skillets with one steak each in them. I followed the instructions and seared the steaks for four minutes per side, removed them from the pan and combined the pan drippings into my cast iron skillet. I added minced shallots which went from uncooked to black in about 3 seconds. And they picked the moment I turned my back to do it, too. I saved the majority of them from burning, but there were some black specks to pick out of the final sauce. This really annoys me every time it happens. The book says to cook something on a certain heat for 5 minutes and it starts to burn after only 2 minutes. I know all stoves are different, but I wish they would word things differently.

Anyway, I added beef broth (instead of chicken, since it’s what I had) reduced it, added Dijon mustard, worchestershire, butter, salt and pepper. The outcome was alright. The sauce was decent, but the steaks tasted like steaks cooked in a pan. Both Justin and I agree that we just don’t like steaks cooked in a pan. The char that everyone claims to like so much just tastes like…pan. Again, we suspect this is a Texan thing. For my part, pan-cooked steak always reminds me of when I would go to my midwestern grandmother’s house and she would cook really cheap steaks in a pan and they were horrible compared to the grilled steaks I was used to.


Are we alone in this? How does everyone else prefer their steaks to be cooked? For me, if we can’t use a gas or charcoal grill, the George Foreman grill works pretty well. It doesn’t have the pan seared taste that we dislike, for some reason. Probably the ridges.


3 thoughts on “ATK Recipe #37: Pan-Seared Steaks with Worcestershire and Butter Sauce

  1. stephanie b says:

    It’s been so long since I’ve had a steak that I can’t remember. I don’t know that I ever had a pan-seared steak. I didn’t eat much beef when I ate meat.

    My parents make pan-seared steaks from time to time, but my mother has a grill pan, so it acts more like a George Foreman grill, I think.

  2. thetexturedknitter says:

    I’m not a native Texan, but grilled or broiled are the only type of steaks I like. And I have problems with temperature descriptions, too… I’ve got a glass-top electric range, so I know it’s going to take longer for my stove to heat up, and it’s going to stay at the top temperature much longer after turning it down. I think whether your pan is cast iron, stainless steel, copper, aluminum, or nonstick makes a big difference, too.

    We had gotten frozen bacon-wrapped steak on a stick at Sam’s Club, and by following the pan-fry directions for those I carbonized them and made the entire house smell nasty. Surprised the smoke alarm didn’t go off, too. So these days I use a temperature _I_ think is appropriate for the time and degree of done-ness the recipe seems to want.

    • Kim says:

      Yeah, mine is electric glass-top, too. Plus the cast iron pan I was using hold the heat longer. I keep burning onions and garlic when I follow the recipes because the pan stays hotter than it’s supposed to be. I guess I need to start being smarter, but I keep thinking the cookbook must know better than me. I need to stop that.

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