This is a dual-holiday weekend, and both of them are a good excuse for steak. Valentine's Day dinners often revolve around rosy-red meat, and Mondays off of work are often reason enough for culinary indulgence. This America's Test Kitchen recipe serves both needs. For your inner carnivore!
Thick-Cut Strip Steaks
2 boneless strip steaks (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 inches thick (about 1 pound each)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Pat steaks dry with paper towel. Cut each steak in half vertically to create four 8-ounce steaks. Season entire surface of steaks liberally with salt and pepper; gently press sides of steaks until uniform 1 1/2 inches thick. Place steaks on wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet; transfer baking sheet to oven. Cook until instant-read thermometer inserted in center of steak registers 90 to 95 degrees for rare to medium-rare, 20 to 25 minutes, or 100 to 105 degrees for medium, 25 to 30 minutes.
Heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat until smoking. Place steaks in skillet and sear steaks until well-browned and crusty, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, lifting once halfway through to redistribute fat underneath each steak. (Reduce heat if fond begins to burn.) Using tongs, turn steaks and cook until well browned on second side, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer all steaks to wire cooling rack and reduce heat under pan to medium. Use tongs to stand 2 steaks on their sides. Holding steaks together, return to skillet and sear on all sides until browned, about 1 1/2 minutes. Repeat with remaining 2 steaks.
Transfer steaks to wire cooling rack and let rest, loosely tented with foil, for 10 minutes while preparing pan sauce, if you like. Arrange steaks on individual plates and spoon sauce over steaks; serve immediately.
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