One thing is for sure. We’ve cooked more grass fed, grass finished steaks than pretty much anyone you’ve ever known. We’ve tried all the different ways of cooking them. Grilled, sous vide, etc. After years of experimenting and comparing the effort with the result, I can say that this recipe is our 100% go to recipe for steaks, and with one small addition, pork chops and Boston Butt steaks.
How we cook our steaks in the Ninja Cow Farm kitchen
First things first, this is grass fed, grass finished beef. That means it's leaner than store bought beef and will dry out quicker than what you are used to. When you cook your first steak, pull it from heat before you think it's ready. It's better to think you are a little under cooked than a little over. By the time you think you are right, it's already overdone.
Remove your steaks from the fridge and let them come up to room temperature. No you won't die if your steak gets warm.
Turn on your oven, set to bake, as hot as it will go. 500, 550, whatever it will do. Do this early because you want it to be heat soaked, not just have hot air inside.
Sprinkle kosher salt and black pepper on both flat sides of the steaks. I find we like a little more salt than you would think. More than just a light sprinkle.
Leave the steaks salted on the counter for at least 15 minutes. This pulls moisture from the steak and gets it ready for the sear.
Unplug your smoke detector. Open the windows if you can. If you are doing this correctly, you are going to make some smoke.
After you salt your steaks, immediately place a cast iron griddle/frying pan over high heat till it's nuclear hot. Leave it on high for 15 minutes on a gas burner, I don't know how long for electric. Yes you will scorch off the seasoning. It's worth it and not a big deal. Make breakfast the next day and the grease from your sausage or bacon will quickly reseason it. Trust me, I've done it hundreds of times.
When everything is hot, place the steaks onto the hot pan AND DON'T TOUCH THEM for at least 45 seconds. There will be lots of smoke and noise, that's good. When you flip the steaks to the other side for another 45 seconds, you should see a crust on the cooked side that is brown and in some spots almost black but not quite. It should look like the pork chops pictured in this recipe (yes this is basically the recipe for pork chops)
After another 45 seconds for the second side, the whole pan goes in the oven for 2-3 minutes. 2 for medium rare, 3 for medium.
These times are assuming a 1" thick steak. If yours are thinner, you need to adjust your time. For skirt steak I don't even put them in the oven. Just sear 1 minute per side instead. For thicker cuts, go up to as much as four minutes. This is the art part of this recipe.
After two (or three) minutes, pull the pan and flip the steaks, then 2 or 3 minutes again.
After the last bit of cooking, pull the cast iron pan from the oven and place the steaks on a cookie sheet, plate, etc, covered with aluminum foil for at least 7 minutes. Don't cut them, touch them, poke them, or peak. This is the time you finish your veggies, call the kids, set the table, and open the wine (or second bottle if you are at our house).
Enjoy, and send me an email and let me know how your beef was.