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Pepper Crusted Sear-Roasted Steaks

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Serves 2

Served with a simple radish and parsley salad and roasted potatoes, this steak is actually part of a quick Valentine’s Day dinner menu, but don’t wait for Valentine’s Day to make it. It calls for just a handful of ingredients; we suggest making it any time you’ve got those last two inches left in a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir.

  • 2 New York strip or sirloin steaks (6 to 8 oz. each), 3/4 inch thick, patted dry
  • Salt
  • 1-1/2 Tbs. coarsely ground black peppercorns
  • Olive oil for the pan
  • 1/2 cup red wine (Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir)
  • 2 to 3 Tbs. butter, sliced

Heat the oven to 500°F. Sprinkle the steaks with salt on both sides, and then press the ground peppercorns into the steaks on both sides. Set a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add just enough olive oil to make a light film. When the oil is very hot, add the steaks, cooking until nicely browned on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip the meat over and put the skillet in the oven. For medium-rare steaks, roast for 3 minutes for 6-oz. steaks; 4 minutes for 8-oz. steaks. Check for doneness with the tip of a knife or by pressing with your fingertips, keeping in mind that the steaks will cook a bit more as they sit. Transfer the steaks to a warm plate and tent with foil.

With a spoon, remove any fat from the skillet. Put the skillet back on the burner and heat to medium high. Add the wine and cook until it's reduced to 2 Tbs., about 7 minutes, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Whisk in the butter a slice at a time, whisking until completely melted. Taste and adjust the seasonings, drizzle the sauce over the steaks, and serve immediately with more sauce on the side.

Photo: Ben Fink

This recipe converted my husband from thinking the only way to cook steak was on a grill - which is quite an accomplishment! The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars was because we weren't crazy about the sauce (preparation/time/taste) We prefer a more peppery, less winey sauce, but that's us. Will never grill steak again!

House favorite! Easy and elegant. Highly recommended.

Fabulous steaks! I roasted for about 6 minutes to get medium doneness and they were perfect. The sauce is simple to make and quite good. Looking forward to using this one at a dinner party!

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