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Pan-Fried Steak


In this pan-fried steak recipe, you'll have a restaurant-quality steak in under 10 minutes. Pair it with a simple steak sauce and serve it with a classic side like roasted potatoes. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).

  • Servings: 2

Source: Mad Hungry, September 2010


  • 2 strip steaks (about 1 inch thick)
  • coarse salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons unsalted butter


  1. Bring the steaks to room temperature.

  2. Heat a 10- or 12-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat. Season the steaks liberally with salt and pepper. Seconds before adding a steak, drop 1/2 teaspoon of the butter into the pan and immediately top with the steak. Repeat with the remaining steak. Sear for 3 minutes without moving the steak (to form a crust). Turn and cook for 2 minutes for rare or 3 to 4 for medium rare. Remove the steaks from the pan and let them rest on a board or platter for a few minutes before serving.

Reviews Add a comment

  • daemn42
    22 JUN, 2017
    I've only ever had open flames in my kitchen twice. Once when a little too much fat ac[filtered]ulated in my toaster oven from warming up chicken tenders and such, and when I tried this recipe. The pan was (per the video) "blazing hot" (400F). I dropped in less than a teas[filtered] of buffer, and the steak on top of it. I got INSTANT billowing black smoke, which filled the kitchen in seconds. I took a quick look at the bottom of the steak and it was charred black all around the butter, so I added a little more butter, again dropped the steak on top of it, and this time I got INSTANT 18 inch flames (this is an electric stove, and a very thick bottomed stainless pan). Took it off the stove, and tried to blow flames out. Meanwhile smoke had filled about half the house and set the fire alarm off. Finally got the fire out, but billowing smoke continued unabated. Finally had to put water into the pan, killing the smoke, the steak, and making a pretty good run at killing the pan (going to take a lot of work to get the black off). Not my favorite experience. My belated research indicates that smoke point of butter is 350F, so guessing "blazing hot" is really somewhere closer to that, than 400F. There are oils that could handle that higher temp, but not butter.
  • hfreemanmsnco
    7 JAN, 2017
    Hey ! I just followed the instruction BUT I used my new Gotham Steel ceramic 9" frying pan with a lid.. Worked great !! I would suggest that you choose the right steak that is properly marbled so as to enhance the flavor.. Served with a sweet potato (yes it was microwave in a corning ware dish(lid) 2" of water for 8 mins.) Nothing else needed... Will recommend, will do this again... As for the ceramic pan/wLid, these are the new no brainers. Cleaned up the pan in 3o seconds. Enjoy !
  • ALR4508754DW
    20 SEP, 2016
    DO NOT MAKE THIS RECIPE WITHOUT A READY FIRE EXTINGUISHER! I followed the directions to a T. 3 minutes on the first side (BURNED), 2 minutes on the second side (also BURNED). My expensive steak is ruined. I'm hungry with no dinner. My house is so smokey I can't even believe it. When the smoke alarms started going off, my poor dog made a bee-line for the front door. He didn't believe me when I told him the house wasn't on fire, it was just my cooking.
  • ALR7693949DW
    11 AUG, 2016
    A very easy, but delicious, steak to fry up at home! Total time from start to finish was maybe 10 minutes. I used a white wine as a de-glazer, which was pretty good. Although I think red would still be better. Overall, one of the best steaks I've made!
  • katp85
    28 APR, 2015
    This was fantastic- my only complaint is the video showed unrendered fat..... Yuck. After the steak was done, I tipped it on all sides allowing each side to sear on the pan for about 10 seconds.... This allows the fat to 'render' or melt down into beautiful yumminess!....
  • Joanna Bettman
    4 MAR, 2013
    I'm not a meat fan, so I had to make it in blind faith for my meat eater husband before his steaks went bad. It turned out awesome. I accidentally dumped way too much pepper on it and it wasn't too much at all turns out. So easy! Put the timer on, threw it in, BING, flip, set timer again, DONE.
  • irleshay
    4 NOV, 2010
    These came out perfect. I was glad I bought a cast iron pan because the sear on these was beautiful. I deglazed the pan with some white wine and reduced it before pouring over the steaks.