It is a perfect combination of meat and marbled fat. When it is cooked properly the fat renders out of the meat imparting a rich, deep flavour.
In order to encourage the fat to render, the steak needs exposure to a searing heat that will quickly caramelise the meat at the same time. Cooking sirloin steak in a cast iron pan is one of the best ways of cooking steak.
The skillet gets hot and holds a lot of heat so it does not cool down as the streak cooks. This way, the high temperature is maintained throughout the cooking process so the steak does not steam in its own juices; rather it seals itself and remains juicy inside.
There are a few simple steps that need to be taken to prepare the perfect steak.
Preparations for Cooking Sirloin in a Cast Iron Pan
Just like when you decide to prepare sirloin steak on charcoal bbq, you need to get ready first.
If you cook the steak from the fridge, the outside will be overcooked before the inside is brought to the correct temperature. So, start by removing the sirloin from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. This is enough time to bring the steak to room temperature.
Prepare the steak by trimming off any excess fat from the edge. Ensure you leave a little as this will help impart flavour to the steak.
The Perfect Cast Iron Skillet Sirloin Steak Recipe
Follow these 9 simple steps to cook the perfect sirloin teak in a cast iron skillet:
- Preheat the oven. We’ll need to finish the steak inside it, once we have surface browning all sorted. I prefer lower heat – no more than 140C / 285F – because it helps to keep beef tender and juicy. You can also try cooking siroloin steak in oven without using broiling.
- Salt, but no pepper. Season the meat with a good amount of flaked salt but not pepper at this stage. Salt will help to develop the flavor of the steak during cooking which is something we are looking for. Pepper is likely to burn during high-heat searing. Add it later while the steak is resting.
- Preheat the skillet. High heat is essential for the browning to develop, so go on and heat it up till it starts smoking a little. Wait for another 20 seconds and go to the next step.
- Sear the steak. Place the steak in the pan, always away from yourself, without any oil. Leave the steak, don’t move it around, let the skillet do its job. Leaving it stationary will start the maillard reaction.
- Flip. After two minutes, turn the steak over. Use a pair of tongs rather than a fork to pick it up as the fork will pierce the steak and cause precious juices to escape. Cook for a further two minutes on the second side.
- Remember the sides. Next, turn the steak on its side so that the remaining fat gets cooked and becomes crispy. Around 20 seconds on each side is fine.
- Knob of butter. Add a large pat of butter to the skillet; tip it away from you and use a tablespoon to baste the meat in the butter and fat. Complete the process by placing a sprig of thyme on the steak and baste again so that the butter and fat cause flavour from the herb to pass into the steak. Other strong herbs such as tarragon or rosemary will also work.
- To the oven. Place the skillet inside the hot oven and leave for a further two minutes. Finally remove the skillet and return it to the stove top burner for the final stage of cooking where you use butter and thyme to part flavour. Don’t want an oven? Try searing sirloin steak on stove top instead.
- Check the doneness. You can check to see if your steak is cooked by pressing it lightly with your fingers. Alternatively (and preferably), you should use meat thermometer to check internal temperature and avoid the guesswork. Medium rare is about 57C / 135F.
Here is an optional tip, which you may find convenient, because cast iron skillets take longer to warm up. So, preheat your oven to the highest temperature and place a cast iron skillet in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the skillet and then place it on a stove top burner. Gas or electric will work perfectly. Turn the gas up and keep heating the skillet until it starts to smoke.
Once cooked, remove the steak and place it on a warm, not hot, plate, in a warm spot, season it with freshly ground pepper and leave it to rest. Resting allows the meat to relax; the muscle that tenses up because of the extreme heat can relax and allow all of the juices back into the meat.
Allow your steak to rest for between 5 and 10 minutes, depending on how long you have cooked it for.
Finally cut the steak, on an angle in to three slices and serve with a fresh green salad.
Learned the method? Then try these healthy sirloin steak recipes!
How To Tell if Your Sirloin Is Cooked The Way You Want
Judging how to long to cook a steak for is a matter of touch.
Press the flesh on the ball of your thumb and this is how a rare steak will feel when touched.
Press thumb and forefinger together ad touch to see how medium rare feels, thumb and middle finger for medium, thumb and ring finger for medium well and thumb and little finger for well done.
Steak time chart will also help you.
In case it’s nice and warm outside, why not try grilling sirloin? It’s great for outdoor cooking and the smell…is amazing… Enjoy!