Butter-Basted Rib-Eye Steak
Why This Recipe Works
by Sasha Marx
A nicely cooked steak has to be on the Mount Rushmore of culinary show-stoppers. It’s simple, it’s classic, and it can be a difficult feat to pull off well. Steaks can be cooked every which way, but one of the most satisfying methods out there is pan-searing and butter-basting a thick-cut rib eye. Basting involves continuously spooning hot fat over an item that is being cooked. Basting while searing means the steak cooks from both top and bottom simultaneously, which in turn can speed up cooking time. Another technique that can speed up cooking—and one that flies in the face of convention—is repeatedly flipping the steak throughout the searing process. We highly recommend checking out J. Kenji Lopez-Alt’s testing on continuous flipping over at Serious Eats, in which he tests out the technique pioneered by Harold McGee.
While not very time consuming, this is a recipe that calls for your full attention in order to be successful. The sound of the steak hitting the pan is important—it changes depending on the temperature, and you want it to be hot. Paying attention to the sounds that are happening on your stovetop will make you a better cook, and sizzling steak sounds pretty delicious.