Friday, February 25, 2011

Pan-Seared Steak with Horseradish Sauce

The pairing of horseradish and beef is a heavenly one. I usually love a good horseradish sauce with rare prime rib, but steak was on sale at the grocery store and I couldn't resist pairing the two.
What on this world is better than a nice steak? The steak has got to come to room temperature, so take it out of the fridge before you do anything else.

Take your steak out of its wrapper and blot it well on both sides with some paper towel. You want the outside to be as dry as possible.

Give it a nice coating of vegetable oil.

And then a liberal salt and peppering.

Don't forget to do both sides!

Now set the steak aside somewhere away from kids with poking fingers and from cats who like to jump up on the counter.
While your steak rests, you can start on the sauce. With just a few simple ingredients from your kitchen, you're ready to start making your very own horsey sauce.

In a small bowl, plop in a tablespoon (or two, if you like things spicy!) of horseradish. I like this brand of creamy horseradish, but use your favorite kind. If you've got fresh grated, all the better!

Add some mayonnaise.

I like mayonnaise as much as the next person, but it sure isn't a very attractive substance.

Some dijon mustard and sour cream are next. I used the grainy kind, but if you like seeing your horseradish sauce pure and creamy and white, regular smooth dijon mustard is fine.

I would advise steering away from yellow mustard, however.

A nice squeeze of lemon brightens things up a bit.

A dash of cayenne pepper and a few twists from your pepper grinder add a little dimension to the sauce.

A few stirs later, and you've got yourself a spicy horsey sauce! Pop it in the fridge to hang out while you go back to the steak.

By this time, your steak should be nice and room temperature. Get out a heavy-duty pan (not nonstick if you've got it) and heat it over medium-high heat. Sprinkle water onto your pan...when it sizzles and then disappears, your pan is hot enough to (carefully!) add your steak.

Oh, did I mention that this method creates a lot of smoke? If you've got a kitchen hood, now would be the time to turn it on. If you don't, well, open a window, grab some fans, and don't be surprised if your smoke alarm goes off!

My steak wasn't very thick, so I gave it about two minutes a side. If you've got a big, fat steak (like a cowboy steak), you might want to extend the time to 4 minutes a side, or pop the steak, pan and all, into a 450F oven for a few minutes.

Let the steak rest for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with your horseradish sauce!

Recipe: Pan-Seared Steak with Horseradish Sauce

1 steak (ribeye, strip, or T-bone work well)
vegetable oil
salt and pepper

1-2 tbsp. prepared horseradish (to taste)
1/4 c. mayonnaise
1/2 c. sour cream
1 tbsp. dijon mustard
juice from 1/4 of a lemon
pinch of cayenne pepper
black pepper, to taste

Remove steak from refrigerator and packaging. Pat dry with paper towels. Brush with oil and salt and pepper both sides.

In a small bowl, combine horseradish, mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, and black pepper. Set aside.

Preheat nonstick pan on the stove over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, carefully place steak in the pan. Cook 2 minutes a side for medium rare. If steak is very thick (1"+) increase time or pop in a 450F oven for an additional minute per side.

Let steak rest before slicing. Serve with horseradish sauce.

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