How To Cook A Perfect Steak Holiday Dinner

2020 has been an unusual year, to say the least. Maybe you're just whipping up a small feast for 2 this year, but there's no need to feel like you're missing out on a celebration. In fact, this is the perfect year to turn tradition upside down, and take it to the next level with your holiday cooking. Because let's be honest, who wants to eat a dry turkey or 10 pounds of ham anyway, when you can have the ultimate holiday treat - a perfectly cooked steak worthy of the fanciest steakhouse.

The Perfect Steak Recipe

A few rules for the road:

1. Get great quality meat for your steak. If you see a "prime" option instead of "choice", that means the steak has a lot more marbling. Marbling = fat = flavor. 

2. Know your cuts. The best cuts for a fancy steak dinner are Ribeye (bone in is best), Strip steak, or Filet Mignon. 

3. Get the right size steak. Make sure the steak is at least 1 inch thick. Preferably 1.5". Any thinner and you risk having overcooked steak. 

4. Keep the seasoning simple. No need for a fancy sauce when you have a great piece of meat for the steak. If you haven't tried Montreal Steak Spice before, it's a game changer. It's like crack for steak. If you don't have it, kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper work great too. Kosher salt is great because it's more coarse than table salt.

5. Sear and finish steak in the oven to take the guesswork out of timing. You don't need a thermometer this way. 

Ingredients:

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400F. Bring steak to room temperature (30-60 minutes), and pat dry (for a better sear). Season steak liberally with Montreal Steak Spice, just before cooking. If you don't have this, use kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper instead.

2. Heat a cast iron skillet on the stove over med-high heat, until smoking slightly. Using tongs, sear fat edge of steak to render some of the fat. Then place steak on one side, searing for 1-2 minutes without moving, until a nice crust develops.

3. Flip steak, put a pat of butter on top, and place in the oven. For a 1 1/2 inch Ribeye, leave it in the oven for 7.5 minutes for medium rare.

4. Remove from oven, move steak to a plate, and tent loosely with foil. Rest 15-20 minutes to allow the steak juices to redistribute evenly throughout the meat. Do not cut the meat before it has had time to rest because it will bleed out and lose its juices. In the meantime, heat serving and dinner plates using the residual heat from the oven, cracking the door if it's too hot.

5. Carve steak into thick slices, drizzle with pan juices, and serve immediately. 

The Sides

Side dishes are arguably as important as a perfectly cooked steak. Here are our favorite simple but delicious steak side dishes.

Baked Potato

Prick russet potatoes all over lightly with a fork. Rub lightly with oil, and season with salt. Place on a baking sheeting, and bake for 1 hour in a 350F degree oven.

Cut open, top with a generous pat of butter, a dollop of sour cream, and a sprinkling of chives.

Sautéed Mushrooms And Onions

This is a perfect add-on to the steak cooking process. After you remove the cooked steak from the cast iron pan, sauté sliced onions and mushrooms in the same pan. The juices from the steak will give the veg a lot of flavor. Season with extra salt & pepper if needed.

Sautéed Asparagus

It's not a proper fancy steak dinner without a green vegetable. Asparagus is perfect and easy enough to whip up without a fuss. Wash asparagus nd trim tough ends. Blanch in boiling water for 1 minute. Then sauté the asparagus in a frying pan with a drizzle of oil, on very high heat, until it's crisp tender and brown in spots. Season with salt and pepper.