There are few meats that are as popular as a good, well-cooked steak. Many are eaten broiled or grilled, but have you learned how to bake a steak in the oven? If not, you have missed a delicious treat. This is the ideal meat for special dinners that celebrate a birthday or holiday or provide a romantic dinner for two. Another attraction to preparing meat in this way is that it is very simple to do and does not require great cooking skill. This is a good recipe for a bride or a master chef. It is important to follow each step as closely as possible for the best results.
Step 1: The selection and purchase of the steaks and mushrooms:
Purchase high quality meat. Go to the gourmet butcher shop section of a grocery store or a high-quality butcher shop. Purchase 3 rib steaks, cut 3 inches thick. Buy your steaks shortly before they will be cooked. Do not freeze the meat before it is prepared, as that will make it less flavorful. While at the grocery store, select and purchase your mushrooms. Look for firm, medium-sized, plump moonlight mushrooms that are cream-colored and have short, clean-cut stems. The caps should be closed or only very slightly opened around the stems. Purchase 1 pound of mushrooms.
Step 2: Preparing the mushrooms:
When you are ready to prepare dinner, wash, trim and prepare the mushrooms for cooking. If you prefer to cook the mushrooms before beginning the preparation of the steaks, go ahead. However, you will need to keep them warm. You might prefer to have them ready for cooking, but not to cook them until the 10 to 15 minutes the steaks are resting (see step 7 in Step 3).
1. Sauté the mushrooms in butter.
2. Sprinkle them with sea salt and freshly-ground pepper.
3. As a final touch, add a squirt of lemon juice.
4. After the steak has finished resting, place the mushrooms on and around the meat.
Step 3: Preparing and cooking the steaks:
The simplest and best way to prepare this traditional beef rib steaks entrée is to first brown each steak, one at a time, in a heavy skillet. After letting them rest briefly, roast all three together in a shallow pan. Here are step-by-step instructions for the best results in baking the steak in the oven.
1. Preheat the oven to 450° F.
2. Season each steak with ½ teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
3. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in the heavy skillet over high heat until it appears to ripple.
4. Sear the steak for 3 minutes on each side, until it forms a brown crust. Repeat with the other 2 steaks. Allow the steaks to rest briefly before going on to the next step.
5. Place a rack in a large, shallow baking pan. (A cookie rack is okay.) Put the 3 steaks on the rack.
6. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes for rare (130° F) or 35 – 40 minutes for medium-rare (140° F).
7. After the steaks have finished cooking, let them rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing the meat. The internal temperature will rise during the rest period.
8. Before serving, slice the meat off the bones and then cut the meat crosswise in ½-inch thick slices. Garnish with fresh thyme and serve on a heated platter with the mushrooms.
The recipe serves eight people. To prepare this meal for less people, simply reduce the amount of steak and mushrooms.