September 8, 2007

Copyright 2007 by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

Serves 2

This was the steak I made to go with our first bottle of Robert Mondavi Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine was a 1969, the steak's vintage was around 1974. Use this basic technique whenever you do steak, but remember it must be cut extra thick and be really well marbled, otherwise you don't have the control you need for great flavor and perfect doneness

  • 1 large garlic clove, split
  • 2 teaspoons coarse or kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 1 porterhouse steak, cut about 2-1/2 inches thick (about 2-3/4 pounds)
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine

About 40 minutes before cooking, rub the steak on both sides with the garlic, then the salt and pepper. Let sit at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 375 F.

Lightly film the bottom of an ovenproof nonstick skillet with a little olive oil (wiping out the excess with a paper towel) and heat over high heat until the pan is very hot but the oil is not smoking. Using long tongs, carefully place the steak in the pan and cook until a crust forms on both sides. Turn the steak with the tongs and stand back to avoid being spattered with any hot fat.

Place the skillet in the oven to finish cooking the steak, 8 to 10 minutes for rare, 10 to 12 for medium-rare. Turn it once during cooking.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for about 10 minutes so it can finish cooking. Meanwhile, pour all but a film of fat from the pan (take great care to use a pot holder as the handle will be hot.) Set it over high heat and add the red wine. Simmer it down to a thick film on the pan as you scrape up all the brown bits with a wooden spatula. Add a little water if necessary. You want about 2 to 3 tablespoons of delicious tasting liquid.

Serve the steak by cutting the meat away from the bone and slicing it in thick slices. Arrange them on a warm platter with all the juice from the cutting board. Drizzle the pan sauce over the meat and top the slices with the bone (which is excellent for gnawing). Serve immediately.