PROJECT RECIPE: Pan seared steaks with red wine sauce

Tuesday, when I did my post about summer squash and swiss chard, you might have noticed the steak on the plate with the squash. My intention when I started cooking on Sunday evening was to do a PROJECT RECIPE post about the steaks, but the squash was so good, I couldn’t resist sharing the recipe and turning that into a post as well.

No doubt the squash recipe was good, but my God. The steaks. Wow.

Sunday morning, I was reading the paper, and noticed this article about Appalachian food. At the end of the article was a recipe for simple pan seared steaks with wine sauce, inspired by the author’s trip to the Capitol Market. It sounded delicious as I was reading it.

We have placed an order for another half of a beef this year from the same place we got our’s last year. The beef farmer is the father of someone we know who has a farm outside of Fairmont, about two hours north on I-79. The beef should be ready around the beginning of September, and although I think we’ve done a great job of eating half a cow between the two of us (for the record, we gave a lot away to family, and always volunteered to bring the hamburger to cookouts with friends…), we still have a little bit to finish up. We hadn’t even touched the packages of filet steaks yet. I figured they would be perfect for this recipe, although she used sirloin.


First, let me say that I’m not used to cooking steaks on anything but the grill. It might not be that odd for you to make them in a skillet, but it’s not something I’ve done before. Maybe I’m weird because of it. But I am definitely a better person for having made these steaks. They were that good. As a matter of fact, I plan to make these again since I have a few packages of filet left to finish before we get the next half beef in a month or so.

The key here is using an iron skillet. And real butter. You get that nice crispy crust with the iron skillet, and the butter makes the already tender cut of meat like … well, butter.

PROJECT RECIPE verdict: Hells yes it’s a keeper.

How I changed the recipe: I changed the ingredients quite a bit, actually, but not the method. I used filet instead of sirloin, as I mentioned. Also, I didn’t have shallots, so I used red onion. And I didn’t use cabernet or some other kind of normal red wine, I used tawny port wine. It has a deeper and sweeter flavor than regular red wine (but not too sweet). The results were amazing.

This was actually really easy and quick. I got perfectly juicy medium rare steaks–something that I often find difficult to do on the grill. You should definitely go and try this recipe next time you want steak instead of throwing them on the grill, even if you have to modify the ingredients. I’ve always said there is something magical about butter and wine in a skillet. This recipe definitely makes the case.


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