Help: cooking perfect steaks
This is my answer to your question from the general topics board....which should be here instead...
There was a thread about a few months back, but I couldn't find it for you...this is what I do, and it always comes perfect. I agree with the other poster, let your steaks come to room temp, not super cold from refrig, but certainly not warm either. I usually make lamb steaks, but it will work the same way for sirloin. First preheat oven to 375'. I make sure the steaks are absolutely dry, after of course you have already rinsed them, then I use garlic/pepper mixture on both sides, I put canola oil into a creuset frying pan (an enameled frying pan, is what works best, stay away from non stick, or stainless pans)..when the oil is very hot, but do not put the flame on super high, an enameled pot, gets very hot on med-hi and retains that heat quickly...so, once the oil is hot (do not use olive oil, you cannot sear at high temp with it, it burns)..
put the steaks in, and sear them for 4 min each side, turning once. There is something else I do that I really like and is optional, but
I put some chopped scallions in the pan when I'm searing because they get really carmelized and delish, so I then add these to the next step. Then with a seperate baking dish, I use a creuset enameled baking dish, and I then put the steaks in it, and I put rosemary olive oil all over the steaks, some fresh rosemary twigs under each steak, add my scallions and sometimes mushrooms also, and put them in my preheated 375' oven for about 15 min for rare-med, and 20-25 for med-well. They are always tender and juicy inside, and properly seared but not burnt on outside. Perhaps this will work for you,,,,i really feel the pan makes the difference. Good luck, let us know if it improved!
Oh, forgot to answer your chicken breast question. I do not grill my chicken breasts, I either bake them, or cut them up and saute them. Either way, they come great. I have a cast iron grill pan, but it's a pain to use, and I get sick of grilled chicken and usually order it out, where it always taste better than mine. I really think grilled chicken needs to be done on a real hibachi type grill or a barbecue grill, other than that one of those George Forman machines seems to do the trick. For me, I prefer them baked or sauteed so this is what I do. Very simple, and never overcooked. For baking, again I use an enamled creuset baking dish, and put the washed and dried breasts (skinless) top up in dish. Depending on what I'm making, I season accordingly, very liberally, and generally use fresh herbs under the chicken breasts, I usually put wine over them, and worcheshire sauce, and pour olive oil over chicken (sometimes flavored oils). I like things spicy, so I tend to use cut up scallions, onion, mushrooms, carrots, with cayenne pepper on them, or sometimes I'll add harissa (an israeli red pepper mixture), or green middle eastern hot sauce (cilantro-green chili mixture)...whatever flavoring you do, sometimes I make apricot chicken without all the stuff..whatever you do, just get everything in there, make sure you have enough sauce covering, and the veg will give off water, and put it into a preheated 375' oven for 20 minutes. Do not turn, do not cover, do not do anything other than move things around a little as the veg's shift..this time is good for pretty thick breasts, do it a little less if your oven gets very hot, or breast are real thin. For really thick big breasts :), do it a bit longer. Depends on your oven temp...that's it, and they come perfect and juicy. In terms of sauteeing, again use a cast iron enameled pan, lots of olive oil, put in pieces of chicken and saute on med-hi heat for about 18 minutes. Saute the garlic and veg first and then add your chicken. I also add chopped fresh herbs in the last few minutes, toss good while it's cooking, and when done it should be juicy and flavorful, and not stringy or overcooked. Keep your chicken pieces pretty big. That's it....basic info, but really, my creuset cookery, makes the difference. If you don't have enameled cast iron cookware, try to get just a couple pieces, there are creuset outlets, and you can sometimes find them at marshalls and other discount stores. Good luck!