Ruth Chris...Anyone know how to make their steak at home?
Over wood coals is best and adds flavor. Outside has more heat - way above normal home stoves, ovens, or broilers. No smoke inside minimizes fire alarm noise.
In a fire pit, get a large wood fire burning intense with hot charcoals. I use mesquite lump charcoal, a saved fruit wood like cherry, or alder especially when slow smoke fish. Give time to get fire and grate red HOT. A plug-in power heat gun will fan the fire and blow the ash away before cook steak - a hair drier can be used if do not get too close. To prepare steak 1) buy good meat then dry age 2) let get to room temperature 3) dry if any moisture 4) coat both sides well with kosher salt. Cook directly on a clean preheated iron grate over the most heat possible. About 1 to 5 minutes a side depending on thickness for medium rare (for a normal 3/4" to 2" steak). More for a 3" thick porterhouse, so depends on cut.
Away from the back porch, a cast iron pan on a BBQ grate or directly on red coals gives decent results.
Learned to sear steaks outside in a wood fire pit when got tired of alarms - too much smoke for my kitchen exhaust fan and window to handle inside when cook steaks. Found out more heat outside makes a better crust with the bonus wood smoke flavor so prefer. A wood fire is superior to a hot cast iron pan on an electric burner. Those with a fire area can make awesome steak on an old BBQ grate or using a cast pan on coals.
Steak is often cheaper at the store than burger. An elegant affordable treat at home. Tasty with seafood. Shop sales. Top Sirloin is a favorite. But a thick Porterhouse is simply the best. With practice most will succeed to cook great steak at home. Do not over cook or any steak turns into shoe leather.
TIP: When cook steak inside take a nice break outside if the fire alarm(s) go off. Search for info to plan to put out a grease fire before attempt to use broiler to cook steak inside (especially if a rib eye or other fatty cut). I cook steak under a red hot broiler with good results inside. In a good broiler pan meat cooked sits above fluids. Keep pan a decent distance below broiler. Watch careful for fire. If splatter hits a broiler burner is too close so lower pan and add time. However you cook it learn the poke test to know when done as you like over time (use a meat thermometer when learning accurate but pokes holes for juices to run out).
The closest I get to a restaurant steak is to get a cast iron skillet ripping hot. I'm talking until you start seeing smoke from the pan, hot. Take a steak (make sure its a prime grade steak) thats been sitting at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, lightly oil and then heavily season with salt and pepper. Drop it into the skillet and do not touch it for at least 3 minutes. Flip the steak and do the same. Depending how thick the steak is, you might have to finish it in a 500 degree oven. Then let the steak rest for at least 5 minutes.
For Ruth's Chris style (even thought I don't particularly like it) heat up an ovenproof plate in the oven while the steak is cooking. After the steak is done and it has rested for a few minutes, take the plate out of the oven, drop some butter on it, and then place the steak on top.
If my memory serves me correctly, the device they use to broil the steaks at Ruth's Chris is a salamander, a fixture in higher end restaurant kitchens. The best one could do to simulate a salamander in a home oven is to use your broiler, and make sure it gets really, really hot first... we're talking a 30 minute pre-heat here. When you're ready to cook the steaks, put your (oven-safe) serving plates on the bottom rack of the oven to get good and hot, then do the steaks on a broiler pan set as close to the broiler element as possible. Cook the steaks for this long per side:
4-6 minutes for rare
5-7 minutes for mid-rare
6-8 minutes for medium
7-9 minutes for mid-well
8-11 minutes for well done
Take the steaks and plates out, put a pat of butter in the middle of the plate, put the steak on top of the melted butter, and garnish with chopped parsley. NB: This is only going to work if your broiler element is at the very top of your oven.
Isn't it 1800 degree broilers???
Anyway, I saw a cooking show about a year ago where the cook pan-seared 1-1/2 inch filets (iron skillet--HOT) in garlic, salt and olive oil and then finished them off for about 5-10 minutes in a 400 degree oven. I haven't tried it, but it looked pretty good.
I think the best part about Ruth's Chris is when you order the porterhouse and they bring it out, they cut it up and "finish" it on your piping hot, butter-coated plate!
I had this, the day after my wedding, with my new husband's family in SF. They are all from New Orleans and grew up going to the original Ruth's. I didn't believe that a chain restaurant could be so great. I'm a convert. My husband and I have talked a few times about trying to recreate the porterhouse at home, but figured it would pale in comparison. Good Luck
You can make steak just about as good as Ruth's Chris at home. As other posters have noted, use a very hot cast iron pan, and a hot oven, and a hot plate with butter.
My additional comments are thus--start off with the best steak you can get and dry age it for 3-7 days in your refrigerator. This month's Fine Cooking magazine has instructions on how to go about dry aging beef at home.
That is all there is to it--good steak, dry aged, well seasoned and cooked very quickly over very high heat with a butter finish.