Searing is one of the simplest and easiest ways to cook steaks, chicken and chops, and you can do it right on your stovetop. This dry-heat, high-temperature cooking method allows foods to develop a crisp, golden brown crust on the surface, while remaining juicy and flavorful on the inside. The secret? Cooking with a little bit of oil, and allowing foods to brown completely on one side before turning.
Searing also produces fond, the richly flavored bits of caramelized food and juices that stick to the bottom of the pan. Fond can be used to make a delicious pan sauce – or jus – by adding wine or stock. We’ll show you just how easy it is.
Steak with Pan Jus:
Step 1: Assemble your ingredients. For best results, steaks should be cut to a consistent thickness and warmed to room temperature.
Step 2: Choose the right piece of cookware. We recommend using a stainless steel pan large enough to hold steaks without crowding, such as the Calphalon AccuCore Stainless Steel 8" Omelette Pan. The Calphalon Unison 3 qt. Sauté Pan with Sear Nonstick is a great choice, too.
Step 3: Add a small amount of oil to the pan, and heat on medium-high until oil begins to shimmer.
Step 4: Add steaks to preheated pan. Cook the first side until a beautiful golden brown sear has developed (approx. 3 minutes for 1½" steak, or until done) then turn and cook the other side for the same amount of time. The steaks should easily release from the pan surface when fully seared. To get the most flavorful sear, avoid moving the steaks in the pan before turning. Thicker steaks can also be finished in a 400°F oven.
Step 5: After steaks are cooked, remove to a serving platter and allow to rest for 5 to 7 minutes (this will allow steaks to re-absorb juices for optimum flavor). Keep fond in pan while draining excess fat or oil, then return pan to stovetop.
Step 6: To prepare the jus, add chopped shallots or onions if desired, then deglaze the pan by pouring stock, wine or other cooking liquid into the hot pan. Use a spatula or spoon to stir the liquid and loosen and dissolve fond from the bottom of the pan. Juice from the platter with resting steaks can also be added to enhance flavor.
Step 7: Continue stirring over heat, allowing the liquid to thicken and begin to evaporate. Reduce the liquid until jus reaches the desired consistency, and then remove from heat.
Step 8: For even richer flavor, finish the jus by turning the heat off then whisking in a small amount of cold butter.
Step 9: Spoon jus over steaks just prior to serving. Garnish as desired.