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Pan-Seared Steaks with Red Wine Sauce

Adam Richman's Grilled Steak
Adam Richman's Grilled SteakNathan Congleton / TODAY

Chef notes

Technique is the secret to perfectly cooked steaks. Season them liberally, let them sear, baste them with butter and let them rest. These easy steps will result in perfectly cooked meat every time. And, you can make a delicious sauce in the same pan while the meat is resting.


  • 2 8- to 10-ounce sirloin steaks, about 3/4- to 1-inch thick
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola oil
  • Olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, roughly smashed
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, cubed
Pan sauce
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup red wine, such as Cabernet or Malbec
  • 1/3 cup beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons butter


For the steak:


Remove steaks from the refrigerator and let rest to come to room temperature. Pat them dry with paper towels.


Season the steaks liberally with kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper on all sides and press into meat. Let seasoned meat rest for approximately 10 to 15 minutes.


Place a skillet (large enough to fit both steaks comfortably) over high heat.


When pan is extremely hot, pour in approximately 2 to 3 tablespoons of canola oil and shake pan to make sure entire bottom of skillet is coated.


When oil begins to smoke slightly, using tongs, carefully lay the steaks into the pan, laying them down away from you (this will avoid oil spatters).


Press down slightly on meat. Let steak sear, without moving it, for roughly 2 minutes until a golden brown crust develops, then drizzle a tablespoon of olive oil into the pan. The crust will form and then detach from the bottom of the pan.


Using tongs, carefully flip steak and let cook for another two minutes. Drizzle another tablespoon of olive oil on and around the meat.


After the crust has formed, set both of the steaks on the fat strip that runs along the side of the sirloin. You can set them side-by-side against the edge of the pan if it has a high enough edge, or hold them on their ends using the tongs. Render off this fat for roughly 60-90 seconds. Tilt the pan towards the steaks so the oil and hot fat will continue to baste and cook the meat. Then set steaks down flat, side by side in pan.


Add the smashed garlic cloves and approximately 1½-2 tablespoons of olive oil. Tilt pan to make sure the oil touches all of the meat. Add rosemary and thyme. You can again add an additional drizzle of olive oil.


Add butter to the pan, a few chunks at a time, placing them on either side of the steaks, above them, between them and below. As the butter begins to melt, bubble and brown, give the pan a swirl, tilting slightly towards you so that all of the melted butter and juice collects towards you in the skillet.


Using a spoon, thoroughly baste the steak with the butter and juices at the bottom of the pan. Carefully flip the steaks and repeat, basting frequently.


While basting, using tongs, periodically brush the steaks with the herbs and garlic from the pan. The steaks can then be basted with the herbs and garlic on top. Flip the steaks and repeat, brushing the surface with garlic and herbs and basting over them (during the basting process, continually check the surface tension of the meat to check the doneness. Use the palm of your hand as a gauge: soft part of the thumb is rare, moving towards the finger is medium-rare and well done is down by your wrist.)


When a crust has formed, and you have a soft texture with a little bit of resistance, ideally medium-rare, turn off the heat, and remove the steaks from the skillet, placing them on a cutting board.


Place fried herbs and garlic on top of steak, drizzle steaks with pan drippings and cover loosely with foil and let rest for 5-10 minutes. (A good estimate for how long to rest your steaks is half the time you spent cooking.)

For the pan sauce:


Using the pan in which the steaks were cooked earlier, pour off all but 2 teaspoons of fat and the flavorful browned bits adhering to the bottom, and place over medium-high heat.


Using a wooden spatula, scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and, stirring constantly, add finely chopped shallots and garlic.


Add 1 cup of red wine and keep stirring and reducing the sauce.


Continuing to stir, add beef stock (you can also use a quarter cup of beef stock and add whatever reserved steak juices you have).


Add the butter, reduce heat to medium and keep stirring so the butter does not break.

To serve:

Slice the steaks against the grain and serve with pan sauce drizzled over the meat or on the side.