Put aside your chef’s knives and fancy sous vide — we’re here today to introduce you to your new favorite home cooking technique: the reverse sear. Learning to cook steak this way will forever change the way you cook fattier cuts of beef. By baking your steaks first, and searing them later, the fat breaks down more easily, allowing the meat to slice like butter. Plus, it helps to prevent over-cooking, as the sear is just a final touch to the outside. Reverse searing is the easiest and most foolproof way to get steakhouse-quality meat at home.
But a steak dinner is nothing without an incredible potato side dish, like these cacio e pepe smashed potatoes. Here we’ve embraced the best parts of the iconic Italian pasta dish — freshly ground black pepper and nutty Parmesan cheese — and tossed them with potatoes that are boiled, smashed and cooked until their skin is golden and crispy.
Special Equipment Required: For the best results, use a rimmed baking sheet lined with a wire-rack for reverse searing. It’s possible to achieve the same outcome without it, but having one helps to ensure even cooking.
Technique Tip: Rubbing the steak in oil — rather than adding oil to the pan before searing — will help prevent oil from splattering all over your stovetop and in your oven.
Swap Option: Feel free to use ghee instead of butter and pecorino cheese instead of Parmesan. Pecorino is saltier than Parmesan, so you may want to adjust the salt content accordingly.
Remove the steak from the refrigerator up to 1 hour before cooking. Pat the steak dry and season the entire surface of the steak with kosher salt. Preheat the oven to 300 F.2.
Cook the steak on a wire rack-lined baking sheet until the internal temperature reaches 120 for medium-rare or 125 for medium and the exterior is darkened, 25 to 30 minutes.3.
Meanwhile, place the potatoes in a large pot and add enough cold water to cover by 2 inches. Season the water with 1/4 cup kosher salt. Bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, continue to cook the potatoes until a paring knife easily pierces the potatoes and the insides are creamy, 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and transfer to a rimmed baking sheet to cool slightly.4.
Remove the steak from the oven and let sit on a wire rack until you are ready to sear. Increase the oven temperature to 500 F.5.
Drizzle the potatoes with ¼ cup oil and season with kosher salt. Toss to coat. Using the bottom of a mason jar or glass, push down gently to smash the potatoes. Drizzle the tops of the potatoes with ¼ cup more oil and season with freshly ground black pepper. Roast the potatoes on the bottom rack of the oven for 10 minutes, remove from the oven, flip, top with ½ cup parmesan cheese and more freshly ground black pepper and place back into the oven for 10 minutes more.6.
While the potatoes finish roasting, sear the steaks. Rub steak with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil on both sides. Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. As soon as the skillet starts to smoke, add the steak and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, flip and cook for 1 more minute. Turn off the heat and add butter. Tilt the pan towards you so the butter pools at the bottom of the pan, and using a spoon, baste the steaks in melted butter for 1 minute.7.
Remove from heat, slice immediately, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and serve with crispy smashed potatoes.