Cooking steaks on the stove

Q. Is there an alternative method for cooking steaks on the stove?

Two methods for cooking steaks on the stove include pan frying (dry method) and braising (moist method)

Pan frying is cooking steaks on the stove in a skillet or fry pan containing a small amount of fat or oil. Place fry pan over medium-high heat and add about two tablespoons of fat or oil. When bubbling starts, add steak, and brown quickly on both sides. Reduce heat and cook uncovered until desired doneness is attained. This method for cooking steaks on  the stove is especially suitable for steaks low in natural fat, for less tender cuts, and for thin steaks that have been made tender by pounding, cubing, scoring, or frenching, or when breaded or floured. In general these steaks are cooked “well-done”.

Braising is a moist heat method for cooking steaks on the stove, used for less tender cuts of steak in which a small amount of liquid is added to complete the cooking after the steak has been browned in its own fat. Place the steak in a hot skillet and brown slowly on both sides. If the steak is especially lean, a little fat or oil may be added. Season the browned steak (some recipes call for rolling it in flour), add ¼ to 1/3 cup of liquid, cover tightly to retain steam, and cook slowly until tender. Liquids used in braising steak may be water, tomato juice, meat stock, diluted vinegar, cider, grape juice or wine, cream or sour cream. Acidic liquids such as wines, vinegar, and fruit juices have a tenderizing effect by breaking down connective tissue. Braising requires more cooking time than broiling, which is why this method is used for the less tender cuts. Since some of the steak flavor is lost to the Liquid in braising, she liquid should be retained and used as gravy. It may be thickened with flour and water (or milk or cream or stock) if desired.

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