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"Roast Beef, Medium, is not only a food. It is a philosophy. Seated at Life's Dining Table, with the menu of Morals before you, your eye wanders a bit over the entrées, the hors d'oeuvres, and the things à la, though you know that Roast Beef, Medium, is safe and sane, and sure."

Edna Ferber (1887-1968), U.S. author. Roast Beef, Medium, Foreword (1911)

I saw this recipe on America's Test Kitchen and adapted it for my convection toaster oven. This method of preparing steak is a viable alternative to the standard grilling method. It mimics dry-aged beef due to the fact it is first cooked at a very low heat. This causes changes to the collagen and muscle fibers in the meat to increase tenderness and flavor. Fattier cuts of beef, like rib eye and NY Strip are preferred for this method. Less fatty meats like Filet Mignon do not fare as well, as they have less collagen.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes    Serving Size: 2

  • (2) 1 1/2-inch thick rib eye or NY Strip steaks
  • kosher salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoon cold, unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
Bistro  Steak
Click on picture for more images.

Rinse steaks and pat completely dry with paper towels. Liberally season both sides of the steaks with kosher salt and large-sized fresh cracked black pepper. Although I use my convection toaster oven, below I show temperatures for both a traditional oven and a convection toaster oven.

For both methods, place the steaks on the rack of a shallow two-tiered roasting pan to allow air flow around the steaks. Place an oven proof thermometer in the center of the thickest steak. When using a convection toaster oven, set the temperature to 160°. For a traditional oven, set the temperature to 275°. Cook undisturbed until the inner temperature reaches 95° for rare, 20-25 minutes or, 100° for medium rare, 25 to 30 minutes. Do not even try this if you eat your steaks well-done (which ought to be crime in my own opinion).

Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large pan over high heat until smoking. Carefully place steaks in the pan and sear until well browned and a crust is formed, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. If the fond (brown bits in the bottom of the pan) starts to burn, reduce the heat. Turn steaks over and sear again for about 1 minute. Reduce the heat in the pan and carefully brown all other sides of the steaks, about 30-45 seconds each side. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes while preparing the sauce.

Mushroom-Wine Sauce

Pour off remaining fat from the steaks. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium heat and add mushrooms. Cook until liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add shallot and cook until softened, about 1 minute. Increase heat, add wine and chicken broth and scrape up the fond. Simmer rapidly to reduce to 1 cup, about 6 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar, mustard and juices from the resting steaks. Thicken for 1 more minute. Remove from heat and stir in butter, 1 piece at a time (mounting the sauce). Stir in the fresh thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over the steaks.