Steak, cooked the CORRECT way!
Yes friends, yet another one of my "how to fuckin' cook" instructional threads.
In an effort to counteract the damages caused by recent threads alleging that they contain the proper methods of cooking a steak (HAY GUYS COAT YOUR FROZEN STEAK IN RANCH DRESSING AND MUSTARD AND THROW IT ON YOUR FOREMAN GRILL!), I went to the store and bought a steak to educate the masses on the right way to cook a steak. If you've been told a different way to do it, you've been misinformed.
To cook a steak properly, you don't need much. Gather together some extra virgin olive oil, fresh-ground black pepper, sea salt, and a steak. The hardware for this exercise consists of an oven, a well-seasoned cast-iron pan and a pair of tongs.
Just as you're about to get started, turn on your oven. Set it to about 450 degrees. (It's handy to have an in-oven thermometer if your oven is like mine, and doesn't have any way of telling you when it hits temp.)
At around this same time, you'll want to put your cast-iron pan on a burner and get it really hot. Let it heat up during steak preparation.
Put your raw steak on a plate, grab a spoon, and pour a good size dollop of olive oil on top of the steak. Use the bottom of the spoon to rub the oil around the surface of the steak, coating the majority of its surface. Once you've coated it evenly and thoroughly, cover the top with a nice layer freshly crushed black pepper on top (or use a peppermill like I do), and a sprinkling of sea salt. Then grab your tongs, flip the steak over, and do the other side.
Once you're done, your pan should be nice and hot, so toss that sucker into the pan and sear it for 40-50 seconds on each side.
Once you've finished searing the steak, grab an oven mitt and take the whole shebang, pan and all and put it into your oven, which should have heated to around 450 degrees by now. Since medium-rare is how steak should be cooked, you'll want to let it sit in the oven for two and a half to three minutes on each side. This means that 2.5 to 3 minutes after you stick the pan in the oven, take it out, use the tongs to flip the steak, then put it back in for another 2.5 to 3 minutes.
While the steak is in the oven, this makes a perfect time to prepare your side dish(es). Personally, I like to steam asparagus. I take out my asparagus steamer, pour in about an inch of water, sprinkle some garlic salt into the water, and put in the asparagus. Once it's cooked, I take them out and lay them flat on a plate. Then I score their surface lightly with a steak knife, and drizzle them with lemon juice.
Once your desired steak cooking time has elapsed, take the pan out of the oven. It is important to let the steak "rest" for a few minutes after cooking so that it can reabsorb its juices. Use this time to get your plate ready, finish side-dish preparation, whatever.
Pour yourself a glass of red wine (I had iced tea because I had to drive after dinner), set out your food, and enjoy.