Pan Seared Steak (an easy Valentine’s Dinner at home)

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Herbed Seared Sirloin
Seared steak with crab cake, mashed potatoes, asparagus, & cream sauce (see recipe below for sauce.)

I’ve heard that many people think the only good way to make a steak is on the grill, and as someone who only had an apartment for years, I’m telling you, pan-seared steak is amazing. First step is making sure you pick up a quality steak, but it’s whatever you enjoy: filet, sirloin, t-bone, etc. Try to choose a steak that about 1.5 inches thick for maximum juiciness. You’ll also ideally want a good cast iron pan as it heats evenly and is oven safe.

Another key to making a great steak is making sure you get a nice, dry, salted crusted on your steaks. It’s always recommended to use a cast-iron pan for even cooking, but you can really use what you have.

Add some chocolate covered strawberries too!

There are a lot of options you can use below to make this dinner amazing, or pick and choose a few of your favorite things: cream sauce, cooking seafood to make it a surf & turf, roasted asparagus, and/or making mashed potatoes.

While planning the menu, I reached out to fellow Charlotte Food blogger Bree at The Modifica. She recommended the following wines to pair with this menu:

Everyone knows steak loves Cabernet – this is a match made in heaven! The fat in the steak pairs so nicely with the structured tannins in a Cabernet Sauvignon, and this bottle by Chateau Ste. Michelle is a classic. This is a big, traditional-style California wine with a long finish, and pairs well with lovely with beef and other meats, as well as other rich foods like mushrooms and cheese.

$11.97 and available at Total Wine Myers Park

Chardonnay is a fuller-bodied white varietal, which will be needed to stand up to the steak and will pair well with the crab cake side on this dish. This particular chardonnay is one of the most popular around – it has a buttery-oak nuance that balances well with the fruit in the wine. It is consistently rated well each vintage.

$10.47 and available at Total Wine or other places

Make this as simple or as complex as you need, but just make it with love!

Steak Ingredients:
2, 1-2 inch thick steaks, (I like a good sirloin personally)
1 tbsp salt
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil

Herbed Butter Ingredients:
2 tbsp fresh herb springs: thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc.
1-2 cloves of garlic
1/2 stick butter, salted

Asparagus Ingredients:
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Dry, salted sirloin

Before cooking, dry off steak with paper towels. Season steak well with salt on both sides. (You can add pepper if you want too.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

To make butter (which you can do ahead of time,) see this recipe: Cowboy Butter . However, it’s so fast you can make it while the steak sears. In a food processor, chop garlic. Add salted butter and pulse until blended well.

Heat large skillet over high heat. Add 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil to coat the bottom. Heat until just when the oil starts to smoke. Add steaks to the pan (1-2 only – don’t crowd the pan.)

Depending on the thickness of the steak, cook for about 3 minutes on the first side. Flip over and top with herbed patties.

Place in hot oven with a meat thermometer. Depending on the temperature you want, cook to 120 degrees medium-rare, or 130 for medium. (It will only take a couple of minutes.) Allow to rest 5-10 minutes on the cutting board.

While resting – Optional additions to your steak:

To make this dinner surf and turf, two great options:
1) Add store-made crab cakes to pan, or bake or saute crab cake Directions to cook Crab Cake
2) Adding oil to the pan, season shrimp with old bay, and toss until cooked, about 3 minutes.

To Roast Asparagus: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread asparagus on a baking sheet with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast for 15-25 minutes, depending on thickness, tossing halfway. (I did try mine in the air fryer, and this also worked great!)

Cream Sauce: In a medium sauce pan, heat heavy cream and lightly boil until it is half its original volume, being careful not to burn it. Stir in Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

For Mashed Potatoes, feel free to use store bought ones in the refrigerated section, or here is a recipe of mine that my family loved: Boursin Mashed Potatoes.

NOW! Back to the main star of the show, and the best part for last:

To plate the steak, slice it against the grain. Plate up with toppings of your choice – extra herbs, cream sauce, crab cakes, etc!

Enjoy this steak, (and your Valentine’s Day.)

4 Replies to “Pan Seared Steak (an easy Valentine’s Dinner at home)”

  1. Thank you for helping me with cooking steak in doors! I keep my house pretty cool, so my question is how do you keep the steak warm while it’s “resting”?


    1. It will stay warm since it continues to cook once you remove it from the oven. If you are afraid it’s cooling off too much, you can make a tin foil “tent” for the top of it, or only have it rest for 5 or so minutes. (I prefer 10 minutes resting.)


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