Who says pumpkin spice is just for desserts? Steak wants in on the pie-spiced action! Pumpkin spice has become synonymous with fall, making its appearance in everything from lattes to desserts. But what if I told you that you could take this beloved flavor and elevate it to a whole new level by using it on a steak? That's right, "Pumpkin Spice Steak" may sound unconventional, but it's a culinary adventure worth embarking on.
Pumpkin Spice Steak is a unique and delightful dish that combines the warmth of fall spices with the richness of a perfectly cooked steak. In this recipe, you'll be using a reverse-sear technique known as "The Alton Method, which involves a sort of quick dry-aging of the meat before cooking it for about an hour at a low oven temp, finishing with a brush of olive oil, and a quick sear in a screaming hot cast iron skillet.
PREP TIME (5 minutes)
REST TIME (8-24 hours in the fridge; 10 minutes between oven and stove; 5-10 min after searing)
COOK TIME (about 1 hour oven <2 min stove)
TOTAL TIME (2 hours, 5 minutes)
Yield: 1 steak
Special Tools Needed: rimmed baking sheet fit with a wire cooling rack, pastry brush, cast-iron skillet
Any Cut Will Do
While ribeye steak, with its rich marbling, complements the spices beautifully, this recipe can work with any cut of steak. You can even opt for grass-fed steaks if you're looking for quality without breaking the bank. Be flexible and choose the cut that suits your taste and budget. Thicker steaks benefit from the oven's gentle heat, allowing the meat to cook more evenly. Thinner cuts require less time in the oven, but they must be seared in a super-hot cast-iron skillet to achieve a beautiful crust quickly.
Meat Thermometer: Necessary or Optional?
The use of a meat thermometer is a personal choice. If you prefer your steak cooked to a precise level of doneness, especially for thicker cuts, a probe-type thermometer with an external alarm can be useful. Aim for an internal temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit for a perfect medium-rare. However, for thinner steaks, you can do without it, as the reverse-sear method is forgiving and yields consistently moist and juicy results.
Is It Worth the Time?
The process of preparing a pumpkin spice steak takes about a day, but it's surprisingly manageable. The active preparation time is around 5 minutes, followed by an hour in the oven, a quick sear, and a 10-minute rest before slicing. This method offers a chill, hassle-free approach that allows you to prepare other components of your meal while the steak is in the oven.
2 kosher salt
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
¼ tsp cayenne
Several cranks black pepper, optional
1 steak (preferred Fresh Farms Gourmet ribeye or strip), about 1 ½ inch thick
2 tsp olive oil, not extra virgin
Prep the spices: in a cup or small bowl, mix together the salt, pumpkin pie spice, cayenne, and black pepper (if using).
Prep the steak: set a wire cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Place the steak on the rack, and thoroughly coat the entire steak with the spices, using the entire mixture. Place this entire setup, uncovered, in the fridge for at least 8 hours, preferably 24.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Place the steak setup in the oven and cook for one hour or until the internal temperature of the meat is 120.
Allow the steak to rest at least 10 minutes, while you heat your skillet.
Heat a cast-iron skillet over med-high or higher heat till extremely hot, at least 10 minutes. A drop of water dripped into the pan should immediately skip and sizzle.
Use a pastry brush to brush one tsp olive oil over each side of the steak, and place the steak in the screaming hot skillet. Cook about 45-55 seconds on each side, pressing lightly on the steak with a spatula just to ensure as much of the surface area makes contact with the skillet as possible. Let rest about 5-10 minutes before slicing, Yum!!