Beef Week Day 2: Pan Seared Chuck-Eye Steak
On the second day of Beef Week MyRecipes gave to me…one of the best kept secrets in the meat department.
Chuck-eye steak, also known among chefs as “the poor man’s ribeye,” is a common and incredibly inexpensive cut of beef easily found at most supermarkets. What most home cooks don’t know is how incredible it can be. Chuck-eye is commonly purchased as a roast—destined to cook for hours in a slow cooker before it will be tender enough to enjoy—however, in steak form, chuck-eye holds the potential to be the kind of divinely succulent beef experience that brings tears (of pleasure) to your eyes.
Related: How to Best Use Cheap Cuts of Beef
It may be the poor man’s ribeye, but chuck-eye is also the smart man’s go-to special occasion play. Meaning, if you’re trying to make a fancy steak dinner—to impress a date, celebrate a friend, or treat your own highly deserving self—but you’re not trying to break the bank with a couple of New York strips or ribeyes, Pan Seared Chuck-Eye Steaks are what’s starring on your menu. You wanna talk numbers? When developing this recipe, we were able to purchase two organic chuck-eye steaks, about 12 ounces each, for less than $8. Repeat: Two honking steaks… for under 8 bucks. Look, when you can buy a soon-to-be meltingly tender, medium-rare slab of organic beef beauty for almost the same amount as you’d pay for a Taco Bell Crunchwrap Supreme, that’s what we call a miracle. Seriously, if you’re ever feeling like the universe is just plain out to get you, go buy yourself some chuck-eye steaks—everything will feel better at check-out.
Now, there are a couple of key’s to unlocking this budget cut’s juicy potential, so be sure not to glaze over them in the recipe. First, understand that this is a dish you need to prepare for, at least one day in advance, because you’re going to generously salt the surface of your steaks and allow them to rest uncovered in the fridge overnight. Doing this draws moisture from the surface of the meat, which is what’s going to allow you to achieve a glorious crispy sear. Next, take a moment to fully accept that basting is essential. This technique is one that’s too often overlooked by home cooks, but it makes all the difference. Continually spooning the rich mixture of your steak’s drippings, melted butter, and aromatics over the beef is essential to yielding a tender, juicy, well-flavored steak. And finally, mentally prepare yourself for the fact that you have to let your steaks rest for a full 5 minutes (this will test the outer boundaries of your self-control, but you can do it) before thinly slicing against the grain.