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Easy Steak Dinner with Potatoes
Credit: Sara Tane

I don’t have a significant other, but if i did, I would cook them this for every special occasion under the sun. In the meantime, I guess this means I get double servings. Being single is awesome. But I digress, back to the meat. I mean look at that plate—it’s a work of art! And the best part? It comes together in less than 45 minutes and the only equipment you’ll need is a cast-iron skillet, a food processor, and some tongs (bonus points if you have a meat thermometer). Taking the leap of faith and committing to a steak dinner can seem risky and feel intimidating, however this simple plate of steak and potatoes is nothing to fear. If effortlessly pulling off a restaurant-quality, picture-worthy dinner is something you’re into (um, it definitely should be), here’s how it’s done.

Before we begin, let’s discuss the steak. First of all, don’t freak out. You don’t have to be best buddies with your local butcher to have this situation under control (although I’m sure they’re very nice, so why not spark up a convo?!). For a special occasion, maybe go on and treat yo’ self to a New York strip or a ribeye—they’re irresistibly rich and tender, so this will be a decision you’re unlikely to regret. Sure, they’re a bit more expensive than a flank steak, but the investment is going to pay off because they require almost little to no TLC. If you’re looking for some more budget-friendly options, there’s plenty to choose from, but we’re going all-out for this stunner.

Okay, this is how your jaw-dropping dinner is going to come together. Start with the potatoes—they require the longest cook time, so we want to get those going ASAP. In a medium cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat, warm up about 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil. Cut Yukon gold potatoes into ½-inch thick wedges. Remember, the bigger you cut the potatoes, the longer it will take them to cook. Not to mention, with less surface area, you won’t get as many crispy edges in return, so cut accordingly.

Dump the potatoes into the skillet, making sure that they’re all laying cut-side down, and let them cook for 7-8 minutes without moving them. Use your tongs to peak at the bottom to see if they’re golden brown and crispy. Once they are, shuffle the quarters around so another cut side is in contact with the pan. Keep repeating until all sides look tanned and crackly. As the sides are cooking, sprinkle the potatoes with a generous pinch of kosher salt, and toss a couple sprigs of fresh thyme or fresh oregano into the pan for herbaceous flavor. Once all the sides are browned, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover the pan, and let them gently steam so that the inside of the potatoes cook (about 5-7 minutes). Once the ‘taters are fork tender (give one a try, but blow on it first!), remove them from the pan and discard any herb sprigs.

While you’re patiently waiting for your potatoes to achieve that crunchy exterior and smooth-as-butter interior, you’ll have some downtime to quickly throw together a chimichurri. Throw whatever fresh herbs you have (cilantro, parsley, and oregano are all great options), a shallot, a couple cloves of garlic, a squeeze of fresh citrus, a drizzle of red wine or sherry vinegar, and a generous glug of extra-virgin olive oil into a food processor. Pulse until all the herbs are finely chopped. Season it with salt and pepper to you liking. BOOM, that was insanely easy.

Now, back to the skillet. Once you’ve got all the potatoes on a separate plate off to the side and your pan is still on high heat, add some more olive oil to your cast-iron. Next, use your tongs to gently lay your steak on the hot oil. Get ready for the most satisfying sizzle of your life. Let the steak cook untouched for about 4-5 minutes until there’s a nice sear on the pan-side cut. While it cooks, swirl a few tablespoons of butter in the pan until melted. Gently tilt your pan to the side and use a spoon to baste some of that butter on top of the steak. Keep flipping your steak, giving it about 4 minutes on each side until an internal thermometer reads 120° (this is medium-rare). Remove the steak from the pan and let it sit on your cutting board for at least 5 minutes. While the steak rests, toss your potatoes back into the cast-iron to warm them back up while also allowing them to absorb that remaining, flavor-packed buttery steak jus in the pan.

Now that the potatoes are warmed and the steak is ready to be cut (against the grain, of course!), plate your masterpiece on the cutest ceramic tableware you’ve got, nestling the slices of steak side-by-side with your crispy potatoes. Give the whole presentation a generous spoon of your fresh chimichurri sauce, and serve it immediately (whether it’s for one person or two…). You just made the glossiest, most impressive steak dinner, and it’s only right that you sit down and enjoy every last bite.

By Sara Tane and Sara Tane