Pan-fried steaks are served over a light arugula salad and topped with a sauce made of cherry tomatoes, garlic, white wine and cambozola cheese.
To prepare the steaks, first pat them dry and trim off any excess fat or gristle. Let the steaks sit at room temperature for about an hour before cooking.
To prepare your mise en place, first mince the garlic. Roll the lemon to soften it and slice it in half. Next, slice the cheese into thin slices and cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. Roughly chop the parsley and set everything aside.
Wash and spin dry the arugula and place into a bowl. Gather the balsamic vinegar and olive oil for the dressing and set aside. The salad will be tossed just prior to serving the steak.
To cook the dish, preheat a large, stainless-steel pan over medium to medium-high heat. While the pan is heating, liberally season the steaks on all sides with salt and pepper. Once the pan is hot, add the oil, followed by the steaks. After about a minute and a half, turn the steaks over. Turn the heat to medium-low, to avoid burning the bits on the bottom of the pan, as these bits will be used later to make the sauce.
Continue to cook, turning the steaks every couple of minutes until done. Each time you turn the steaks, make sure you place them in the same spot, so the bits underneath don’t burn. Continue flipping the steaks for about 5 to 10 minutes. The time will depend on the thickness of your steaks and how you like them cooked.
When the steaks are done to your liking, transfer to a cooling rack. Place over a plate to capture any juices. Cover loosely with vented foil.
Before starting the sauce, make sure the bits on the bottom of the pan are not burnt. They should be a nice, dark-golden color.
Drain any excess fat, if needed, and turn the heat to medium. Add the tomatoes and let cook for about 30 seconds. Deglaze with the wine, scraping any bits off the bottom. Let the wine reduce, until it is a bit syrupy.
Then add the garlic and stir to combine. Once the tomatoes have softened and just start to break down, season with a bit of salt and pepper. At this point, turn off the heat and bring the tomatoes and sauce together in the center. Cover with the cheese and let the residual heat from the pan soften and slightly melt it. Finish the sauce by sprinkling the parsley and olive oil over top.
While the steaks are resting, turn them over to keep the heat and the juices flowing towards the middle.
While the cheese is melting, add the olive oil (1 tbsp) and balsamic vinegar (3 tbsp) to the arugula. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and gently toss to coat.
Just before serving, squeeze some lemon juice over the sauce. Place a bit of the salad onto a plate and top with one of the steaks. Spoon a few tablespoons of the sauce over the each steak and serve.
If you happen to burn the bits on the bottom of the pan, use a clean pan to make the sauce. Although you’ll lose a lot of flavor, you’ll avoid any bitterness.
By continually turning the steaks, this technique keeps the meat moist. The juices keep flowing back towards the center of the meat, as opposed to running out.
For extra flavor, you can add the juices that drained during resting period to the sauce.