BASIC SAUTEED BEEFSTEAKS (for six)
2 tablespoons or so butter
2 tablespoons or so olive oil
6 beefsteaks 1 inch thick, top loin suggested but any other steak will do, prepared as described
salt and freshly ground black pepper
deglazing sauce (recipe follows) or maitre d’hotel butter for serving
1. Film 2 frying pans with 1/16 inch butter and oil, then set over high heat, swirling the pan to distribute the butter over the surface until its foam begins to subside. Lay in the steaks, which should fit in 1 layer with ¼ to ½ inch between each. Saute 1-1/2 minutes, turn and saute 1-1/2 minutes on the other side.
2. Test for doneness by pressing the steak with your finger. They are red rare (saignant) when barely springy to the touch, in contrast to their squashy, raw state. They are medium area (a point) just a few seconds later when a pearling of red juice just begins to appear on the surface. Season lightly with salt and pepper and remove immediately to warmed plates or a platter.
3. Either deglaze the saute juices and pour over the steaks, make the following quick and classic deglazing sauce, or add a pat of maître d’hotel butter to each steak and serve.
DEGLAZING SAUCE WITH RED OR WHITE WINE (enough for six steaks)
2 tablespoons minced shallot or scallions
1 cup dry white wine, French vermouth or red wine
¼ cup beef or chicken stock (optional)
2 to 3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons minced parsley (optional)
1. After removing the sauteed meat from the pan, pour out most of the saute fat, leaving a good teaspoon for flavor. Turn the minced shallots or scallions into the pan and stir over modeate heat for a moment. Then pour in the wine and optional stock and scrape about to loosen coagulated saute juice. Boil down over high heat for a minute or so, until the liquid is almost syrupy.
2. Remove from the heat and add a tablespoon of butter,swirling the pan until it melts. Add a second tablespoon of butter, allow it to melt, then sprinkle in the optional parsley anad pour over the steaks.
from Julia Child, The Way to Cook