Okay I was looking for a new way to prepare steak other than grilling, pan frying, smoking or broiling. Now I love all of those methods but I really wanted to try something different. I know one of the big trends is Sous Vide but as of today I have not purchased my sous vide cooker so that method was out for the time being. I even thought about breaking out my Cuisinart Griddler and using the griddle plates as a flat top and going with the Japanese Teppanyaki style, but we had recently done stir fry and even though they are different styles they do almost share a similar palate.
I finally settled on steak confit (kon-fee), as you could tell by the title of this post. so what the heck is confit? Confit is actually a way of cooking and preserving foods in a liquid that is not conducive to bacteria growth. For meats and veggies that would be fat and fruits would be a sugar syrup. However for the most basic of definitions confit has, for most , come to refer to meats cooked in their own fat, of course the best known would be duck confit.
I had some wonderfully marbled rib eyes, yeah I know what are the odds I would have rib eyes, so I started off by laying them on the cutting board and pat dry with a paper towel.
I then took my very sharp utility knife, I emphasize sharp because a sharp knife is a safe knife, and carefully remove the majority of the fat from the steaks.
Next I like to tie and season the steaks into uniform rounds of beef
I like to season the steaks with coarse grain salt and fresh ground pepper. You could add other seasoning to suit your taste, I prefer to add the other seasonings in a compound butter instead of during the cooking but that should be your call.
Let your steak sit with the salt and pepper on it while you get the fat rendered. Now all I used was the fat I trimmed from the rib eye but depending on the cut you use you may need extra fat you could use oil or butter but to keep with the idea of cooking in its own fat I would recommend beef tallow. Add the beef fat to a large cast iron skillet over medium low heat and let it render completely. Add the steaks to the rendered fat and let it slowly cook over low to medium low for about 20 minutes for a medium rare.
Occasionally during the 20 minutes I like to spoon some of the fat overtop of the steaks. and then after the 20 minutes remove the steaks from the fat and in a smoking hot skillet quickly sear the top and bottom of the steak. The result is a steak that will melt in your mouth and rival any steakhouse.