For the steaks
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 steaks, at least 1-inch thick (I used NY Strip steaks, any tender steak will do.)

For the herb sauce
1 small shallot, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup Steak Sauce Base
1/4 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh chives, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh parsley, minced
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon, minced
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and ground black pepper

1. For the steaks: Heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Meanwhile, pat steaks dry with paper towels and season both sides with salt and pepper. Lay steaks in pan, leaving 1/4 inch between them. Cook, without moving steaks, until well browned, about 4 minutes. Using tongs, flip steaks and continue to cook until instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 120*F for rare to medium-rare, 3 to 7 minutes. Remove steaks to platter and tent loosely with foil while preparing herb sauce.

2. For the herb sauce: Return now-empty skillet to medium-low heat; add shallot and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add wine and bring to simmer, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Add 1/4 cup Steak Sauce Base, vinegar, and any accumulated juices from steak; return to simmer and cook until slightly reduced, about 1 minute. Off heat, stir in chives, parsley, tarragon, and butter, season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon sauce over steaks and serve immediately. 

Pan-Seared Steaks with Herb Sauce

This recipe is from the Cook's Illustrated 2011 Annual.  We accidentally got some NY Strips in our recent bulk cow pickup – we had wanted the cut whole, not as steaks.  Luckily, we like NY Strips so it’s all good.  It’s rare that I get the chance to cook steaks inside these days, Art usually claims them all for grilling!  But I saw this recipe and decided it would be fun to try and a good way to use up some steaks from the freezer. 

The sauce was deliciously rich and flavorful.  Almost impossibly rich, in fact.  The steaks were cooked perfectly, but I owe that to judicious use of my very awesome instant read thermometer.  Will I ever make the sauce again?  Doubtful.  It took hours and was not worth it.  However, I’d use this method for steaks again with no problems and pair it with another delicious sauce or compound butter. 

Shown here with Spaghetti al Limone.

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