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Brown Butter Steak Bites
Perfectly seared chunks of steak are finished with a generous coating of nutty brown butter – what’s not to like?
Truly, the only way to describe this dish is decadent. And there’s nothing wrong with that. For every night that you are responsibly munching on your lean protein and broccoli, you totally save up brownie points for luxurious feasting snacks like these brown butter steak bites. The recipe appears pretty simple, but there are a few key points that make the difference between “holy moly this is outrageously good” and “yeah it’s steak and butter, it’s fine”.
Quality ingredients matter.
If you use cheap steak, you’ll have commensurate results. Now, that’s not to say I can’t use a less expensive cut, it just means I’ll try to look for a better quality grade of that cut. So, I used sirloin steak for this recipe (rather than something more pricey like ribeye or tenderloin), but made sure it was Prime grade. I actually like the way sirloin cooks up – it still has quite a bit of chew and “steaky” consistency, which makes it perfect for these brown butter steak bites.
Equally important, since it’s a co-headlining star, is the butter. Choose better butter. You deserve it. Don’t buy the cheap stuff – it’s nearly totally flavorless and actually has a lower fat content than the fancier butters. Ideally, a cultured butter works best because of the added tang, but Kerrygold is readily available in grocery stores and an amazing option.
The rest makes all the difference.
In recipe testing previous steak bite recipes, I was trying to find the magic answer in the cut that I used. I thought that this would have complete control over how tender the final result was. I was mistaken. You see, resting makes such a TREMENDOUS difference in the eating quality and tenderness of the finished dish. It’s the difference between a rubbery nugget of endless chew, and a toothsome delight of beefy flavor. The key to this particular recipe, is that the steak bites are allowed to rest and relax while the butter is browning, which leaves you with a wonderful result.
Decadent Brown Butter Steak Bites
- 1lb sirloin steak, cut into cubes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 3 tablespoons good quality salted butter
- Place a large stainless steel or cast iron pan/skillet over high heat. You can use non stick, but will not get the same sear/crust on the steak. Season steak cubes with the salt and toss to coat on all sides.
- After pan has heated for a few minutes, add the olive oil. If the pan is hot enough it should shimmer across the surface when added.
- Place the steak bites in the pan in a single layer without crowding them. Do not stir or flip them for 3-4 minutes until a crusty sear has developed. Flip pieces over one by one to sear the other side until well browned.
- Remove steak from pan and set aside to rest. Turn flame to medium low and add the water to deglaze the pan. This will lift up all of the delicious fond (better known as brown crispy bits) that developed on the pan's surface, and will make sure they end up in your sauce.
- Once water has evaporated, add butter to the pan. Gently cook and toast the butter for 5-7 minutes until the milk solids start to brown. You should smell a nutty aroma and see flecks of golden brown develop. If the butter starts to smoke, your heat is too high.
- Return the steak pieces to the pan, toss to coat in the butter 1-2 minutes, and serve immediately.
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