From (oh crap, they’re still!) Frozen to Awesome in 30 Minutes


For months, my dad has been telling me that he has a new, improved method for cooking steak that involves cooking it without thawing it. I was skeptical; a botched dinner in our house ends in a minimum of three tantrums. (One guess: who whines the loudest when food is with held? Hint: it isn’t the toddler.)

Last Thursday morning, I realized that I had forgotten to thaw the roast chicken the night before. There was no way I was going to have it ready in time for dinner.


So,  that night, I pawed through the freezer, hoping to stumble upon a meal that I could throw together in time. I searched in vain for a forgotten frozen casserole or frozen meal. I discovered some frozen corn, strawberries, coffee, frozen yogurt, a lone Boca burger and some steak.

Even an expert at last minute dinners would have frowned over this limited selection.

I knew I had no choice but to try my dad’s recipe for cooking frozen steak.

I took a refresher course by reviewing the recipe at Cook’s Illustrated.

I heated a thin layer of olive oil in the pan, and preheated the oven to 200 degrees. I coated the steaks in sea salt, garlic and onion salt. Then, I seared the steaks in the pan.

The wine was used only for pairing purposes.
Ok… I used two pans. I was in a rush.

After I got to the end of the steaks, I realized that they needed another minute to really brown, so I did another 2 minutes per steak. Cook’s Illustrated assures me that this is because I didn’t wrap them in parchment before I froze them.

So, on my second attempt at the recipe, I asked the meat guy at Stop & Shop to wrap them in parchment for me. (I’m not going to use the word butcher to describe this man,  because he lacked the finesse and expertise that I associate with that word. )This series of events reminded me (again) that I need to change grocery stores. 

The meat guy didn’t even pretend to hide his disdain. He rolled his eyes, grimaced, and proceeded to spend the entire time he was working on my order grumbling that the women in town kept reading these things online and coming in with these ridiculous ideas. This guy wasn’t mincing words; as he handed me my parchment wrapped steaks he frowned and told me that I didn’t know what I was doing.

Ha! Joke is on you, meat guy. They came out PERFECTLY when wrapped in paper before being frozen.

See! Perfect!

I cooked them for 45 minutes in the oven- they were a medium rare; they were juicy, flavorful and tender. The best steaks I’ve ever made.

Dad was right. Again.



5 thoughts on “From (oh crap, they’re still!) Frozen to Awesome in 30 Minutes

  1. That looks DELICIOUS!

    I’m a big believer in America’s Test Kitchen (and Cook’s Illustrated). Some of my best recipes have come from them. They’re based pretty close to you, aren’t they?


    1. America’s Test Kitchen is a short 30 minutes away! I’ve never checked out the facility, but our local pbs station is fantastic. I have a vivid memory of Marc Brown speaking at our local library about his decision to use WGBH to help him transform Arthur into a television series.


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