Beef is so delicious and easy to work with, and if you have the proper cut and a few good steak recipes, it doesn’t have to break the bank.
Steak has a reputation for being expensive and decadent. Don’t get me wrong, in the right hands, it very much is.
Of course, for a simple pan-seared steak, you’ll want to spend the extra money on, say, a rib-eye. It’s worth every penny for that extra marbling and flavor.
Aside from that, skirt steak is very reasonable, as it chuck.
With these cheaper cuts, you can enjoy everything from rich beef stew to tacos and carne asada.
30+ Easy Weeknight Steak Dinners
I think people shy away from making steak at home because they think there’s some kind of chef magic going on.
Wanna know a secret? Steak is crazy easy to cook! You’ll just need to know a few basic rules.
First, you’ll need a decent steak, like ribeye or sirloin. It also needs to be pretty thick and at room temperature before you start cooking.
Next, pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season liberally with salt and pepper. Sea salt works best for this.
Finally, cook your steak in a lightly oiled, smoking hot pan for just a few minutes on either side.
Once the steak hits the heat, don’t move it. That’s how you’ll get that fantastic crust.
After around six to eight minutes in the pan (depending on the thickness of the meat), remove the steak and leave it to rest for the same amount of time.
Swiss steak takes a relatively cheap cut and cooks it in a rich tomato sauce until it’s tender and falling apart.
Since round or chuck steak is less expensive, you’ll want to tenderize it before adding it to the pot.
Dredge the meat in a seasoned flour mix before searing. This adds texture and flavor to the meat and helps the sauce to thicken.
Unlike sirloin, which is best seasoned with nothing more than sea salt and pepper, flank steak is kind of tough and requires a marinade.
In this case, it’s a yummy blend of olive oil, garlic, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, honey, and black pepper.
The vinegar will work on the meat, breaking down the proteins, so this turns out wonderfully soft.
A sous vide is a simple water-based cooking method many chefs use due to its gentle cooking.
The machine heats the water to a set temperature, and then any food submerged cooks slowly and very precisely.
The food is sealed in an airtight plastic bag, usually with seasonings, and it’s a terrific way to ensure consistency.
Once the steak is cooked to perfection, you’ll just need to finish it in a searing hot pan.
As the name suggests, beef tenderloin is a super soft cut of meat.
Though it doesn’t have a ton of marbling, it’s what they make filet mignon steaks out of.
If you’ve ever had filet mignon, you’ll know it’s beyond delicious and kind of expensive. So it won’t come as a surprise to hear a whole piece of it is, too.
But don’t worry, it’s easy to make at home! Plus, it’s cheaper to buy the whole piece and cut your own portions.
Just cut the loin into steaks, making them pretty thick. Then, season and cook in the same way mentioned right at the top.
Or, if you’ve cut them extra thick, start by searing them on the stove and then finish in the oven.
Cast iron works best for this, so you can transfer the whole pan.
Although I’ve never been a huge fan, I know steak Diane has a cult following, so I had to include it.
I find that the sauce distracts from the steak, but I can’t deny it’s delicious. I like it on the side to enjoy with the potatoes and veggies.
It starts with mushrooms, of course, which you’ll cook until the excess liquid has evaporated. Then, you’ll add garlic and onion and a glug of cognac.
Finally, stir in beef broth, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and heavy cream.
Filet mignon is, more often than not, very thick.
Since it’s smaller around, it’s served in a cut that’s anywhere between one and a half and two inches thick.
So, if you try to cook that on high heat, the top and bottom will start to overcook before the middle reaches the desired doneness.
Instead, it needs to spend some time in a hot oven to help it along. I find four to 5 minutes is the sweet spot.
If you want to talk about kitchen magic, we need to discuss the Instant Pot.
I still don’t understand how this thing can cook steak and potatoes at the same time!
For this recipe, you’ll do just that. The steak goes in first with sliced onion and a quick marinade. The potatoes sit right on top.
Somehow, the steak comes out tender, and the potatoes are cooked to perfection.
My only issue with this is that the steak doesn’t have a crust. However, you could finish it on the stove if you want.
Chuck is much cheaper than ribeye or sirloin, but it’s also a little tough. But in the pressure cooker, all that changes.
All it needs is a little broth and around 15-20 minutes under pressure to become melt-in-your-mouth amazing.
Steak tips are usually leftover cuts after the cow has been broken down into neat and tidy pieces.
There’s nothing wrong with them, and they’re a great way to eat steak without the hefty price tag.
Of course, they’re also very lean, which can mean they come out dry. So with that in mind, be sure they don’t spend too long on the heat.
Surf and turf is one of those restaurant-quality meals you should learn to make.
Imagine the wide eyes of your next dinner guests when you bring a platter of steak and shrimp out!
Despite the high price tag when you order this in a restaurant, it’s effortless to make at home.
The steak needs around 15-20 minutes total, including rest time, and shrimp cooks in minutes. After that, the most you’ll need to do is make the sauce.
As you might’ve guessed, ribeye comes from the rib area of the cow.
It’s full of incredible fat marbled throughout, which, when cooked and melted, adds both flavor and texture.
You’ll know it’s ribeye because it tends to have a thick strip of fat around one side, and sometimes in the middle of the steak, too.
I know plenty of people don’t like the texture of fat, but when you cook the steak over high heat, the fat melts into the meat, infusing beef taste into every bite.
One bite of this, and you won’t believe it’s made with just three ingredients (plus water).
The recipe calls for sirloin or London broil, the latter being another name for flank steak. I happen to think this is a waste of sirloin, which is more expensive.
When you have a dish like this, cooked low and slow with a heavy sauce, there’s no need to buy expensive beef. Flank steak, though, is ideal.
Beef bourguignon is just fancy French beef stew.
It almost always includes red wine, but it’s mostly similar to other stews you’ve had in the past.
Unusually, though, it starts with cooking bacon. Then, once that’s crisp, you’ll sear the beef in the residual fat for maximum meaty taste.
If you ask me, this is just beef stew with a thinner sauce. It’s still full of steak, potatoes, and veggies, and the sauce is rich and tomato-based.
The only difference is the amount of liquid, which keeps this more like a broth.
Since this isn’t cooked low and slow, you might find that cheaper cuts of meat don’t tenderize enough.
So, you’ll need to use sirloin to ensure the beef softens enough.
If you’re bored with eating the same old chicken cobb salad every day, this recipe is for you.
Steak is probably the most flavorful protein around, and it adds so much character to any dish, not to mention, it works well hot or cold.
If you take the time to grill the beef, I highly recommend grilling the corn, too!
Since mushrooms release so much moisture when they cook, you’ll start with those first. Cook them in a single layer until they’re dried and golden.
If you’re cooking for a crowd, do the mushrooms in batches. Adding too many to one pan will steam rather than fry them, and they might end up rubbery.
The steak comes last, and you’ll want to cook that in the same pan, so it gets all that great flavor.
Made with parsley, oregano, garlic, red wine vinegar, and olive oil, this Argentinian sauce is perfect for steak.
I guess, technically, it’s not a sauce but rather a type of chunky vinaigrette or condiment. It’s not cooked and brimming with incredible flavor.
On its own, it’s nothing special, but when you drip it over charred steak, it really comes to life.
It’s rare that I have leftover steak, but when I do, I always make steak sandwiches.
You’ll need to make a quick ‘blue butter’ which is basically just blue cheese, butter, and garlic. Though, I also like to add diced red onion for crunch.
Caramelized onions are also a must here. You can buy them ready-made or do them yourself. Either way, don’t be shy and add plenty!
Flank and skirt steak are similar, though the former is thicker and comes from the bottom abdominal area. Skirt steak tends to be thin and fibrous.
If you want to use flank in place of skirt steak, you’ll need to pound it down a bit thinner first.
As mentioned, you also need to marinate the meat to tenderize it. In this case, sherry will do the trick, thanks to its natural acidity.
This is a dish you could make to go with rice, pasta, or potatoes. It’s mild and creamy, so the kids will love it, and the steak is juicy and tender.
One thing I would change is to cook the steak first, searing it in the pan to get a nice crust on the outside.
Then, cook the onions and mushrooms in the meat juices.
Finally, add the steak back and finish as the recipe explains.
Also known as minute steak, you’ll know you have cube steak if it’s covered with little dots. These are from the tenderizing process.
When cooked, it almost looks like a ground beef patty.
Since this doesn’t have the same meaty texture as sirloin, filet, or ribeye, it’s perfect for stews and slow cooking methods like this.
Though you could use cube steak for this, it’s typically made with ground beef. The key to getting the most out of a beef patty is the extras.
Beef alone is tasty, but I like onions and spices.
In this case, you’ll grate an onion and mix it with breadcrumbs.
Leave that the sit and marry before making the patties, and you won’t believe the difference it makes.
I adore fajitas and tacos, and though I usually opt for chicken (because it’s cheap and easy), I’m a sucker for steak.
Flat iron steak is yet another cut, this time from the shoulder. It’s very tender and has a little more marbling than flank steak.
That makes it perfect for this! Cook it as a whole piece and then slice to serve with peppers, onions, and of course, guacamole.
Here’s another recipe that’s great if you have any leftover steak. Though, it’s also terrific with fresh cubed sirloin.
Since the meat should be pretty small, it will cook very quickly. Add it to the pan and babysit it for a few minutes. That’s all it needs.
Steak bites are fantastic for those of us that like the crust on a steak.
With this method, you’ll cut the steak while it’s raw so it can sear on every side, giving you a lot more texture.
Just be sure to cut the meat into equally sized pieces; otherwise, it won’t all cook at the same time.
Also, don’t crowd the pan. Like the mushrooms, if you just pile everything into one pan, it will steam, and you won’t see a crust.
The first surf and turf recipe above is great, but it has a creamy sauce that might be too much for some.
Instead, why not try this fresh dish with a super simple garlic butter?
All you need is olive oil, shallots, garlic, Pinot Grigio, butter, lemon juice, parsley, red pepper flakes, sea salt, and black pepper.
Steak and eggs are something you can eat at any time of the day.
But there’s something extra satisfying about starting the day with a slab of beef, don’t you think?
Cook the steak first so it has time to rest, finishing up with the eggs. I happen to think the yolks should be runny, but that’s my preference.
Unsurprisingly, this dish is a cut of beef that’s broiled to perfection. Oddly enough, it’s not British, and I have no clue how it got its name.
Recipes vary, and many will tell you something different about which cut is best to use. I think a flank steak is a good option because it gets marinated first.
Carne Asada takes everything you love about a tenderized skirt or flank steak, gives it a Mexican twist, and makes for the best darn tacos you’ll ever eat.
This steak is so good, you can eat it alone, maybe with rice or Mexican street corn.
Just add lime juice, orange juice, cilantro, crushed garlic, salt, pepper, vegetable oil, jalapeños, and vinegar to a bag and let the meat sit for about two hours before cooking.
If I crave steak tacos, I tend to use sirloin because I’m only cooking for two, and it’s so much faster.
But when feeding a crowd, flank steak is your best friend.
Remember that you need to cut it against the grain and keep it simple with sliced red onion, avocado, cilantro, and queso fresco.
I make this at least once a month, more if I get a good deal on flank steak.
All you need to do is cut the meat nice and thin, then whisk together ginger, garlic, soy sauce, water, and dark brown sugar.
The steak gets tossed in cornstarch to add texture which then helps to thicken the sauce just before serving.
If you want to, you can make this whole dish on the grill.
From the steak to the flatbread, you just need to remember to turn the heat down when you take the meat off.
Of course, it’s also super easy to do in the oven.
I love that these use the natural juices of the tomatoes and meat and doesn’t rely on a heavy sauce.
Also, you don’t even need to worry about making flatbreads. Just use store-bought naan!
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