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Pan Saute and Oven-Roast Method


David Ross
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Tonight I'm going to be cooking a nice, thick, filet of monkfish. My preferred method for cooking thick cuts of meat, (be it pork, seafood, beef or lamb), is to first saute over fairly high heat on the stovetop and then finish the cooking process in a hot oven. It seems to be a failsafe way to insure that I get a nice sear on the meat and then roasted to the desired doneness in the oven with little work.

Do you get good results with the saute/oven-roast method?

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Not too long ago I followed a recipe that used this method for a pork tenderloin. The result was so fantastic that I don't see much of a point in using any other methods for this cut. I have had success experimenting with using this method other meats as well-- and it's simple!

Corinna Heinz, aka Corinna

Check out my adventures, culinary and otherwise at http://corinnawith2ns.blogspot.com/

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For fish, I don't think so. Pork, beef, even lamb and veal [which I have only used as stock and braising] You bet.

I, like you live in the Pacific NW so I haven't fixed monk fish in years. I do remember it being very firm kind of like lobster texture but i think the sear and 300 degree oven method with most any other fish would end up with way over cooked outside flaking off as you try to get is out of the skillet and I guess I'll simply say I doubt the quality of the result.

Wish I had seen this post, David, yesterday as I had a big chunk of the first Halibut of this season for supper. I would have tried it.

Robert

Seattle

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It works incredibly well for baby artichokes. Trim and cut a dozen of them in half and toast in a cast iron skillet with a bit of garlic butter. Peel the stems for handles and you can eat the whole thing.

Do not stir. Continue cooking cut side down in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Remove and put on a plate with the cut side up. Grate parmesan on top. I might try finishing with a little truffle oil next time.

Texture is rich and soft with crunchy spots. It reminded me of soft shell crab.

You could roast asparagus, mushrooms, etc., in the same oven.

Serve on a plate with homemade mayonnaise.

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Tonight I prepared a filet of monkfish using the pan saute/oven-roast method. The filet was almost 2" thick. I seasoned it with salt and pepper and then sauteed in olive oil in a hot pan on the stovetop for about 6 minutes. Into a 425 oven for another 10 minutes. During the last 4 minutes I added some salted butter to the pan and spooned the butter over the filet as it finished roasting. Monkfish is a bit testy when it comes to determining doneness-it has a texture and flavor like lobster and it just won't taste well if it's not done, but turns rubbery if overcooked. I use the old-fashioned poke with the finger test for doneness. The fish comes to the table with a hint of browning and crispness on the outside yet fully roasted on the inside.

The other components of the dish were red chard sauteed with bacon and shallots, fried shallots and a blood-orange vinaigrette. I added some shallots to the roasting pan, deglazed with white wine and then some blood orange balsamic vinegar. A douse of blood orange juice and a knob of butter to finish, with a garnish of tangerine supremes. I wasn't sure how a sweet and sour orange vinaigrette would work with monkfish but it was delicious-the perfect foil for the buttery fish.

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For me this method is simple and reliable. And, I have no problem doing it with fish though only with thicker cuts of fish fillets; salmon, halibut and sea bass.

I would not do it with tilapia, or sole.

Bob Sherwood

____________

“When the wolf is at the door, one should invite him in and have him for dinner.”

- M.F.K. Fisher

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this is really the best way to do thicker cuts of "tender" items.

I do salmon this way: season the skin side with your favorite seasoning. consider Penzey's "Chicago Seasoning" for the salmon ( a steak-house seasoning)

in a hot thick pan, lay the fish skin side down. once you have some nice browning and the fish 'releases' turn over, and put the pan in the oven

the oven does not need to be super hot. if its really hot the fish might dry out. think of the over, and the temperature you choose as a "heating chamber" not unlike a sous vide pouch in water.

restaurants do thick tender cuts this way all the time. when the restaurant gets really busy, the turn up the heat of the 'piano' simply to get things done faster.

by your picture it looks like you've got the technique down pat.

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Today I had the opportunity to showcase the pan saute/oven-roast method using a beautiful prime grade NY strip steak that I found at our local Costco store. The prime grade beef is always available at our Costco, and is only a few bucks more per pound than the choice grade meat.

Herewith is my method for cooking steak using the pan saute/oven-roast method:

-Brush steak with olive oil and season with Cajun mix and black pepper.

-Sear in a cast iron pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat for 5 minutes per side. (This steak was about 1 1/2" thick).

-Into a 550 oven for another 6 minutes.

-Remove the steak and place on a rack over a plate to rest for 5 minutes. Reserve any juices.

-Serve the steak and pour the pan juices over the top.

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To David Ross: What was the internal temperature of your steak? It looks to be rare, am I right? Beautiful piece of meat. Our Costco recently had prime grade strip loin as well. However, they rarely have it; the last time they had it was a year ago. Needless to say, we stocked up and have a few dozen in the freezer. So, I would like to try your method, but to medium rare. Thank you.

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To David Ross: What was the internal temperature of your steak? It looks to be rare, am I right? Beautiful piece of meat. Our Costco recently had prime grade strip loin as well. However, they rarely have it; the last time they had it was a year ago. Needless to say, we stocked up and have a few dozen in the freezer. So, I would like to try your method, but to medium rare. Thank you.

Sorry, but I don't use a thermometer to gauge temperature when I cook meat. I've perfected the technique-pan saute and then finished in the oven-to the point where I know that about 10 minutes on the stove top (5 min. per side) and then another 6-8 minutes in a 550 oven will cook the steak to what I call medium-rare. (Albeit steaks that are more on the rare than the medium side of the pendulum). The only technique I use is the "finger poke"-I know based on how the meat springs back when I touch it that it's done.

You may want to try my timing and push the oven roast another 1-2 minutes but I would be careful and not go too far. Remember to let the steaks rest after pulling them out of the oven and while they rest, they'll continue to "cook" and bring you closer to the medium side of medium-rare. Thanks for asking.

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