Steak with Melted Leeks

published Feb 9, 2022
Valentine's Day
Steak with Melted Leeks Recipe

A crusty, seared steak is paired with meltingly tender leeks for an easy, satisfying dinner for two.


Prep10 minutes

Cook35 minutes to 40 minutes

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steak with melted leeks in the pan
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Jessie Yu Chen

A crusty, seared steak with a rosy inside is a beautiful thing, and it just requires a three-step process to get there. First, salt a large, bone-in steak liberally and in advance. Next, sear the steak over very high heat, flipping every minute or so, which ensures even cooking. Then, reduce the heat and baste the steak with butter until it reaches medium-rare.

As that butter browns and soaks into the steak’s crust, it can also be seasoned with something else. Shallots and thyme or rosemary are common, but why not leeks? They’re oniony in a gentle way — like a kinder scallion. As they cook, they’ll char and infuse the butter, and when you remove the steak to rest, you can finish cooking them low and slow until soft and almost melted. A little white wine and lemon help brighten the otherwise lush, sweet accompaniment to the handsome steak.

Steak with Melted Leeks Recipe

A crusty, seared steak is paired with meltingly tender leeks for an easy, satisfying dinner for two.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes to 40 minutes

Serves 2

Nutritional Info


  • 1

    (about 1 1/2-pound) bone-in or boneless thick-cut ribeye, T-bone, or New York strip steak (at least 1 1/2 inches thick)

  • 1 3/4 teaspoons

    kosher salt, divided, plus more as needed

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more for serving

  • 2

    large leeks (about 1 1/2 pounds total)

  • 1/2

    medium lemon

  • 1 tablespoon

    vegetable or canola oil

  • 4 tablespoons

    (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, divided

  • 3 sprigs

    fresh thyme

  • 1/4 cup

    dry white wine

  • 1/2 cup



  1. Pat 1 thick-cut ribeye, T-bone, or New York strip steak dry and season all over with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, trim the dark green parts from 2 large leeks. Halve lengthwise and rinse under cold running water to remove any grit. Shake off excess water and remove any tough outer layers. Slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces (about 6 cups). Juice 1/2 medium lemon until you have 1 tablespoon juice.

  2. Heat a large cast iron skillet or large frying pan over high heat until just smoking. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and swirl the pan to coat the bottom. Add the steak and cook, flipping with tongs every minute, until crusty and browned, 4 to 6 minutes total. If the steak has a thick layer of fat on the outside, use tongs to hold the steak upright so that fat is in contact with the pan, and sear until browned.

  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and move the steak to one side of the pan. Add the leeks (do it in batches if needed), 3 tablespoons of the unsalted butter, and 3 fresh thyme sprigs to the other side. As the butter melts, stir to coat the leeks in the butter. Tilt the pan and baste the steak with the butter and leeks for 1 minute. Flip the steak. Repeat, basting for 1 minute, then flipping, until the steak registers an internal temperature of 120 to 125°F for medium-rare, 6 to 10 minutes from when the butter went in.

  4. Transfer the steak to a clean cutting board. Add 1/4 cup dry white wine to the pan and cook, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the wine is reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water and season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt. Cover and cook until the leeks are very soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

  5. Uncover and increase the heat to medium-high. Cook until the liquid has reduced by about half, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon unsalted butter and lemon juice and stir until shiny and smooth. Taste and season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

  6. Slice the steak across the grain and serve topped with the leeks and a grind of black pepper.