Strip Steak

published Apr 15, 2022
Strip Steak Recipe

This pan-seared strip steak dish is perfect for a simple, quick midweek supper.

Serves2 to 4

Prep10 minutes

Cook12 minutes to 15 minutes

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a whole steak with a pat of butter on top, a green salad on the side, on a square black plate with a small bowl of lemon wedges on the side
Credit: Tara Holland

This pan-seared strip steak is a simple yet special midweek meal. The smoking-hot pan ensures a deep mahogany crust and the steaks are basted with butter infused with garlic and herbs. 

Lemon and Steak — The Match Made in Heaven!

My recipe suggests serving the steaks with some watercress, lemon wedges, and a drizzle of olive oil. I have been obsessed with the combination of lemon and steak ever since I saw Nigella Lawson deglaze a steak with the juice of a lemon on a cooking show many years ago. So if you feel like channeling Nigella, when the steaks are resting, pour off the fat, discard the herbs and garlic, and add the juice of one lemon, scraping off all the delicious browned bits. Or you could also try this delicious pan sauce recipe.

However, if you are not up for fussing with a pan sauce, a squeeze of lemon juice on the steak right before serving really elevates it. The acidity cuts through the richness of the meat. You could even halve a lemon (with seeds removed) in your pan to char before squeezing if you feel fancy. 

Strip Steak Versus New York Strip

New York strip steak is, in fact, the same as strip steak. The reason it’s called New York strip is because it was the signature dish at the famous New York City restaurant Delmonico’s. It was known as the “Delmonico steak,” which eventually became known as the New York strip. 

Credit: Tara Holland

What Cut of Steak is Strip Steak?

Strip steak is taken from the upper sirloin portion of the cow. This means it’s a sirloin steak, but not all sirloin steaks fall under the strip steak category. This is because strip steak is taken from the front portion, also known as the short loin. Just to confuse matters, strip steak is also known as shell steak. It can be a little mind-boggling, but it’s all the same boneless cut as long as you see the names “New York strip,” “strip,” or “shell steak.” When this cut is sold with the bone-in, it’s known as Kansas City strip steak. Regardless of the many names strip steak may be called, it’s tender, flavorful, and affordable.

What to Serve With Strip Steak

Strip Steak Recipe

This pan-seared strip steak dish is perfect for a simple, quick midweek supper.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 12 minutes to 15 minutes

Serves 2 to 4

Nutritional Info


  • 2

    (11 to 12-ounce) strip steaks (1 to 1 1/2-inches-thick)

  • 1

    medium lemon

  • 3 large cloves


  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon

    olive oil, plus more for drizzling

  • 3 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 2 large sprigs

    fresh thyme

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 to 4 ounces

    watercress or arugula (2 to 4 packed cups)

  • Optional: Garlic butter or a Pan Sauce


  1. Place 2 strip steaks on a cutting board for about 30 minutes to bring to room temperature. Meanwhile, cut 1 medium lemon into 4 wedges and remove the seeds. Smash and peel 3 large garlic cloves.

  2. Heat a 10-inch or larger cast-iron skillet over high heat until it just starts to smoke, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, pat the steaks dry with paper towels. Season all over with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the kosher salt and rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil.

  3. Add the steaks to the pan and sear until a well-browned crust has developed underneath, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook until the other side is well-browned, about 2 minutes more.

  4. Add the garlic, 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, and 2 large fresh thyme springs. Using an oven mitt or dish towel, carefully hold the handle and tilt the pan to baste the steaks with infused butter as the steaks continue to cook. Check the internal temperature of the steaks at around 3 minutes for rare (125°F), 4 minutes for medium-rare (130°F), or 5 minutes for medium (140°F).

  5. Transfer the steaks to a shallow bowl, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. (If making a pan sauce, discard the fat, garlic, and thyme in the pan, and the juices from the steak.)

  6. Transfer the steaks to a clean cutting board and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Thinly slice across the grain if serving more than 2 people, or you can serve the steaks whole. Serve immediately with 2 to 4 cups watercress or arugula drizzled with olive oil, passing lemon wedges to squeeze over the steaks and greens. (Or top the steaks with Garlic Butter or a Pan Sauce.)

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.