Are you looking for a steak that's full of flavor, cooks up juicy, but won't break the bank? This Denver steak recipe is for a super-flavorful steak that's cooked to medium-rare perfection.
What is a Denver Steak?
Filet mignon, ribeye, porterhouse, and t-bone steaks tend to be the star of the show when it comes to steaks, but for my money, you can't beat a delicious Denver steak.
This cut of beef is a bit of a cross between a New York Strip and a ribeye but with a more uniform thickness. It always cooks up so wonderfully!
A Denver steak comes from the beef chuck which includes the shoulder area. These meats are often used as roasts and can be quite tough.
However, the meat used for the Denver cut is situated where it doesn't get a lot of use by the cow so it is actually quite tender when it's cut correctly. It cooks up juicy with tons of marbling and a rich flavor. It's also a fraction of the price of other cuts of meat or steaks.
This type of cut does require a skilled butcher so you will need to purchase one from a quality shop or you can order one online.
Why You Will Love A Denver Cut Steak
- You can't beat the flavors in this steak for the price.
- In less than 20 minutes you'll have an impressive steak that's perfect for any occasion.
- A juicy, tender steak that requires only a few ingredients.
You only need a handful of easy-to-find ingredients to make a juicy, flavorful steak for meals. Let's look at the main ones but you'll find more details in the recipe card.
- Steaks: You will want to purchase Denver cut steaks about 1 ½ inches thick. Try to keep them uniform in size for more even cooking.
- Sea salt and black pepper: A flaky, quality sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper are essential for steaks. They add better flavor and almost create a flavorful crust on the outside of the steak. Also, in a simple recipe such as this one, you want to use quality ingredients.
- Avocado oil: A good choice for cooking a Denver steak because of its high smoke point oil.
- Salted butter: Adds a rich flavor to your home-cooked steak turning it into a restaurant-quality dish. Be sure to use salted butter for the best flavor.
- Garlic cloves and rosemary: Add more flavor to the steak and fresh is essential.
TOP TIP: You want to crush the garlic, not chop it. To crush a clove, slice off the end of your peeled garlic clove. Next, using the blade from a large chef's knife, press down on top of the garlic cloves and using the palm of your hand or your fist, gently pound and crush the garlic cloves, being mindful of the blade.
- Avocado Oil: Use peanut oil, safflower, soybean, or grapeseed oil instead as all have high smoke points and neutral flavors.
- Rosemary Sprigs: Use thyme, sage, marjoram, tarragon, basil, or oregano will work instead if you prefer, or nothing at all.
How to Cook a Denver Steak
Making this recipe is just about as easy as it gets. The highlights are shown below, but you can find the exact steps in the recipe card at the end of the post.
- Season the steaks with salt and pepper, and let them come to room temperature.
- Sear both sides of the steaks for a couple of minutes over high heat in a skillet.
TOP TIP: Do not press on the steak, poke it with a fork as it cooks or move it until it is time to flip it. You only want to flip a steak once. You want to keep the fat and juices inside the steak to make sure there's moisture and loads of flavor inside your steak. There's nothing worse than a dry steak.
- Place the steaks in a pan and top with the remaining ingredients and bake for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Place the steaks on a cutting board, pour the melted butter from the pan over them, tent with foil, and let the steaks rest.
- After resting, slice the steak against the grain and serve it up. Enjoy!
Refrigerator: Store leftovers in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.
Freezer: Wrap the steak tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and a layer of foil and store for up to 6 months in an air-tight, freezer-safe container.
What to Serve with Steak
The beauty of a steak is that it goes with such a wide variety of dishes!
- Potatoes: Potatoes are always a perfect pair for a juicy, tender steak. Baked potatoes and mashed potatoes are always popular or you can look for more potato recipes for other options.
- A wide variety of vegetables go well with steak! Check out our favorite corn recipes, green bean recipes, or carrot recipes.
- Serve up some homemade bread too! Discover tons of bread recipes for serving.
- A salad is an easy side dish! It can be a simple green salad with chardonnay vinaigrette or try this asparagus salad with mustard vinaigrette.
- Remove the steak from the oven once it is 5 degrees below your desired temperature and place the steak onto a wooden cutting board (keep the garlic and rosemary over the steak) to rest. It will continue to cook a bit as it rests.
- Allow steak to rest for 7-10 minutes before slicing to give the juices time to redistribute inside the steak.
- Slice your steak across the grain to cut through fibers and make them shorter making your meat even more tender, flavorful, and easier to chew.
- Cooking time varies so it is best to use a meat thermometer to determine how long the steak needs to finish in the oven.
- If using a meat thermometer, leave it in the meat. Pulling it out will cause the juices to run out of the meat and the end result will be dry and tough.
Cooking the steak once it comes to room temperature allows the steak to cook more evenly throughout.
The purpose of tenting meat while resting is to prevent moisture from escaping through evaporation and keep it inside your steak. Preserving your steak juices will avoid you from serving dry tough steak.
Cutting against the grains makes shorter muscle fibers within each slice, making the slices more tender.
You should be able to see lines running in one direction on your steak. That is the grain. Slice your meat across and not with those lines.
More Steak Recipes
Do you like steak? Here are some recipes you may also like to try
Denver Steak Recipe
- Season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper. Let steak come to room temperature after seasoning. (about 1 hour) The salt will pull the moisture to the outside of the steak as the salt and pepper seeps in to season both inside and outside of the steak- this also tenderizes the steak and provides a more tender and juicy bite. Cooking the steak once it comes to room temperature will also cook it more evenly.
- Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Add oil to the skillet. Next, add steak and sear for 5 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd the skillet, work in batches if need be. Do not press on the steak as it cooks or move it until it is time to flip.
- Place seared steaks in a baking pan with a lip. Add a couple crushed garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon slice of butter, and a rosemary sprig atop each steak.
- Place into the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes depending on preferred doneness of the steak. 5 minutes gave us perfect medium rare, but cooking time may vary so it is best to use a meat thermometer to determine how long the steak should finish in the oven.
- Remove steak once it is 5 degrees below your desired temp and place steak onto a wooden cutting board. Keep the garlic and rosemary on the steak. Pour the melted butter over each steak from the pan and tent with foil.
- Let steak rest for 7 minutes. The steak will finish cooking as it rests and the internal temperature will come up about 5-7 degrees.
- Slice against the grain and serve. Enjoy!