Seared on the outside, rare on the inside, and flavored with garlic, butter, and rosemary, this ultra-rare Blue Steak is a steak-lover’s dream! Plus, it’s super simple to make at home.
Perfectly Seared, Ultra-Rare Steak
If you enjoy blue steak, you know how special it is – the rich, buttery tenderness of the ultra-rare steak inside, contrasting with the seared and even charred outside. It’s sort of like a seared tuna steak, but with high-quality beef. If you’ve never had steak cooked this way, it might sound odd, but you should definitely try it, because you may love it.
It’s not clear where the name “blue” came from for this super-rare steak, but it may have something to do with a French cooking technique called “au bleu,” usually used for fish – or it may be that the steak is still so rare that its purplish-red color is exaggerated as blue. Who knows? 🤷♀️ All I know is, for steak lovers, this special dish can be a real treat.
To get a blue steak perfectly cooked, you have to sear the outside for a short time at a very high temperature. This allows the outside of the meat to take on its characteristic perfect doneness and char, while the inside remains as rare as can be.
Is Blue Steak Safe to Eat?
In general, yes, blue steak is very safe to eat. The high-heat searing method kills any bacteria (such as e. coli) that might be on the surface of the meat, while the interior of the steak is considered to be safe to eat as-is (if you are using fresh, clean steak from a reputable seller). If you have concerns about specific health risks, always speak to your healthcare provider to make sure that blue steak is an OK choice for you.
The Ingredients You’ll Need
There are two basic parts of this recipe: the steak itself, and the blue cheese sauce made with Gorgonzola and heavy cream. If you don’t like blue cheese, or want to use some other sauce or flavoring, no problem! The steak portion makes a great stand-alone recipe.
For the Steak
- Sirloin Steak: I used sirloin, between 1.5 and 2 inches thick. (See below for other steak options.)
- Olive Oil and Butter: Using both together allows the butter to cook at a higher temperature, and gives the steak a rich, full flavor.
- Rosemary: A sprig of fresh rosemary adds a pungent, earthy note to contrast the richness of the steak and butter.
- Garlic: For this recipe, you’ll want a whole head of garlic!
- Salt and Pepper
For the Blue Cheese Sauce
- Heavy Cream: The perfect base for a velvety cheese sauce.
- Gorgonzola Cheese: Or another blue cheese of your choice.
- Salt and Pepper
What Cut Should I Use?
For blue steak, you need a cut of steak that’s both lean and tender. Marbled steak won’t cut it, because the fat won’t have time to melt. Lean, tough cuts won’t work either, since they don’t have liquid and time to braise and become tender. Here are some great choices for blue steak:
- Filet Mignon: Possibly the leanest, yet most tender cut of all, this prized steak is pricey but delicious.
- Top Sirloin: Also known simply as sirloin steak, this is a classic cut that everyone loves. Although it’s not quite as meltingly tender as other cuts, it’s usually moderately priced, easy to eat, and boasts a juicy, beefy taste.
- Round Steak: This is usually not the best cut for grilling – since it is thin and chewy, it can be a lot more tender and pleasant to eat if you braise it. However, as a blue steak, you won’t be taking it into “tough as shoe leather” territory! So, while it may not be the best cut for grilling medium-rare, it’s fine for making blue steak.
- Avoid… While steaks like ribeye, porterhouse, and skirt steak are super popular, they aren’t the best choice for cooking blue. Most of them simply have too much fat and connective tissue for this dish.
How Do I Make Blue Steak?
This steak needs to be cooked a very short amount of time, so I highly recommend using a kitchen timer or your phone’s clock app to time it! If you go over the time limit, you could still end up with a yummy rare steak, but it won’t be blue.
- Rest the Steak. To start, you’ll want to grab your steak 30 minutes ahead of time, and set it out to come to room temperature. While you’re at it, season the steak with some salt and pepper as a kind of minimalist dry rub.
- Sear the Steak on the First Side. After 30 minutes, set a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. You need the pan to be very hot. Add a tablespoon of oil, and when the oil begins to smoke, lay the steak in the pan. It should cook for 2 minutes and 30 seconds on the first side, to get a good sear.
- Sear the Steak on the Second Side, with Garlic, Rosemary, and Butter. Once the 2 minutes and 30 seconds is up, flip the steak and carefully add the butter, rosemary, and the head of garlic to the skillet as well. Cook for exactly 2 minutes, basting the steak the entire time with the butter and pan juices. PSA: Don’t use a plastic turkey baster for this! Instead, go with a large metal spoon or similar. This stuff is really hot!
- Rest Again. Take the steak out of the skillet, and place it on a clean serving platter. It should rest for 35 minutes at room temperature. If you need to cover it, lightly tent it with foil.
- Make the Sauce. While the steak is resting, you can make the blue cheese sauce by mixing the cheese and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until the mixture is evenly combined into a sauce, and then season it to taste with salt and pepper. Take the finished sauce off of the heat.
- Enjoy! Serve your blue steak and blue cheese sauce with your desired side dishes, and dig in!
Tips for Success
These are my best tips for making blue steak at home. This unusual recipe definitely has its quirks! For example, who knew that a really good blue steak should be lean instead of marbled? That’s right – read on for that tip, and more.
- Avoid Marbling: Usually, a great steak is one that’s tender and has good marbling. Why? Because that marbled fat melts during the cooking process, moisturizing and tenderizing the steak. Yum! But in this case, the steak won’t be cooking very long at all, so the fat won’t melt. Skip a well-marbled steak if you’re cooking blue, and you won’t have to deal with unrendered, chewy, white fat.
- Don’t Skip the Rest Time: Cooking a steak blue right out of the fridge will most likely leave the inside of the steak cool, or even cold. A good rest time before cooking will bring the meat to room temperature, and give you warm (but still blue) steak after cooking.
- Expect Smoke: To get a great sear while leaving the interior of your steak blue, you need a screaming hot pan. That means you can expect plenty of smoke while cooking – but it’s a good thing! Just be sure your stove exhaust fan is working.
- Add Sauce: Since the steak isn’t getting time to marinade or otherwise develop a bold flavor, it’s a great partner for a tasty sauce. Blue steak with blue cheese? Yeah, it’s a match made in heaven.
Side Dish Ideas
Sides are a must with steak, and this collection of easy side dish recipes will make your dinner extra delightful. Enjoy, and happy cooking!
- Creamed Spinach: Thick, creamy, and comforting, Steakhouse Creamed Spinach is the perfect side for a beautiful blue steak. Seriously yummy, you guys.
- Roasted Potatoes: But not just any roasted potatoes – Hedgehog Roasted Potatoes have the crispy exterior you love in great seasoned fries, and the buttery interior of mashed potatoes. Excuse me while I drool…
- Sugar Snap Peas: This recipe for Roasted Sugar Snap Peas is easy, healthy, flavorful, and gorgeous. Yes, these bright green snap peas with red onions are a boost for any menu!
How to Store and Reheat Steak
- Leftover steak should be tightly wrapped in foil or plastic wrap, and refrigerated. It will keep for three or four days in the fridge.
- To reheat, you can leave the steak at room temperature for 30 minutes, and then bake it in a very low oven (250˚F) for another 30 minutes, or a little less time to keep it nice and “blue.”
Can I Freeze Blue Steak?
- Yes, you can freeze steak that’s been cooked blue. Just wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or freezer paper, and then seal it in a zip-top bag. Make sure to press out as much air as you can before you seal it. This will prevent freezer burn.
- Freeze the steak for up to three months, and thaw in the fridge before reheating.
For the Steak
Cook the Steak
- Season the steak with salt and pepper, and let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
- Heat a large, cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add a tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil starts to smoke, lay the steak in the skillet and let it cook for exactly 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
- When the time is up, carefully flip the steak. Add the butter, the rosemary, and the head of garlic, cut-side-down, to the skillet. Cook for exactly 2 minutes, basting the steak the entire time with the butter and pan juices. Do not use a turkey baster for this, as it may melt or overheat; use a metal spoon.
- Remove the steak from the skillet and place it on a clean platter or serving dish. Let it rest for 35 minutes at room temperature, lightly tented with foil.
Make the Sauce
- While the steak is resting, combine the cheese and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook and stir until the cheese and cream are combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Once the steak is done resting, slice it and serve with the blue cheese sauce.