There are different ways to slow-cook a juicy, tender steak in the oven. The strategy you use depends on the cut of the steak. Tough cuts with lots of connective tissues benefit from wet cooking strategies, such as braising or stewing. Lean, tender prime cuts can be finished at a low temperature in an oven, but you won’t have to cook them long because they shouldn’t be cooked beyond medium rare. No matter what cut and what approach you use, brown the steak first over high heat to create a flavorful crust.
Remove the steak from your refrigerator 30 minutes before you cook. Pat it dry with paper towels. Rub the steak generously with salt and pepper. The salt will help to tenderize the steak.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
Rub the steak with oil. If you are cooking a tough steak using a wet technique, dredge the steak in flour.
Preheat a skillet over high heat on the stove for several minutes. Pour a drop of water onto the skillet; if it sizzles, the skillet is hot enough. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in the skillet for about 20 seconds.
Sear each side of the steak for one minute, turning it with tongs.
Dry Baking Tender, Prime Steaks
Stick an instant-read meat thermometer into the side of the steak.
Transfer the skillet to the middle rack of the oven. If your skillet handle isn’t oven-proof, transfer the steak to a baking rack placed in a baking pan. Put the baking pan on the middle rack of the oven.
Cook the steak uncovered for eight to 10 minutes until the center of the steak reaches 130 degrees Fahrenheit for medium rare or 140 degrees for medium.
Move the steak to a plate, cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Wet Cooking Tough Steaks
Transfer the steak to a casserole or Dutch oven. Cover the steak with a liquid or sauce. Common cooking liquids include broth, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, wine, beer and cream soups.
Deglaze the skillet, if you wish. Add 2 tbsp. water to the skillet and bring it to a boil over the stove, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen charred meat and pan drippings. Add the deglazing liquid to the casserole dish or Dutch oven. Add any vegetables your recipe calls for, as well.
Cook until the meat is tender, about two to three hours. The longer you cook the steak, the more moist and tender it will become as long as you don't let your cooking liquid run dry.
Thicken the sauce, if you wish. Mix 2 tbsp. corn starch with 2 tbsp. water in a cup. Stir in the cornstarch mixture a little bit at a time while the liquid boils until the liquid reaches the thickness you wish.