If you’re looking for a summer meal that wows, look no further.
This is it, friends.
Savory, rich steaks served with an insanely wonderful fresh cherry sauce flavored with red wine, shallot, balsamic vinegar, honey, and herbs. Life doesn’t get any better.
This was one of those recipes that I’ve had in my head for a while but just wasn’t sure if it would work. Fresh cherries with steak? I had to convince myself.
I am so glad I did just that. Because this meal blew my socks off. It came out so much better than I was expecting!
Sweet, savory, salty, with wonderful textures. It’s everything I want from a steak dinner. All you need is some potatoes or a green veg on the side, and dinner is served. A glorious, wonderful dinner that looks and feels much fancier than the effort put in to make it.
I promise you, cooking the perfect steak is easier than you may think. If you’re intimidated by the idea of preparing and then possibly messing up a nice steak, read the recipe below. It’s simple and straightforward and yields perfectly cooked (we like medium rare) meat every time.
The key is to work with steaks that are not too thin. You want strip steaks that are 1 1/2-2 inches thick. This ensures that you won’t overcook them! I would rather cook up a big steak and have leftovers than try to figure out how not to overcook a tiny steak. I always buy the thickest ones I can find. Particularly when it comes to strip steaks or ribeyes.
Second, you want to make sure you allow your meat to rest at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before you cook it. This applies to all steak. You want the meat to cook evenly throughout, and bringing the meat to room temperature is tremendously important in achieving that.
Third, use a decent pan. I like a simple cast iron skillet for cooking steaks. They aren’t overly pricey and they get an incredible sear on meat because they get so dang hot. I have plenty of pan options in my kitchen, but when cooking a steak, I always grab my cast iron first.
Last and certainly not least, season your steaks well! I mean, use way more salt and pepper than you would on just about anything else. The meat needs it. The meat can take it. And your steak will taste 100% better if you generously season them before cooking. I promise. Think of the salt and pepper as a crusting – you want it all over the surface of the meat and you want it to be visible.
The rest of it is just a matter of timing. Set a timer. Don’t risk it. I have been cooking for almost 20 years, and I still set a timer when I’m cooking meat. It’s the only way to ensure that you won’t accidentally overcook it.
The recipe below is my tried and true method for cooking steak. I use this almost exclusively for anything like strip, ribeye, or filet mignon. After the meat is deeply seared on both sides, all you do is add some butter, garlic, and fresh herbs to the pan, allow the butter to melt, and then baste the steaks in the hot butter as they finish cooking. This method not only continues to cook the meat to the right temperature, but it keeps things moist and delicious. That’s butter’s job, right? It’s no different here. It makes everything taste better, especially steak.
Then! You just want to let the steaks rest. Take them out of the pan and set them on a plate or cutting board and cover them with tin foil. Don’t cut into them! Let them rest for 10-15 minutes before you slice into them. Which is perfect for this recipe because the sauce takes about that long to make.
Into the same pan, we add a little more butter (remember, it makes everything better), some shallot, some more thyme, and fresh summer cherries. Swoon.
Once the cherries start to soften and release their magical juices, we add in some red wine, balsamic vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard. Every single one of these ingredients is what makes this sauce something special. Something spectacular.
Simmer the cherries in these ingredients until they are succulent and bursting and loaded with tangy-sweet-savory flavor. My mouth is watering just typing this out, guys. It is SO insanely good. Oh my gosh.
Then, we slice our steaks and either place the meat right into the pan with the cherry sauce or onto plates where we can spoon the sauce over top. Either way, it’s a thing of beauty. Generously coat the steaks in the sauce and add lots of the cherries over top. It is so simple but so delicious.
The perfect juxtaposition of salty and sweet. Savory with succulent and juicy cherries.
It is pure heaven.
These Strip Steaks with Fresh Cherry Sauce are a summer meal that wows! Savory, rich steaks seasoned and seared to perfection and then served with a fresh cherry and red wine sauce that sings. Simple but impressive!
For the Steaks:
- 2 (10-12 oz) New York strip steaks (ribeyes or filet mignon would also work well here)
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil (use an oil with a high smoking point)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
For the Cherry Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 2 cups fresh cherries, stemmed and pitted
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Steaks:
- Take the steaks out of the fridge 30 minutes before you are ready to cook. You want them to be close to room temperature so that they cook evenly.
- Season both sides of the steaks liberally with the salt and pepper. Trust me on the amounts – the steaks NEED a lot of seasoning!
- Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Add the oil to the pan. Once it is shimmering and super hot, add the steaks to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes on each side, developing a deep brown crust on both sides of the steak. Do not touch them once you put them in the pan – when you move them around, you’re disturbing the crusting process!
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and and add in the butter, garlic cloves, and thyme.
- Once the butter is melted, carefully tilt the pan so all the butter pools in one spot (use a thick kitchen towel or oven mitt to touch the handle of your very hot pan). Spoon the hot butter over the steaks constantly, like you are basting them, for 1 minute.
- At this point, you can use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the steaks. Insert it into the thickest part of one of the steaks and once it reads 130°F, the steaks will be perfectly medium rare (they will continue to cook slightly from carry-over heat while they rest).
- Remove the steaks from the pan and set on a cutting board or plate. Cover with tin foil and allow them to rest while you make the cherry sauce.
For the Cherry Sauce:
- Use the same pan for the cherry sauce as you did for cooking the steaks. Do not discard any of the butter or fat from the pan. Discard the thyme sprigs. Keep the garlic cloves in the pan.
- Add the butter and shallot and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes or until the shallots begin to soften.
- Add in the chopped thyme and the cherries. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Once the cherries begin to soften and release their juices, add in the wine, balsamic vinegar, honey, and mustard. Stir to combine and make sure that you scrape up any browned bits from the steaks off the bottom of the pan (this is where the flavor lives!).
- Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes. The wine will reduce and the cherries will burst and be super soft and juicy.
- Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
Slice the steaks and either serve them directly in the pan with the cherry sauce or with the sauce spooned over top.
This is my standard method for cooking steaks to a medium-rare doneness. If you like your steak more well done, add a minute or two to the searing time in the pan (4-5 minutes per side).
- Prep Time: 30 minutes (inactive time)
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Category: meat
Keywords: steaks in fresh cherry sauce, strip steaks in cherry pan sauce, how to cook steak, new york strip streaks with cherry red wine sauce