Recipe: Pan-Seared Sirloin Steak with Tomato-Basil Sauce




In a hurry? Want to make something red, juicy and beefy without firing up the grill? Then try this recipe. It uses an inexpensive steak and makes a restaurant-quality entree in just a few minutes. The trick? A homemade rub, high heat and a same-pan sauce to capture the sizzle.



  • 1 sirloin steak, at least 1 inch thick

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • 1 fresh tomato
  • 1 handful sun-dried tomatoes

  • Kosher salt and pepper

  • 3 tablesoons olive oil

  • 1 handful basil leaves

  • a bottle of red table wine.



  1. Bring steak to room temperature, sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and pepper. Cover steak and set aside for at least 1/2 hour

  2. Mix cumin and chili powder in a small bowl. Rub on both sides of the steak. Let the steak rest another half hour.
  3. Peel and chop garlic into fine pieces.

  4. Chop tomato into small pieces. Set aside.

  5. Chop the sun-dried tomatoes into small pieces. Set in small bowl. Pour 3/4 cup of hot water over sun-dried tomatoes to reconstitute.

  6. Tear or chop basil leaves into medium sized pieces.



This is a one-pan event!



Sear! Saute!

  1. Heat pan on medium-high. Add olive oil. This may smoke, so turn on your stove fan or open a window.

  2. When the oil starts to shimmer in the pan, toss the steak into it. Cook 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare.

  3. Remove steak from pan into a large dish. Cover. Let the meat rest for ten minutes.

  4. Reduce heat to medium-low.

  5. While the meat is resting, Add garlic to the pan. Stir a few times.

  6. Add a few dashes of red wine to the pan to dissolve the fond.

  7. Add the fresh tomato and the sun-dried tomato, including the liquids.

  8. Stir the tomatoes in the pan every few minutes. Do not cover the pan.
  9. Allow the liquid to reduce, about ten minutes.
  10. Add any juices releasd from the steak back into the pan. Keep stirring until the sauce is thick.

  11. Remove pan from heat. Toss in basil. Stir. Set aside.
  12. Slice steak into thin pieces. Pour sauce onto steak slices. Serve warm.


Some Notes:

Allow the extra time for the salt to rest in the steak. The salt tenderizes the meat.

Don’t stray too far from my cooking times. The best way to make a tough sirloin steak is to cook it too long. 

Please don’t use a no-stick skillet. You want the browned crunchies at the bottom of the pan. This is called ‘fond’ and it is the essence of the sauce. When you add a liquid like wine, it quickly dissolves into a flavorful broth. You won’t get fond with no-stick.

It is VERY IMPORTANT to let the steak sit for a few minutes before slicing it. The juices will ‘set-up’ in the meat this way.

If you don’t have sun-dried tomatoes, you can substitute a tablespoon of tomato paste, water and a dash of steak sauce.




  1. I’ve saved this in my email for a while. I’m going to try and make it tonight! Thanks.

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