Perfect Porterhouse Steak for Two Recipe

A massive pan-seared porterhouse steak, prepared with the swagger method, perfect for 2-3 people.

The infamous pan-seared porterhouse steak. It’s surely the king of all things beef. The porterhouse is a large cut of beef that contains both the New York strip (sirloin) and filet mignon cut (tenderloin), separated by a bone. It’s the best of both worlds and the ultimate steak for sharing (or not).

This recipe all started on a trip to Florence, Italy (which is known for Florentine, dry-aged cuts of beef). Aside from your traditional pasta dishes, red wine, and gelato, the city is the steak lover’s dream and a little piece of Heaven on earth. Walking around the streets you’ll see countless restaurants displaying massive aged porterhouse steaks in their storefronts, just waiting to lure you in.

We ended up at a locally recommended steakhouse one evening and ordered a 2 person, 2 pound porterhouse steak, served rare. Of course, I had to relive this in my own kitchen…somehow.

Here is what to look for when shopping for your porterhouse steak. Pick out the largest, leanest porterhouse you can find. The closer to two pounds the better (if sharing). Remember this is also counting the bone, so it’s not all beef. Look for a well-balanced cut that contains as much of the tenderloin portion as possible. This is the smaller, more circular portion of the steak, and of course the most tender and flavorful.

How to Cook the Perfect Porterhouse Steak Every Time

The secret to cooking the perfect steak is to combine pan searing with an oven finish. This gives you a nicely seared outside with a juicy tender inside. Sear the porterhouse on the stove top in a cast iron skillet on high heat with oil and then immediately transfer to preheated oven at 415° F with butter, garlic, and fresh rosemary.

I typically sear for 2 minutes per side and bake for 5-6 minutes for medium rare. That’s the beauty of cast iron, you can easily transfer from stove top to oven. If you don’t have one, I highly recommend picking one up. They are very versatile and can be used for so many different recipes on my blog. Here is the one I have.

In Florence, the porterhouse is served separated from the bone and cut into 1 inch strips. You can divide up the strips and enjoy the best of both worlds. Lightly brush with garlic and rosemary infused butter to top it all off.

Perfect Porterhouse Steak for Two Recipe

Florence, Italy

My favorite view from Florence, Italy. This is taken from the Ponte Vecchio bridge overlooking the Arno river.

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Perfect Porterhouse Steak for Two Recipe

  • Author: Shawn
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2-3 1x

Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 2 pound (32 ounce) porterhouse steak, roughly 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 12 sprigs, fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil for searing
  • kosher salt and cracked pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 415° F. Remove porterhouse from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking, this is to bring the steak to room temperature and ensure your cooking times are more accurate. Season both sides generously with salt and pepper.
  2. Add the oil to a cast iron skillet and turn up high, allow the skillet to become VERY hot. Place the porterhouse in the skillet and sear undisturbed for 2 minutes. Flip the porterhouse and sear for an additional 2 minutes. This will give your porterhouse a nice crispy edge.
  3. Add butter, garlic, and rosemary to the skillet and transfer directly to the oven. [WARNING] skillet may be hot, handle with oven mitts. For rare, bake 4-5 minutes. Medium rare, 5-6 minutes (or until internal temp reaches 120° F). Medium 6-7 minutes. Remember, depending on the thickness of the steak, the more or less time it will take. This recipe is ideal for a 32 ounce (2 pound) portion, roughly 1 1/2 inches thick.
  4. Remove steak from the skillet let rest on a cutting board for 5-10 minutes before serving. This is important to bring your steak to its final serving temperature. Cut the porterhouse into 1 inch thick strips, separating from the bone, baste with garlic and rosemary butter from the skillet and serve.

Notes

Temperatures for steak
Rare: 120° F to 125° F
Medium rare: 125° F to 130° F
Medium: 135° F to 140° F
Medium well: 145° F to 150° F
Well done: 160° F and above