Garlic Butter Skillet Steak and Shrimp
Learn how to make the most tender pan-seared garlic butter skillet steak and shrimp. You don’t have to go out to get good surf & turf when you can make it so easily at home!
I take that back. You can pretty much eat skillet steak and shrimp all year long because it’s made indoors on a skillet which makes it perfect for weeknights, weekends, summer, or even winter.
Along with being a year-round recipe, it’s incredibly easy to make. As in I could buy steaks, ask the hubby to season them and throw them in a pan and around 20 minutes later, we could be eating a fancy skillet steak dinner.
It’s no secret that I love a good steak dinner. I’m not the kind of girl that’s afraid to order a hunk of meat at a restaurant. In fact, most days we eat out, I’ll order beef rather than chicken. So imagine my surprise when I looked through the archives here and realized that I hadn’t shared an easy steak recipe with you! I take that back. I’ve shared my steak fajitas before, but I mean a real surf & turf dinner recipe, you know?
So today’s skillet steak and shrimp is topped with homemade garlic herb butter.
How to make garlic herb butter:
You’ll need just a handful of ingredients to make this garlic butter that’s perfect on steak, shrimp, and even roasted potatoes!
- Softened butter: it’s important to use softened butter, so everything mixes in quickly and evenly
- Pressed garlic (or minced): garlic is good, but getting a large piece can be harsh! I like to press the garlic using this (affiliate link) which ensure evenly garlickiness throughout.
- Chopped herbs: use what you like or use what you have. My goto for steak is thyme and rosemary – love how those flavors pair so well with seared steak.
- Maldon salt + black pepper: that coarse salt is the perfect accompaniment to a perfectly pan seared steak. Also, coarse black pepper and lots of it for good flavor!
Timing and temperature is everything when it comes to garlic butter skillet steak and shrimp:
It’s important to keep an eye on the time and temperature of your steak so that you can avoid overcooking it. My favorite tool is a digital meat thermometer that comes in handy for all sorts of things!
- Rare: seared edges with a bright red interior. You’ll know it’s rare when it’s soft and spongy. (120- 130ºF)
- Medium-rare: seared outside with pinkish red interior. Still on the softer side but it’ll also have a springy firmness to it (130 – 140ºF)
- Medium: pink centers with brown meat surrounding it. Less springy firmness than a medium rare (140- 150ºF)
- Medium-well: faint pink color in just the very center. Feels quite firm to the touch (150- 160ºF)
- Well Done: solid brown throughout. It will feel very firm. 160 – 170ºF
Keep in mind that the meat will continue to cook an additional 5 degrees or so once you pull it off the pan or grill so if you prefer your steak medium-rare, pull it off when it’s closer to 125ºF, and it’ll be 130ºF by the time you enjoy it!
Tips for perfect garlic butter skillet steak and shrimp:
- Buy a well-marbled steak. The white streaks of fat throughout the steak is what we’re talking about. It’s the stuff that keeps the steaks tender and juicy and adds tons of flavor! I suggest avoiding prepackaged steak unless your grocery store has superior quality steaks wrapped up. Usually, the butcher is the best way to go!
- Remove the steak from the refrigerator 20-30 minutes prior to cooking. This allows the steak to cook more evenly throughout.
- Salt the steaks early. right after you take them out of the refrigerator salt them. This leaves you with an amazing crust on the outside and allows for your self to be flavorful throughout!
- Look at the thickness. Thicker steaks will take longer to cook then thinner ones obviously. So if you’re someone that’s particular about rare steaks, a thicker piece will be a little more forgiving if this is your first time cooking a steak.
- Do the touch test but then, test with a thermometer. Poke it with your finger, does it feel spongy, or does it spring back just a little bit, is it firm? When you think you’re getting close, test it with a thermometer just to be sure!
- Let the steak rest for 5-7 minutes. Don’t touch it, just walk away.
- Don’t wrap it in foil. Contrary to what a lot of people say, I find wrapping a good, perfectly seared steak in foil causes it to lose all it’s crispy outer beauty. Just let it relax uncovered, it’s just 5 minutes!
Equipment for garlic butter skillet steak and shrimp:
Reasons why you need to make skillet steak and shrimp:
- quick with not much prep work involved
- not intimidating in the least bit
- makes a ton and leftover steak works well to make this pizza
- it’s SUPER DELICIOUS.
There you have it! Grab a couple of steaks on the way home tonight and put this baby together!
Steak and Shrimp:
- 2 large New York strip steaks (0r 4 small)
- 8 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
- salt and pepper
- olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons cold butter
- 2 whole cloves of garlic
- 4 tablespoons softened butter
- 1 tablespoon garlic, pressed or minced
- 2 teaspoons chopped thyme (or rosemary, or tarragon)
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat leaf parsley
- a big pinch of maldon sea salt + coarse black pepper
- MAKE THE BUTTER: Combine the butter, garlic, chopped parsley, and chopped thyme with a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to use it.
- PREP THE STEAKS: Make sure to remove the steaks from the refrigerator at least 20 minutes before cooking. Pat down the steaks with a paper towel, brush with just a little bit of olive oil on both sides and generously season your steaks with salt and pepper on both sides, really rub it in and make sure it sticks.
- COOK: Heat a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter along with roughly 1 tablespoon of olive oil and allow the oil to heat through. Add the steaks to the pan along with the two whole cloves of garlic and cook the steaks for roughly 3-7 minutes on each side depending on the thickness of the steak and your preference of doneness. Check the temperature using a meat thermometer and when it reaches your desired doneness, remove the steaks to a plate and let rest for 5-7 minutes.
- SHRIMP: If you have a ton of grease leftover from the steak, discard most of it, leaving just 1 tablespoon to cook the shrimp in. While the steak is resting, add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pan (if you didn't have much oil left) over medium heat and add the shrimp. Move them around and season them with salt and pepper. Cook just long enough for them to curl up into a ‘c’ shape, about 1 - 1½ minutes.
- SERVE: when ready to serve, top the shrimp and steak with a generous dollop of the prepared garlic butter and serve warm with your favorite sides!
- if you're using frozen shrimp, be sure to defrost them first and pat them dry with a paper towel before adding them to the skillet.
- if you've got leftover steak, I highly suggest putting this pizza together!