Pan-Seared Ranch Steak 

5 Min Read

Slice into a perfectly pan-seared ranch steak. This inexpensive cut is the perfect alternative to other lean steaks and can go round for round with the best beef recipe when tenderized with a simple marinade and served with savory cowboy butter.

As prices for a good cut of beef soar, finding new cuts from cheaper primals and learning how to cook them so they become tender meat is a good idea for saving money. Introducing the ranch steak. With a little work, these unexpected versatile steaks, when cooked with care, can become a great alternative and your new favorite cut.

The Cut: What is Ranch Steak

The ranch steak cut comes from the chuck primal, also known as a Shoulder Center Steak, and has a robust beef flavor similar to a flat iron steak and with minimal marbling. The connective tissue of this working shoulder muscle causes it to be a bit tough, but similar to a petit sirloin steak; it can be delicious as long as it is cooked over high heat quickly after a marinade. This steak recipe shouldn’t be cooked past medium-rare, 135 degrees F for the best results to maintain its juicy, tender texture.

The ranch cut isn’t common at most grocery stores but is growing in popularity. Currently, its found in online meat markets, butcher shops, and meal kits.


  • Ranch Steaks – Curious where to order this cut? Check out our resource for the best places to buy meat online.
  • Steak Marinade – our easy steak marinade recipe is a mild blend of oil, lemon juice, and herbs perfect for adding some flavor to this lean cut of meat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Canola oil 
  • Butter – See our notes in the recipe card for skipping the unsalted butter and go with a flavorful compound butter for resting.
  • Cowboy butter – or your favorite steak sauce recipe

How to Cook Ranch Steak Marinate the steaks 

  • Start by removing the steaks from their package and whipping up your steak marinade.
  • Marinate the steaks for 4 to 8 hours.

Pan-sear the steaks

  • When ready to cook, remove the steaks from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels to remove the excess oil.
  • Season the steaks on both sides with salt and pepper
  • Heat the canola oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Carefully place the steaks in the pan once it’s preheated. Use caution, as any residual marinade with bubble and pop when touching the hot oil.
  • Cook the steaks for 3 to 5 minutes per side, flipping once when a good seared crust has formed. Cook until the steak’s internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F with a digital meat thermometer.

Rest and serve 

  • Using tongs, carefully remove the ranch steaks from the pan and set them on a clean cutting board to rest. Top with the butter and tent with foil. If serving this steak with Cowboy butter sauce (as shown in the pictures), skip the compound butter. If not, consider a savory steak sauce to accompany it.
  • Allow the steaks to rest for 5 minutes before using a sharp knife to slice them into thin strips against the grain to serve.

What to serve with ranch steaks

This petite steak is perfect with your favorite side dishes. We love it paired with steakhouse creamed spinach and a smoked baked potato. It’s also wonderful with smoked Mac and cheese or smoked corn on the cob for a heartier meal.

We love this steak paired with a cowboy butter recipe, caramelized onions, homemade chimichurri sauce, or one of our favorite sauces for steak, like our red wine sauce.

Wine Pairing: 

Pair this lean cut of beef with a light red wine, like Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, or a slightly more jammy Malbec.

Leftovers and reheating 

Store leftovers in an airtight container or wrapped in foil for up to 4 days in the fridge. To reheat, slice thin strips and wrap in foil topped with a bit of the Cowboy butter or your favorite compound butter recipe. Reheat in an oven preheated to 325 until heated through, 7 to 10 minutes. It’s best to only reheat as needed, as reheating this whole cut will only further dry it out.

Leave a comment