I lurve me some beef tartar with a fresh raw quail egg as well as carpaccio with capers, arugula, and a tiny splash of vinegar and parmesan, so I approach "steak" from the other direction: as raw as possible.
If I'm going through the trouble and massive expense to source ultra-premium, ultra-marbled wagyu or at minimum USDA Prime beef, it's going to get a quick and brutal sear and that's it. When you buy uber-beef, let's be honest, what you're (mostly) paying for is the fat, and a lot of it. I also expect tasty protein and infinitesimal gristle.
If you're paying top dollar for super marbled steak, and you cook it past rare, all you're doing is rendering out the very reason for acquiring said steak. I want my beef seared quick to generate additional Maillard flavor that complements the inherent / core flavor of the beef and fat. Beyond that, all I need is a bit of salt and maybe some fresh ground pepper, and I'm golden.
That said, that level / quality / expense is a once-a-year indulgence.
Give me a nicely marbled bone-in rib eye, I'll salt and sear that puppy till rare, then make all manner of sauces.
Dead simple - make "ponzu" dipping sauce with fresh squeezed lemon juice and soy sauce. Seriously, try it.
Otherwise, get some minced shallots in a pan with butter, flambe with whiskey, and finish with heavy cream, S&P. Unf. Coronary on a plate, but what a way to go.
Edited by deadie - 2/24/14 at 8:22pm