Get ready to taste steak perfection with our Pan-Seared Merlot Steak recipe. With expert technique and the perfect balance of flavors, we’ll show you how to achieve a tender and flavorful steak that will impress even the most discerning palates.

Overhead image of sliced this steak on a bed of fries.

In this recipe:

This unique cut isn’t found at typical grocery stores, but as you explore more lesser-known cuts, steak recipes, and cooking options, the merlot steak packs a lot of bang for not a lot of bucks. Ideal for those who love a lean cut of meat, this powerhouse portion is quick and easy to cook with a unique flavor. But be warned, one wrong slice and your tender steak could become tough. Know all there is to know about merlot steak before you start for a delicious dinner, perfect for two.

Merlot steak close up to show unique cut and grain.

The Cut: What is Merlot Steak

This cut of beef is obscure at best and known as a butcher’s cut by name only to a few. And now you’re in the club with those elites. Trimmed from the hind legs, where the round and shank meet, it’s a steak cut that is incredibly well worked by the cow. As with all cuts from the rump primal, like the eye of round roast, it packs a mild beefy flavor that is served by a good steak marinade.

The merlot cut will be similar to fans of flank steak but with an even finer grain running through it. It’s an incredibly lean small steak, like the top sirloin filet, that needs to be cooked hot and fast to remain juicy.

Usually used for ground beef, you will be lucky if you can get your hands on this cut. You can find merlot steaks by asking a skilled butcher or checking out our favorite places for the best online meat delivery service. We ordered these delicious steaks from Porter Road Butcher.

Ingredients for this seared steak recipe.


  • Merlot steaks – this cut is perfectly sized for individuals at around 1/4 to 1/2 pounds each.
  • Steak marinade – we added balsamic and extra rosemary to our favorite all-purpose marinade for this recipe. The balsamic adds a touch of sweetness and caramelization when it hits the surface of the hot pan.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • Butter – Unsalted butter for the pan, and then try a homemade roasted garlic compound butter with smashed smoked garlic confit for resting the steaks.

how to cook pan-seared merlot steak

Marinate the steaks

  • Start by removing the steaks from the package and patting them dry with a paper towel.
  • Then, marinate the steaks in your favorite steak marinade for 4 to 8 hours to help boost the beefy flavor.
Steaks in a mariande.
Marinate to tenderize.

Sear the steaks

  • When ready to cook, remove the steaks from the marinade and pat them dry. Sprinkle with salt.
  • Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat and swirl the butter in to coat the pan. We use butter for this steak recipe because of the marinade. Oil causes it to pop and sizzle, which can become dangerous.
  • Add the steaks to the pan and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes until a good crust forms.
  • Flip the steaks, reduce the heat to medium, top with the rosemary, and allow the steaks to continue to cook until an instant-read meat thermometer reads 120 to 130 degrees F.

Rest and Serve

  • Carefully transfer the steaks to a cutting board and place a dollop of compound butter on top while they rest, tented with aluminum foil.
  • After the steaks have rested for 5 to 10 minutes, slice them thin against the grain, at a slight bias, and serve.

Girl Carnivore Expert Recipe Tips

This steak is served by cooking it hot and fast to an internal temperature of 120 to 125F for a rare to medium rare finish. Anything past that and the lean meat can dry out and become tough. Remember, the steak will continue to cook and gain about five more degrees as it rests. Use a meat thermometer for the most accurate results.

Diagram showing how to slice a merlot steak against the grain.

How to slice merlot steak

After you’ve masterfully cooked your lean merlot steak to 120 degrees F, let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes. The next step is cutting it to serve, the make-it-or-break-it step for tender, juicy bites.

This step is key because of the thin grain of the boneless cut. Slice against the grain into thin strips to break the fibers for the best mouthfeel.

  • Start by looking at the steak before you cook it to locate the grain. 
  • Once cooked, rested, and ready to serve, find the grain and rotate the steak, usually at about a 45-degree angle, for easy cutting so that the blade of the knife will slice against the grain.
  • Then, slice the merlot steak into thin slices, about 1/4″ each being sure to cut through the grain. This helps break those tough muscle fibers so you can have an amazing steak dinner.
Plate filled with steak and a glass of wine in the background.


This pan-seared steak is begging to be served with an incredible steak finishing sauce, with our red wine steak sauce being an easy favorite, or try this viral cowboy butter for a real indulgence. Pair it with crispy duck fat fries, a peppery salad, smoked Brussels sprouts, fresh green beans, smoked mushrooms, or luscious steakhouse creamed spinach.


When feeling cheeky, pair this steak with a Merlot wine, but know that because of its rich beefy flavor, it can handle a full-bodied GSM or Cabernet Sauvignon. Either way, it’s a perfect thin cut to enjoy with a glass of red wine.

Platter of sliced steak ready for serving.

Leftovers and reheating

Leftover merlot steak can be stored in tightly wrapped in foil or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Use this tender cut sliced thin in stir-frys, chopped into your breakfast scrambled eggs, or sliced for sandwiches.

Recipe FAQs

How do I achieve the perfect doneness for Merlot steak?

Merlot steak is at its best cooked to rare or medium rare, around 125 degrees F. When cooking any steak, use a meat thermometer to ensure the internal temperature reaches your desired level of doneness.

How should I cook Merlot steak?

Merlot steak can be cooked using various methods but is ideal when cooked hot and fast, seared in a cast iron pan, grilled, or broiled.

Is Merlot steak tender?

Merlot steak is incredibly lean from a working part of the cow, the hind legs. It is a tender and flavorful cut when cooked with care, hot and fast, and cut in thin strips against the grain.

Close up of sliced merlot steak.

More Pan-Seared Steak recipes

Now that you’re feeling confident find a good butcher, and try searing this delicious steak for yourself. If you’ve given this recipe a go, please help out the next guy by rating the recipe card and dropping a comment below.

Pan-seared Merlot Steak

5 from 15 votes
Prep: 4 hours 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 4 hours 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Platter of sliced steak and fries.
Sink your teeth into a juicy and flavorful Merlot steak. 🍽️🥩 A quick marinade helps tenderize it, then seared hot and fast, this cut of beef delivers an exceptional dining experience. Slice it into thin strips against the grain for rich and robust flavors.


  • 1 lbs Merlot steaks
  • 1 cup Steak marinade
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter



  • Remove the steaks from pacakaging and pat dry.
  • Marinate the steaks in all-purpose steak marinade for 4 to 8 hours.


  • Remove the steaks from the marinade and pat dry.
  • Season liberally with salt.
  • Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add butter and swirl to coat the pan.
  • Add the steaks to the hot pan and cook for about 2 to 3 to form a crust.
  • Flip the steaks, reduce the heat to medium, top with the rosemary, and allow the steaks to continue to cook until an instant-read meat thermometer reads 120 to 125 degrees F.


  • Transfer the steaks to a cutting board with tongs and rest with compound butter on top tented loosely with foil.
  • Rest the steaks 5 minutes before slicing against the grain into thin strips, and serving.


This steak is served by cooking it hot and fast to an internal temperature of 120 to 125F for a rare to medium rare finish to prevent it from drying out. 
For the best flavor, add a dollop of roasted garlic compound butter over each steak as it rests and pair this cut with red wine steak sauce or cowboy butter for extra flavor.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 383kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.3g | Protein: 50g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 168mg | Sodium: 1294mg | Potassium: 886mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.01g | Vitamin A: 353IU | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: French
Author: Kita Roberts

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Merlot Steak via Beef it’s What’s for Dinner:

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Well, Hey, Y’all.

Kita is a multi-talented individual, boasting numerous accomplishments such as being an award-winning recipe developer, world-traveled professional photographer, and journalist. As the lead creative force behind Girl Carnivore®, she is widely recognized as an authority on all things meat.


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