If I am going to get you to try this method, I better have some pretty good reasons. I will give you two: fantastic browning, and an outrageous sauce you will make from the pan drippings.
Browning vs. Searing. If you take a look at recipes for pan-frying steaks you will see this again and again: \'Sear meat over high heat to seal in juices.\' There is one word for this -- bogus. I like what Harold McGee had to say on this subject in his book,
The Curious Cook
Browning vs. Searing - know the difference!
An Experiment. If you are a little skeptical, try an experiment. Sear two identical steaks over high heat. Then cook one rare and the other well done. Will the well done steak turn out as juicy as the rare one? No matter what you do, the fact is, well done meat is always going to be less juicy than rare meat. Editors note: Mr. McGee did a similar, but more detailed, scientific experiment to prove this point. Taste. So why is searing misunderstood? Because it does add flavor -- loads of it. It is just that the flavor is added to the outside, in the form of browning (caramelization). Searing requires high temperatures -- just what you want for browning. As juices escape, the outside of the meat gets drier, and also hotter. That hot, dry part of the meat is needed for the chemical reactions to occur that cause intense browning. So, will that brown crust stop juice from coming out? No. But I will tell you this: Every time I see it, I get myself ready for something special.