I don’t think there’s anything in the world that I like me more than a good steak.
Personally, I think steaks are at their best in the summertime when you can throw them on the outdoor grill over really, REALLY high heat and get some super nice charred grill marks on them, as well as infuse them with this great distinctive smokey, charcoal flavor that only a grill can confer.
But, something has to be said for a nice crusted steak, too.
You know, the kind of steak that you cook in a scorching hot good ole cast iron skillet, in a generous amount of extremely hot fat, which produces a beautiful crispy golden crust and gives the meat a rich buttery flavor.
To successfully cook such a steak can sometimes be tricky, though, and more often than not will result in setting off the fire alarm. Well, unless you have a very good range hood, which unfortunately, I don’t. So the alarm goes off a lot. Oh, the annoyance, I tell you! Especially when you’re trying to take pictures, you know!
But I say this high- pitched-mega-decibel-producing disturbance is a very small price to pay in exchange for this beautiful meal in your plate…
First off, you need a beautiful piece of beef meat that’s at least 3/4″ thick. Any thinner than that and it’ll be cooked all the way trough before you even have a chance to work on that crust.
I used a strip steak here, but you could use your own favorite grilling cut, preferably boneless.
Make sure that your piece of meat is nice and DRY, and I do mean DRY, otherwise, it’ll send hot oil splattering all over the place as soon as it hits the hot pan, and then it’ll boil on you and will never form that crust we’re looking for. I like to let my steak air dry in the fridge overnight, but if you’re in a pinch, just make sure you pat it real dry before to apply your seasoning.
Speaking of which, I tend to stick with simple salt and pepper, and I prefer to use the coarse variety. Spices tend to burn at such high temperatures and besides, I like to be able to taste my beef.
Ah, before you start, make sure you have all your ingredients ready. A good steak waits for no one! So shave your Brussels sprouts ahead of time.
The most efficient way to get this done is with the slicing disc of your food processor. It’ll go through pounds of them in mere seconds!
And you know what? While you’re at it, you might as well make some extra: shaved Brussels sprout cook so rapidly, having them ready and on hand is just the best. You can whip up a delicious side in just a couple of seconds. Simply throw a handful in a hot pan and quickly saute them in a little bit of ghee or coconut oil. So good, it’ll no doubt become a regular!
So back to our meat… We got our pan really nice and hot, melted our fat and threw in our steak.
Rule number one: DO NOT MOVE YOUR PIECE OF MEAT AROUND. Just set it in the pan and leave it be while that crust is forming.
What you will want to do, though, is baste your steak with the hot fat. This will help cook it more gently but more importantly, it will help cook it from both sides simultaneously, so you can have a beautiful crust on the exterior and avoid having completely raw and cold meat on the interior
Notice how the meat sort of instantly cooked where the fat landed? Oh, and sorry about the blurry spoon: no, you’re not seeing double and you haven’t had too much to drink. Looks like the movement was just too much for my camera to handle. This picture was taken in low light conditions…
After about a minute, time to flip our steak. HA! Look at that beautiful crust! Just the way I like it.
But to get this kind of results, you really need HEAT. And I do mean very HIGH heat. Get your pan smoking hot.
When you remove your steak from the pan, by all means, don’t go pierce it with a fork! Grab it with kitchen tongs. Piercing it would only cause all the precious juices to escape, and that’s precisely what we want to avoid.
Set that piece of meat to rest in a plate, covered with a piece of aluminum foil or dome shaped bowl or glass lid. Just make sure it stays warm while it’s resting. Steak doesn’t like being cold. Keep it comfy. It’ll thank you for it!
While your steak is resting, place your skillet back over medium heat this time and add the red onion. Immediately throw in the shaved Brussels sprouts.
Give that a quick stir and cook until just softened.
Like I said earlier, shaved Brussels sprouts cook incredibly fast, so just a quick minute over medium heat should do the trick. Adjust seasoning to your liking, but chances are you won’t be needing to add much here: the fat that was in the pan was already infused with so much flavor from that steak!
Mound your cooked shaved Brussels sprouts in the middle of a plate. Slice your steak on a bit of a diagonal and arrange it right over the warm veggies.
Sprinkle with soft goat cheese, chopped pistachio and, for the finishing touch, a teaspoon or two of Balsamic reduction.
This is another thing that I like to keep in the fridge at all times. It’s so simple and easy to make: all you need to do is bring a cup or so of Balsamic vinegar to a boil then lower the heat and let it simmer until it reduces by about half. It’ll get nice and thick and syrupy and oh-so-delicious.
Just a little drizzle of this marvel adds tons of flavor to your food. Trust me, you’ll want to put that %@# on everything!
Does that look good or what?
And it wasn’t all that complicated to make, was it?
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go get the door: I think the firemen are here! I really need to get me a new “more-power” range hood…