June 16, 2011
First, let me say that grilled steak is my husband’s specialty, and he is “captain of the grill” at our house. I mean, I pretty much have to sneak behind his back to use the darn thing when he’s at home. But a dad can’t cook his own steak on father’s day, right? So this year, I’m choosing to make my husband a traditional steak dinner, pan-fried.
This recipe is adapted from David Tanis’s Heart of the Artichoke (one of my favorite cookbooks for the EDG way of life, by the way). Searing the meat on the cast-iron skillet gives it a terrifically crispy crust and a tender, juicy interior for this incredibly delicious, simple preparation. Since my husband is a no muss no fuss kind of guy, I’m keeping the serving simple as well. Crispy roasted potatoes, a green salad with sliced cherry tomatoes, and a savory red wine will keep the meal focused on the steak’s classic flavors. Seriously, I’m hungry again just thinking about this! Hope all you dads (and families) enjoy this simple, delicious father’s day dinner as much as we will!
4 – new york steaks 1” thick, approx. 5-6 ounces each (more than 1″ thick and you’re getting into grill territory)
Salt and pepper
4 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
2 springs of herbs of choice (I normally use oregano or thyme)
Note: We like our steaks on the rare side, but if you prefer them more well-done (get out right now…kidding), you can simply cook them for a minute or two more on each side.
Season the steaks generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Scatter the garlic over and under the steaks, then drizzle a little olive oil over the top and rub it in. Normally, I just do this whole process on the paper that the steaks came wrapped in – less clean up! You can prep the steaks hours in advance and store them in fridge. If you do this, though, be sure to take them out 1-2 hours before cooking to allow them to come up to room temperature.
Heat your cast-iron skillet on medium high heat until it’s really hot (that’s a technical term). Remove the garlic slices from the steaks and discard. When the pan is good and hot, lay 2 steaks in and let them sizzle. Do not touch them. Do not move them. After 4 – 5 minutes, inspect the cooked side to see if it’s beautifully seared and browned, and when it is turn each steak over. Flip the steaks and add the herbs on top of the cooked side. Cook just until the juices appear on the surface, about 4 minutes more. Remove the steaks to a cutting board and let rest for about 5-10 minutes. Repeat with other steaks (if you have two skillets and enough room on your stove, you can cook all four steaks at once to save some time). Slice and serve, pouring the natural juices over the steak. Finish with a drizzle of excellent-quality extra virgin olive oil and sea salt – I like Maldon or Murray River (both can be found at Whole Foods).
Preheat oven 425 degrees
4-5 pounds small Yukon gold potatoes or baby yellow dutch
1/2 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves with husk attached
8 sprigs thyme
Wash and dry potatoes. Quarter the potatoes and store in salted cool water until ready to roast. Dry well and toss all of the ingredients together in a large oven-safe pyrex dish. Cook the potatoes in your oven for 35- 40 minutes until cooked completely and golden brown. Sprinkle with some sea salt, garnish with thyme, and serve.
Note: I love to do these potatoes in my outdoor fireplace (We retrofitted it to hold a rack for cooking). They get super smoky, crispy, and delicious. If you don’t have a outdoor fireplace or pizza oven, cooking them inside in the oven is still great.