As we draw closer to summer, I’m reminded of one of my favorite summertime activities – grilling meat! My name is Mike, and call me an unsophisticated or typical male, but the one thing I love to cook more than anything is meat. If I had to choose one way to cook meat for the rest of my life, it would be to grill it. However, the dilemma that I’m faced with is that I live in the state of Minnesota, where the appeal of grilling is diminished for roughly 6 months of the year when the below freezing temps and the 6-30 inch blanket of snow gets in the way of me pulling out the obscenely large metal tongs and spatula and cooking with some real fire. Most winters leave me moping around and just waiting for the first nice day in spring to light the fire, but this year I just couldn’t take it anymore. I needed a steak. Now some of you may be thinking, “just go to a steakhouse,” but I’ve found that after having gone out a few times and spent anywhere from $18-25 on a steak, I have yet to find a restaurant that can make one as well as I can at home. Besides, this is the household of the Frugal Flambe, and who wants to drop $18-25 on a single steak dinner? Not me.
For those of you living in an icy cold state, or to those living in an apartment where grilling isn’t an option, I made a beautiful discovery this winter. It’s called: “Cast Iron!” Yes, when fire is not readily available for cooking meat, cast iron is the next best thing. After studying up on my favorite cooking website (www.foodnetwork.com), and taking a few pointers from Chef Alton Brown, I tried my hand at at grilling a steak with a cast iron frying pan, and much to my surprise, it’s the first steak I’ve ever had that was cooked indoors that lived up to my picky standard. It was delicious. It didn’t have that “taste of fire” that can only come from a real grill, but the flavor was great, the meat had a nice sear, and the steak was tender and juicy.
If you don’t have a cast-iron fry pan, never fear. For the price of a single steak dinner you can buy one from Target or Wal-Mart, and they’re generally good for life. I recommend getting a flat pan over the grill shaped pan, since you’ll find yourself using it far more often.
Warning: My recipes aren’t so much “recipes,” as they are guidelines. I rarely make my steak exactly the same way twice, and if I gave you measurements they would be made up and probably not turn out so well. You can use any or all of the ingredients depending on what flavors you like, but I’ll refer to my “not recipe” as “The Method.”
- Season your steak with a light dusting of each of the following spices:
- season salt
- onion salt
- garlic salt
- Black pepper to taste
- Add a few shakes of worcestershire sauce
- Brush some freshly minced garlic (about 2 cloves) on either side of the steak
- Note: This add more of a sweet flavor than salty, so adjust to your liking
- Brush both side of the steak with a light coat of oil to prevent it from fusing to the pan
- Start by preheating your oven to 500 degrees, and place the cast iron pan in the oven while it is preheating
- Once the oven is hot, remove the cast iron pan from the oven and place on a medium-high burner
- Place the steak in the pan, and sear on each side for 1-2 minutes.
- Move the pan into the oven for around 8 minutes
- Remove steak from the oven and the pan, then cover loosely with foil and let it rest for 3-5 minutes to allow the meat to tenderize.
I use the same seasoning base for steaks on a gas or charcoal grill, so if you’ve got one, use it. If not, I recommend the cast iron as the next best thing. Got a favorite rub or blend of spices for your steak? We’d love to hear it!
Download the .pdf version of this “method” HERE!
Mike Guthrie is married to Shellina, and together they have completely changed their way of thinking when it comes to eating. Not only have they stopped eating out, but they also try to do so in fun, relatively healthy ways. The typical male, Mike loves meat; grilling it, basting it, frying it, and, of course, eating it. Every other Tuesday he’ll share a new “Man Recipe” (usually a general list of ingredients because, according to him, recipes are for chicks).