cast iron steak
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Cast iron steak: the recipe which tells you to fry the steak in the oven.
I can’t quite work out what makes this cooking method so effective but it is that. You’d think cooking steak on cast iron is no rocket science – in fact it’s quite tricky to cook steak well when you don’t have a nice heavy pan. Turning once is nothing weird either – there are flipping schools of thought and the ‘leave the steak alone’ approach.
What the oven brings to the table is extra external heat – so might merely the cooking time be shorter? Not exactly: I cook an inch thick steak on the hob for 3 minutes on each side, give or take some seconds for the bleu aficionados.
I think it’s the best method for cooking a large cut: the kind of steak you share between two people. A T-bone or a large ribeye, bone in or out, will produce fantastic results; it works with smaller individual steaks but you have to be so careful not to overcook them that you might as well not bother with the oven.
The marinade is lifted from NY Times Cooking and, however often I profess that a good steak needs only salt and pepper, it tastes absolutely gorgeous without overpowering the meat. And Roquefort – or any other sharp, salty blue cheese – butter is simpler and better than a fancy béarnaise.
cast iron steakServings: 2Time: about half an hour, plus marinating
- 60ml (¼ cup) dark soy sauce
- 2 tbsp. hoisin or plum sauce, or honey
- 1 tbsp. (about 2cm) grated fresh ginger
- 1-2 garlic cloves, grated or pressed
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- 600-700g (24 oz.) steak: rib-eye, T-bone, côte de bœuf, entrecôte etc.
- coarse or flaked sea salt
- For the Roquefort butter :
- 50g (3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, softened
- 60g (2 oz.) Roquefort or similar blue cheese
Mix the soy sauce, hoisin, ginger, garlic and black pepper in a shallow bowl, large enough to fit the steak. Put it in and turn in the marinade. Chill for as long as you can but not overnight; if you flavour it just before cooking, leave it at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 250C/500F or as high as it goes. Place a rack in the lowest position.
Lift the meat from the marinade, scrape off the ginger and garlic bits and dry it with paper towels. If it’s a rib-eye, it might need tying up with kitchen string to keep the shape; measure its average thickness.
To make the Roquefort butter whiz the cheese and butter together in a little blender or simply mash up together with a fork, if they are soft enough. Shape into a roll, wrap it in cling film and chill to firm up.
Heat up a dry cast iron pan or griddle on the hob, until smoking. Scatter the salt in the hot pan and follow with the steak. Immediately transfer the pan to the oven and roast, depending on the thickness, for medium rare:
2-3 cm (1in) – 3 minutes on each side, turning once
5cm (2in) – 5 minutes on each side, turning once
7-8cm (3in) – 10 minutes on each side, turning once
9-10cm (4in) – about 12 minutes on each side, turning once
For a very thick cut it would be good to check the internal temperature with a probe (medium rare is 60C/135F).
Transfer the steak to a warm plate, place a few slices of the cold Roquefort butter on top of it and cover loosely with foil. Let it rest at least as long as it was roasting on one side.
Carve into slices as much against the grain as you can, it won’t be as neat as a carved roast joint especially with a bone in – but mighty tasty all the same.