Monday, May 3, 2010

Cast Iron Flank Steak with Salsa Verde

Nine times out of ten, I will cook a flank steak on the barbeque and it is absolutely delicious. I purchased a cast iron skillet about a year ago from TJ Maxx and had yet to use it. I was under the impression that it was complicated and much preparation was needed. Thank goodness, it was a misconception and it was a rather simple process.

Cast iron enjoyed its popularity back in the 1,800’s and is making its resurgence today. There are numerous reasons that people rant about their cast iron pans. Besides being an ideal heat conductor, cast iron cookware heats evenly and consistently, it is economical and will last a lifetime by taking great care. When well seasoned, a cast iron pan will be stick resistant, require no more oil and gets better with age. (Just like a fine wine)

Preheat your cast iron frying pan before cooking. Water droplets should sizzle, then roll and hop around the pan, when dropped onto the heated surface. If the water disappears instantly after being dropped, the pan is too hot. If water only rests and bubbles in the pan, it is not quite hot enough.

To maintain your cast-iron cookware, the secret is the seasoning. Your food will never stick to the bottom of the skillet or pot, the iron will not rust if it is correctly seasoned and will clean easily. Seasoning cast iron cookware means filling the pores in the metal with grease of some sort, which subsequently gets cooked in. This provides a smooth, non-stick surface on both the inside and outside of the cast-iron pan.

You season a cast iron pan by rubbing it with a thin coat of oil, such as canola or vegetable. Place the oiled pan in the oven at 350 to 400 degrees for 30 to 60 minutes. Remove and let cool. Repeat one more time and you should be good. The more you cook with your cast iron, the more seasoned it becomes.

Unless you use your cast-iron pans daily, they should be washed briefly with a little soapy water and then rinsed and thoroughly dried in order to rid them of extra surface oil. If you do not do this, the extra oil will become rancid within a couple of days. Do not put cast iron cookware in the dishwasher.

Salsa Verde

1 C. Flat leaf parsley leaves, minced fine
2 T. Capers, chopped fine
2 Small cloves garlic, minced fine to almost a paste consistency
1 t. Anchovy paste
7 T. Shallots, minced fine
3 T. Red wine vinegar
4 T. Chives, minced
5 T. Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, add the shallots and red wine vinegar. Let sit for 15 minutes to macerate or soften. Make sure that the flat leaf parsley is minced super fine. Add the remaining ingredients and stir well. Taste and then season with the salt and pepper as desired. Let sit for at least 30 minutes for the flavors to incorporate.

To prepare the flank steak, trim the majority of the fat off the steak and score each side of the meat to form diamond shapes. Drizzle with olive oil on each side and work in with your hands. Season each side with salt and pepper. Let the meat come to room temperature for about 60 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place the cast iron skillet on the stove on high. Add a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Test the temperature by splashing a bit of water as described earlier in the posting. Cook for about two minutes on each side. You will know when it is ready to flip, when the meat will not stick. Flip and cook for about two more minutes. Finish in the oven for about five more minutes for medium done. See doneness by touch chart. Let rest for about 5 minutes, so the juices absorb back into the meat before slicing.

Slice about half inch thick and drizzle the salsa verde on top and serve.


  1. Great write-up on cast-iron skillets. I have a couple of small ones and for some reason, I'm hesitant to use them.

    Your salsa verde looks delicious - great combination of ingredients!

  2. Suzanne DrexhageMay 4, 2010 at 10:00 PM

    Looks delicious, Lisa!


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