Cross my heart and hope to die, cooking a steak in a cast iron skillet can’t be beat, no way no how! The cast iron skillet, when heated properly, allows a steak—rib eye, filet mignon, flatiron, etc.—to be seared and then cooked in its own juices, either in the oven or under the broiler. This is the ideal way to do “steak” when it’s too miserably hot outside to fire up the ol’ grill!
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Frank Davis Beef Seasoning
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 to 4 rib eye or filet mignon steaks, cut about ¾ to 1 inch thick
First task is to thoroughly combine all the seasonings and spices in a large mixing bowl (this is what will make up your “rub”).
Then, while the rub is formulated, heat your oven to its highest temperature (usually 500 degrees) with your 12- to 14-inch cast iron pan inside. Be sure to give it enough time to “superheat.” This will take a while, so be patient. I’m thinking about 15 minutes or so.
Then when the pan has reached the temperature of the oven, very carefully remove it and set it atop a lighted burner that’s been set on “high” so that it can soak up even more heat. This is the methodology you want to use to get just right! This is what produces excellent results!
Now, while doing all the previous “prep,” make sure your steaks have been taken out of the refrigerator and allowed to warm up to room temperature. It’s at this point when you season them with the steak rub. Be sure to work it in thoroughly with your hands so as to coat them on both sides.
Note: Be careful, however, not to over season. Remember your seasonings are there to enhance the flavor of the meat, not to cover it up. Finally, after the steaks have been seasoned, brush the top side, completely covering the surface, with a homogenous mixture made of equal parts of melted butter and extra virgin olive oil.
Next, place your steaks, oiled side down, in the heated pan while it is still on the burner. DO NOT, however, touch the steaks for at least 1 1/2 to 2 minutes while they are searing. The meat and seasonings will form a crust and the steaks will first stick to then slightly separate from the pan. When this happens, brush the butter/oil mix over the other side, take some tongs, flip the steaks over (only once), and allow the other side to sear.
After searing the second side, also for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes, remove the pan from the stovetop and place it immediately into either the 500 degree oven or directly under the broiler. The time you leave it there depends on how well done you want your steaks. Three minutes on each side should be adequate for a 1 1/2 inch steak to be cooked medium rare. Cook it longer or shorter as your tastes desires.
When done to your particular liking, remove the skillet from the oven, tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to “rest” on the countertop for about 5 minutes so that the juices can redistribute inside the meat. All that’s left, then, is to serve the steaks on heated plates with the oven roasted potatoes and the baked carrots on the side.
If you deglaze the pan, the resultant drippings make a great base for a red wine sauce (red wine, minced garlic, chopped green onions, Frank Davis Beef Seasoning, and a couple teaspoons of corn starch to thicken). But there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the steaks as they come directly out of the skillet! Ummmm.
Roasted carrots: Peel and cut carrots into about 1-1/2 inch chunks. Then drop them into a large mixing bowl, toss them with about a half-cup of extra virgin olive oil, a half-stick of melted butter, and a generous sprinkling of my vegetable seasoning or a little Tony’s. Then transfer them to a shallow baking sheet lined with parchment paper and slide them into a 400-degree oven for about 40 minutes or until tender-crisp.
Oven-baked potatoes: Wash small A or B-size red potatoes, cut them in halves, drop them into a large bowl containing the same ingredients you used for the carrots, toss them ever so completely, and spread them out on a shallow baking sheet lined with parchment paper and slide them into a 450-degree oven for about an hour or so (or until the taters turn a crispy, toasty brown. Just before serving them, liberally sprinkle them with grated Parmesan cheese.