Ok, for those of you with an actual honest-to-goodness outdoor grill, move along nothing to see here.
I've been fake grilling steaks and salmon for quite a while, perhaps five years. But quite honestly I suck at it. Or I did. The thing about cooking I'm finally starting to figure out after about ten years of taking it semi-seriously is that there is a huge difference between getting it almost right and getting it right. This is the first time I've gotten close to perfect with a fake grilled steak.
The process itself is beguilingly simple. Salt the steak, wash off the salt and pat dry. Heat an iron skillet until it glows and drop on steak. Flip. Put in oven if it's a thick steak and track temp with thermometer.
Ahh, but the devil is in the details. Too much salt, overcooked, undercooked, caring for the iron skillet, I've messed this up every way possible.
One of the biggest variables is the quality and thickness of the steak. Here in Prague the typical sirloin (rostěna) cut from the butcher is pretty mediocre. Good cuts in general are not easily available at the local butcher. This effects all sorts of things like how long the steak should be salted, cooked, etc. Cooking temperature can be measured by a good thermometer, but many other variables are more subtle and I feel like I'm just barely getting a handle on them.
Ok, so this was a mignon, the best cut there is. I didn't want to screw it up. Also it's fairly thin, thickness is an important factor. Higher quality cuts absorb salt at a faster rate. I salted this for 8 minutes which might've been a bit too long, but was pretty close. Meanwhile the iron skillet was on full flame.
Wash the steak off and pat dry then toss onto the iron, *sizzle*.
After five minutes give it a flip. Yeah I know it's a small cut dwarfed by my tongs, what do you think, I'm made outta money?
Side one, crispy, onto side two.
After another five minutes, put on a plate cover with tinfoil (or aluminiumianian foil as the Limeys and their colonists say) and let rest for 5-10 minutes.
Crunchy on the outside, bleeding in the middle, perfect for such a quality cut of beef.
Oh yeah, and I've finally figured out, more or less, how to maintain an iron skillet, wash it gently with water and a soft brush while still hot, never apply soap. This tortilla skillet is only used for fake grilling meat and fish but it beads up like teflon (well close) after washing up.
So many variables, so little time . . .