I recently purchased a copy of The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook: A Treasury of Timeless, Delicious Recipes and it wasn't long before I had picked out a recipe to try. One of the things I like about cooking with cast iron is that I can use many different outdoor cooking devices as a heat source. As a Boy Scout Scoutmaster I used traditional dutch oven techniques to teach the Scouts how to cook outdoors. But now I think you could consider me a little non-traditional in my cast iron cooking.
What do you do when you want to cook a steak outdoors on a cast iron skillet and you don’t have any propane for the sideburner on your gas grill? You use charcoal, of course. And there’s no better way, in my book, than my charcoal chimney for heating up a cast iron skillet. I’ve use this technique once or twice before and for me it is a practical and cost-effective way to cook with my skillet for small cooks.
Cooking with your charcoal chimney as the heat source is that it gets really hot, but it does take a while to get up to temp. It is vital you get the charcoal in the chimney burning completely before putting the skillet on top. You need to have lots of air flow to get the charcoal hot so make sure you don’t do anything to restrict the air flow. Placing the chimney on the top grill grate of my kettle works great. You get top and bottom air flow and the charcoal will get blazing hot.
Using the rosemary sprig as the brush for the infused olive oil is a great way to impart a subtle flavor into the meat and clean up is much easier too!
This steak was fantastic. There isn’t much in this world that’s better than a great steak cooked outdoors and then basted with melted butter. One of the things I liked best about the The Lodge Cast Iron Cookbook: A Treasury of Timeless, Delicious Recipes is that many of the recipes can easily be adapted to cooking on the grill with very little effort if you don’t have a cast iron skillet. And with an entire chapter on Corn Bread this cookbook should be on every outdoor cooks bookshelf.
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 garlic clove, diced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 lbs of steak. (I used two New York Strip Steaks)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped
- Two hours before you start cooking infuse the rosemary into the olive oil by placing both in a small bowl and setting aside.
- One hour before cooking take your steak out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature.
- Place your skillet on your heat source, whether it’s a charcoal chimney, the sideburner of your grill or even your stove. Leave it for 20 minutes. Yes, 20 minutes. You want this skillet as hot as you can possibly get it.
- Use the rosemary sprig as a brush and coat your steak with the rosemary infused olive oil. Season your steak with salt and pepper.
- Place the steak in the hot skillet and cook, without moving, for three minutes.
- Using tongs remove the steak from the skillet and pour out any drippings into a heat proof container. USE AN OVEN MITT WHEN HANDLING THE SKILLET, IT’S GOING TO BE HOT.
- Return the steak, uncooked side down, to the skillet and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Remove the steak from the skillet and let it rest on your cutting board for 5 or 6 minutes. Resting allows the juices to settle.
- Using a sharp knife cut your steak into thick slices and place it on a platter.
- Wipe skillet clean and add the butter. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the butter until it is foamy and brown. Stir in the cilantro (original recipe used parsley) and pour mixture over the steak slices.
- Serve immediately.