Himalayan Salt Block Recipe – Seared Flank Steak
Flank steak has to be pretty much the best thing short of a foot rub while drinking a root beer float. But it’s tough. It’s ornery. There is a common strategy to making the flank steak supple enough to eat without popping your jaw out of joint: marinating. I’ve made coffee and ginger marinades, lime and tequila marinades, smoked salt and chili pepper marinades, vinegar and sugar marinades… you name it. Every time, great steak. But think of the poor steak. A wonderful, flavor-packed piece of meat forced to suffer quietly the insult of subjugation to intense acids and sugars and salts. When we see a flank steak, we see a quandary. How do we get that elemental flavor out of a meat that resists the teeth? There is a solution, a way honor the humble yet noble flank steak in its naked beauty, a way that takes virtually no preparation ahead of time, a way results in a fun, incredibly juicy and savory dish.
There are two simple tricks to this dish (if you can call steak seared on a giant block of salt a dish): cutting the meat against the grain, and cooking it at a high temperature. Oh, and cooking it NOT on steel, but on a block of ancient, super dense, mineral rich Himalayan pink salt.
1 2lb piece of flank steak
1 9x9x2 inch Himalayan Salt Block or Plate
Place the block of Himalayan rock salt on the stove and set to low heat, gradually, over the course of 30 minutes, bringing it to high heat, until the block reaches a cooking temperature of 475 to 500 degrees F. Cut the piece of flank steak length wise along the grain of the meat, creating two long strips. Then, turning the piece perpendicular to the blade of your knife cut the strips across the fiber of the meat into 1/4 inch thick strips, each about 2 to 3 inches long.
When the Himalayan pink salt plate is hot, which you can tell by when a sample piece of meat sizzles vigorously (or however it is that a piece of meat sizzles when it is REALLY sizzling), or by moving your hand closer and closer to the hot Himalayan salt block until your hand definitely doesn’t want to get any closer at about 2 or 3 inches away, or by gunning it with one of those very cool infra-red thermometers and noting that it is 475 to 500 degrees F, you are ready to cook.
The major drawback to this dish is that no matter how fast you cook, you can generally eat faster. I’ve noticed that when diners are hungry enough, it is possible to actually eat the entire pieces without chewing–sort of iguana style. To avoid giving the impression that we are savages, we have conferred upon this dish a sophisticated name that distracts those we are trying to impress. We call it bifsteak à l’iguanne.
Hence the name, steak a l’iguana. A good way avoid just hovering over the stove wolfing down the hot, juicy, rare-on-the-inside, seared-golden-on-the-outside pieces of steak, is to bring the cooking to the table, where children can be controlled and adults are obligated to be civil.
Place the hot brick on a trivet and place the piping hot Himalayan salt brick on the table. The block of Himalayan salt stores enough heat to allow for 3 to 5 courses. (As the block cools, subsequent batches of steak will be saltier.) And voilà, all the civility of a good fondue Bourguignonne with even better, more indubitably seasoned cooking.