True confession: Even during the height of grilling season, there are times when I prefer to pan-fry my steak.
I wish I could explain it. There is just something about the way it chars (and, yes, even in a pan, it will char) and holds its juices. To give it that extra little oomph that nudges my taste memories toward summer, I use the distinctive flavor of smoked salt.
A cast-iron skillet is the way to go here. And be advised: This preparation makes for a lot of smoke and splatter.
Make Ahead: Remove the steak from the refrigerator an hour before you cook it.
- One 2-pound bone-in T-bone steak, about 1 1/2 inches thick
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 strips raw bacon
- 1 tablespoon smoked salt, such as Maldon Smoked Sea Salt (available at Balducci's and Whole Foods Market)
Use paper towels to pat the steaks dry. Season with pepper to taste.
Use your fingers or a fork to rub the raw bacon all over the inside of the cast-iron skillet; this will coat the skillet with a thin layer of fat. Turn the heat to medium-low and, stirring regularly, cook the bacon for about five minutes or until a thin layer of grease appears. Remove the bacon; reserve for another use or discard.
Increase the heat to high and bring the pan to smoking. Add the steak, and, to get a nice char, cook for 4 minutes, then turn the steak over and cook for 3 minutes.
Reduce the heat to medium-low; turn the steak over and season it lightly with about 1 teaspoon of the smoked salt. Cook for 3 minutes, then turn the steak over and season the second side with a teaspoon of the salt. Cook for 3 minutes. For medium-rare, an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into the steak should read 125 degrees.
Transfer the steak to a cutting board; sprinkle with the remaining teaspoon of salt. Let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting the meat off the bone into thick slices. Serve warm.
From Smoke Signals columnist Jim Shahin.
Tested by Dean Felten .
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