Thursday, January 13, 2011

Cast Iron Skillet Nirvana

About 14 months ago, I was the lucky winner of a Pioneer Woman giveaway. It was a generous Thanksgiving bundle and I received a Wusthof knife (I use this daily), a turkey roasting pan (have not used once), and a cast iron skillet from Lodge.

When I got the pan, I seasoned it and started using it right away and one day I put it up out of the way on top of the refrigerator and then promptly forgot about it and didn't use it for a year. Then, last month, I remembered my dear skillet and took it down and gave it a thorough scrubbing and seasoned it yet again.

And then I started cooking steak in it. Now I don't think I am going to stop using the thing.

Flat Iron Cast Iron Steak with Mushrooms

1- 1 lb+ flat iron steak
salt and pepper (or steak seasoning or other rub if preferred)
canola oil
12 oz. Cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1/4 cup sherry

optional toppings: blue cheese, Gorgonzola, freshly grated Parmesan, Chimichurri sauce

Start by making little crosswise cuts across the grain of the steak. Generously rub with salt and pepper or any other steak rub or seasoning you prefer. I have tried this with a heavy thyme rub, a plain pepper rub, and a cumin/chile powder rub. All have been delicious.

Heat your cast iron skillet to medium high. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil before adding your steak. (This might smoke a bit so kitchen fan on!) Add steak and cook for 4-5 minutes before turning over for another 4-5 minutes. (If you are cooking an especially thick flat iron, you can even go 10-12 minutes total and it will still be medium rare in the center.) Remove from pan to plate and cover with foil.
Add a touch more oil to pan along with your mushrooms. Cook, stirring often until mushrooms are releasing their water, about 5 minutes. Add sherry and bring to a boil and then cook until it is nearly cooked away.

Cut steak into thin strips on the diagonal and side with mushrooms. Top with cheese if desired. Here I served the steak with a chimichurri sauce (recipe follows). Serves 4.
Chimichurri Sauce: In a food processor, combine 1 bunch cilantro with 5 cloves of garlic and 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar. Add 1/4 cup olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. This can be as strong or mild as you like. It will give you fierce garlic breath!


  1. That looks good! I may have to break down and buy me some steak to cook in my skillet!

  2. Our cast-irons are nicely seasoned and so are easy to use. I have been searing fish and chicken with our big pan, and then I pop it into the oven to bake the insides. The sear keeps the juices in, so it's a bit more flexible to adjustments in cooking time, which makes it easier to cook sides.

  3. I have not mastered the perfect seasoning on my pan. Do you have any secrets? Mine seems to rust awfully quickly and then I have to scrape off the rust and start all over again......