I would like to make a confession.
I am an amateur.
At what, you ask?
Well, pretty much at everything, life included/especially.
But I’m referring specifically to the fact that I’m an amateur when it comes to cooking meat.
Confession #2: I have never, ever even cooked a steak until today.
Which is sort of embarrassing, since I do live on a cattle ranch. My family produces beef. I remember one time we were at a friend’s house, and they were wanting to fry a steak. They turned to us and said: “Well, guys, show us how it’s done. I’m sure you’ve cooked a million of these.”
My sisters and I looked at each other. And didn’t know how to cook a steak.
So, here I am, determined to learn. Oh, I forgot, I was determined to learn last year. I even made a New Year’s Goal. I made the exact same goal this year.
That is dedication for you.
It’s a really, really bad sign when you have to make the same New Year’s goal two years in a row.
But this year I’m somewhat more (ish) successful. Because today I made steak. I robbed it from the freezer this past Monday and hid it in the refrigerator and even thought about writing LINNAEA’S STEAK in huge letters on the package, but then recalled the fact that whenever I put my name on something and indicate that I like it, it’s twice as likely to be stolen.
After hearing about what an amateur I am and how I’ve never even cooked a steak before, you’re probably beginning to question the credibility of this recipe, or maybe even the credibility of this blog.
Don’t worry. My parents have cooked steak before. They told me how it was done. Then I also read through a few recipes, as well as the in-depth steak-frying guide in my favorite cookbook. I’m not here to name myself the steak-frying expert of the universe or even claim that this is the best steak ever, but I am here to tell you that (1) this steak tasted pretty good to me and (2) it’s really easy to make (much easier than I’d ever thought) and (3) you’ll feel like an Iron Chef while doing it.
So anyway, if I can do it you can do it. Make yourself a Balsamic & Molasses Marinated Steak. You won’t regret it.
- 1 steak (skirt steak small or large, flank steak, flatiron, or flap)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- ½ teaspoon cilantro
- 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
- ½ teaspoon sage
- 1 teaspoon rosemary
- Salt and pepper, sprinkled generously
- 2 tablespoons black coffee, freshly brewed
- ½ teaspoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- Put the steak into a medium sized bowl (preferably one that is wide and flat on the bottom, so that steak will be well-covered by marinade). Add all the marinade ingredients, then use your hands (yes, your hands) to rub the marinade into the steak and make sure that it’s well coated.
- Cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator. Marinade for 3 hours or overnight. About 30 minutes before you are ready to make the steak, remove the bowl from the refrigerator and set it on the counter (this will allow the steak to warm to room temperature to ensure even cooking).
- Put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of a cast iron pan that is large enough to fit the steak with extra room on the sides. Depending on the size of your pan you will need less or more olive oil. Just make sure you add enough to cover the bottom of the pan well (see below recipe for a picture of about how your pan should look).
- Heat the pan to medium high heat. When the olive oil starts smoking slightly (the smoke will be barely visible, so you have to pay attention) put the steak onto the pan. Keep as far away from the pan as you can here as some hot oil might splatter out.
- Allow the steak to cook for about three-four minutes on a side. Don’t move it around or mess with it with your spatula. If your burner doesn’t quite cover the bottom of your pan, you’ll want to move the pan (not the steak) around a little bit to make sure the steak cooks evenly.
- After about 3 minutes, check the bottom of the steak for brownness by lifting up an edge with your spatula. If it seems well-browned, flip. If it could get a little browner without burning, don’t flip it yet.
- Once you flip the steak, put a thermometer into the very thickest part of the steak and monitor the temperature as the other side cooks. For a rare steak, your temperature should be around 115-120 degrees F. For medium rare, 120-125 degrees F. For well done, 130 degrees F.
- Depending upon just how hot your pan is and whether or not the pan is still increasing in heat, you may have to flip the steak again if the side you’re cooking it on seems to be starting to burn.
- After the desired temperature is reached and both sides of the steak appear to be evenly cooked, remove from the pan and set onto a plate. Cover lightly with foil and allow the steak to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and eating.
- Slice in thin slices against the grain (as shown in pictures). This applies to all of the cuts that could be used in this recipe.