Seared steaks with Szechuan Pepper crust and caramelized onions
From Nick Schneider
- 1 ¼ lb. beef skirt, hanger or strip steak, if excess fat, trimmed.
- 1 t veg oil
- kosher salt
- 1 t finely grated ginger
- Szechuan Pepper Rub
- 1 t Szechuan peppercorns (available in Asian grocery stores and co-ops)
- ½ t white peppercorns
- ½ t black peppercorns
- ¼ t allspice berries
- 1.5 lb. onions
- 2 t unsalted butter
- 1 t kosher salt
- 1 t sugar
- 1-2 t balsamic vinegar
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
Slice the onions very thin cross-wise, through the stem. Mandolines can work well for this.
Start sweating the onions on low heat in the butter with the salt in a pan or large skillet with the lid on, about 10 minutes.
Uncover the pan and increase the heat, stir frequently, cooking until the onions begin to dry out a little.
Add the sugar. Onions will begin to brown.
Add the vinegar and cook until it has evaporated.
Check seasoning again and reserve.
Dry toast the peppercorns and allspice in a cast iron pan until toasty and aromatic.
Allow to cool, add to a blender and grind to fine powder.
Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel. Removing any water or moisture from meat before it is seared will ensure that it doesn’t steam, but caramelizes.
Rub steaks first the oil, then the ginger and salt, and then with the pepper rub.
Cooking the Steaks
Begin by heating a heavy cast iron or stain-less steal skillet over high heat. Add the cooking oil and coat evenly.
Add the steaks and cook until small droplets of blood emerge from the surface of the meat.
Turn and sear for 3-4 minutes, again noticing when small droplets of blood form on the meat.
3-4 minutes will yield rare, 5-6 medium-rare.
Rest the steaks on a cutting board for 5 minutes, slice across the grain.
Serve with onions over the top.
Tips for grass fed beef
Cook in less time, typically 30% less. Bring meat to room temp. Always preheat oven or grill Dry the meat first for direct heat method Let the meat rest before carving Oil the meat before cooking