This was the first steak that I have ever cooked, in fact, and I chose to do it Alton Brown's way: searing the meat on my spiffy new (and goddamn heavy) cast-iron skillet, then transferring it to the oven for a few more minutes to cook the center. Other than some low-grade smoke inhalation and some slightly watery eyes, I have to admit that it turned out pretty well, even if I can't yet locate any grass-fed beef in Cornstate — even in mighty Corntown!* When you can't even rely on Trader Joe's, you probably have to call off the search.
All respect to the illustrious Mr. Brown, but I don't recall him mentioning in that episode ("Steak Your Claim," if you're keeping track):
- that my skillet would come out of its oven pre-heating already smoking a bit.
- Or that applying the steak to the super-heated skillet would cause such huge billows of smoke that I would lose 50% of my usual visibility within my apartment, thereby encouraging me to open every window for emergency ventilation, in the middle of a windy snowstorm.
- Or that the steak would leave such a stubborn imprint on my thoroughly seasoned skillet that it would shred the paper towels I used to scour the bottom with oil and salt, thereby encouraging me to re-season the pan after dinner amid fears that I have somehow removed the seasoning that I have been patiently building for a week and a half with greasy, greasy breakfasts and dinners. Oh, well. Cast-iron cookware is a lifetime investment, I'm told, and regularly re-seasoning is just part of the game.