Dinner a la Plancha (steak and vegetables)

I've been eating a lot more steak ever since I found out about this cooking method. I blame you, Eric Ripert! You know him... handsome (but not in an icky he's going to use it for evil way) chef who's a meat-eating Buddhist and owner of Le Bernadin in New York. One of the glossy food magazines ran a piece on him last summer and he made a steak using this method on a piece of slate. I improvised and used my cast iron griddle and I've never gone back. 

Why is this method great? You get a super hot flat surface that sears meat to perfection with no flare ups, great crust and no smoking up the kitchen. What more do you want? Vegetables, you say? No problem. Throw those on too—and you don't have to worry about them falling through the grates. Perfect for burgers too.

You can use a heavy frying pan, a piece of untreated slate from a home improvement store or, bite the bullet and get one of these great griddles. I use mine on the stovetop too—for pancakes, grilled cheese, quesadillas. It's a worthwhile item to have if you cook for more than one and you like a nice brown crust on things. 

Steak and Vegetables a la Plancha

Variable servings 

1 lb steak (I used flank)
4 cloves garlic
Black pepper, coarsely ground
Olive oil
Vegetables, whatever you like, sliced medium thick

Chop garlic and rub over both sides of steak along with salt, lots of black pepper and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Let sit for 20 minutes or so at room temperature. Heat grill to hot and place griddle pan on rack. Preheat for 10 minutes until very hot. Drizzle a little oil on the pan and cook steak for about 7 minutes per side for medium rare. The vegetables will cook more quickly. I usually put them on after I flip the steak and turn them halfway through the final cooking time. Let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes, then slice and serve. 

Leftovers sandwich with garlic/lemon mayonnaise. 


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