Skillet Steak with Cilantro Chimichurri and Crispy Potatoes
Thank you to Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring this post.
I have mixed feelings about meat. While I eat a mostly plant-based diet, I do love a juicy hamburger and crave a good steak on occasion. At the same time, I know meat makes a far greater contribution to greenhouse gases than plants do. Plus, two of my three children are vegetarians, so I’m reminded often of the sacrifice made by the animal kingdom for me to enjoy a smokey BLT.
Meat is Still on the Menu
Some day this dietary tug-of-war may become too much for me and I’ll become a full-fledged vegetarian. For now, I’m still eating (and enjoying) meat. That said, I try to be thoughtful about my approach. I aim to eat less meat, less often, but buy good quality, and prepare it with loving care.
A Nutrient-Rich Food
This is why I was pleased as punch to find Sprouts Farmers Market selling 100 percent grass fed strip steak on a recent visit. I’ve come to like the flavor and texture of grass fed beef and appreciate that the cows graze in pastures rather than spending much of their life in feedlots. From a nutrition standpoint, all beef is rich in key nutrients, notably vitamin B-12, zinc, selenium, and iron. In addition, 100 percent grass fed beef tends to be leaner than its grain fed counterpart and the fat that it does have is higher in omega-3 fats and conjugated linolenic acid, both considered beneficial for heart health.
As for how to cook beef, that all depends on the cut. In the case of strip steak, a hot cast iron skillet is my tool of choice. After seasoning the meat well with salt and pepper, I cook it fairly quickly on the stove and then leave it to rest for a good 10 minutes before serving (that helps keep all the flavorful juices inside).
Chimichurri Makes a Perfect Side Kick
My favorite side for a steak is a pile of crispy roasted potatoes. The ones here are first boiled on the stove top and then go into the oven until golden. While that’s happening, whirl together chimichurri sauce, a classic to pair with beef that hails from Argentina. It’s traditionally made with olive oil, vinegar, parsley, and garlic, though I’ve added fresh cilantro into the mix. The bright, acidic sauce is excellent alongside steak.
Having taken time to shop for, prepare, cook, and rest your steak, now is the moment to tuck in …and enjoy every precious bite.
Skillet Steak with Chimichurri and Crispy Potatoes
Make the most of a pair of strip steaks by cooking them quickly in a hot skillet and serving them with a tangy, cilantro-spiked chimichurri sauce. On the side, nothing is better than a pile of crispy roasted potatoes. Other cuts of beef will work well here, including hangar and flank steaks, though the cooking times will need to be adjusted depending on the thickness of the meat.
- 2 Sprouts Grass Fed New York strip steaks that are about 12 ounces each (about 1 ¼-inch thick)
- 1 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more for seasoning the potatoes.
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds small thin-skinned potatoes (red, yellow, or yukon gold)
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped, lightly packed cilantro
- 1/4 cup roughly chopped, lightly packed Italian parsley
- 3 medium cloves minced garlic
- Big pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 ½ tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons canola, grape seed, or avocado oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Remove the steaks from the fridge and season with 1 teaspoon salt and a light shower of freshly ground black pepper.
Cut the potatoes in quarters (or in half if they are quite small). Put into a medium pot and cover by 11/2 inches with water. Add enough salt so the water tastes like the sea. Bring to a boil and boil until the potatoes are very tender (you can slip a paring knife into the center with ease). Drain well.
While the potatoes cook, make the chimichurri by putting the cilantro, parsley, garlic, red pepper flakes, vinegar, ⅓ cup olive oil, and ¼ teaspoon salt into a blender or food processor and run until finely chopped but not pureed. Set aside.
Transfer the boiled potatoes to a parchment-lined baking sheet, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread out on the baking sheet and roast until golden brown, about 25 minutes (you can always blast them under a broiler if you want to speed things up).
While the potatoes brown, set a large cast iron skillet (or other heavy pan) over medium-high heat and leave it for several minutes until you can feel the heat under your palm when you hover it just above the surface of the pan. Add the canola oil and swirl to coat the bottom. Lay down the steaks and cook until deeply browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the steaks over and continue to cook until done to your liking, an additional 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare (125 degrees on an instant read thermometer; temperature will rise as it rests). Cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes for medium or medium-well. Transfer to a serving platter to rest for at a good 10 minutes.
Serve the steaks with chimichurri sauce and roasted potatoes on the side.