I love my grill. I love it so much that sometimes, late at night, I walk out onto my balcony and give it a supportive little pat, because I want it to know I appreciate it.
But that shiny, beautiful jerk likes to overcook my steaks. It won’t overcook chicken, sausage, pork, or even shrimp. It saves its brattiness for really good steaks. Which is why, for better or worse, I cook my steaks in a pan on the stove. Please don’t tell my dad.
I have an easier time controlling the temperature of the steaks in a pan on the stove. I use a big, stainless steel skillet, which gets really hot, and then I can melt a little bacon grease before I put the steaks in. Additionally, there’s all kinds of brownish-beefish bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, which are crying out to be made into a sauce, or to perform my absolute favorite cooking miracle: COOKING ALL THE ELEMENTS OF YOUR MEAL IN THE SAME PAN. Yeah, this whole dinner occurs in one pan.
Steak and Greens
2 steaks, any kind will do. I used sirloin this time, but my favorite choice is ribeye. Whatever you like is fine.
salt and pepper
a little bacon fat, if you have it
1 bunch Swiss chard, ribbed and roughly chopped*
2 shallots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp dijon mustard
3-4 tbsp brown sugar
red pepper flakes, if you like
a few tablespoons of water
crusty bread and butter
Method: Remove the steaks from the fridge 30 minutes or so before you want to cook them. Season them liberally with salt and pepper. In a large pan (large enough to cook two steaks at the same time, keeping them at least 2 inches apart from each other and the sides of the pan – if you don’t have a pan that big, cook them one at a time) on high heat, melt a little bacon grease and wait for the pan to get really, really hot. When it’s hot enough, pop in the steaks, they should sizzle, a lot. Depending on the thickness of the beef, it might take 2-4 minutes per side for medium rare. Err on the side of bloody, that’s what I say.
A minute or two before your steaks are cooked to your desired doneness, remove them to a plate and cover with foil. Don’t cut them or mess with them or anything, just leave them alone for awhile. In the meantime, turn the heat down to medium, toss the garlic, shallots, vinegar, mustard, sugar and water into the pan and let it cook for 5 minutes or so, stirring it around so the browned bits of beef are all deglazed.
Finally, put all the chard into the pan and move it around with tongs, letting it wilt. I do this whole process for maybe 6 minutes or so, 3 minutes with the heat still on, 3 minutes with the heat turned off. When that’s done, you can slice your steaks (against the grain!!!) and serve over the greens, with crusty bread to sop up the beef drippings/greens dressing.
* Swiss chard is kind of a pain in the ass. It’s a really sandy vegetable, so you have to wash it carefully, and it requires that you cut out almost all of the center ribs in the 5000 leaves of chard the bunch you buy will certainly include. So to cut out the rib, rinse each leaf well, lay it out flat, and cut out the rib with a knife. When they’ve all been de-ribbed, roll them up in bunches and cut them up.