Cast-iron (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My family has always used cast iron cookware and being a longtime fan of Lodge cast iron cookware myself, I am always trying out new recipes in my cast iron pieces. I thought I would share one of those recipes with you.
Now you can choose to use any other brand of cast iron you want to, but I find that Lodge Logic is the best and the most recommended brand on the market today. There are many reasons I like Lodge cast iron but the one reason that I think we all can relate to is the fact that Lodge cast iron pieces are made in the USA. I don’t know about you but I like to support our great country and now days it is hard to find items that are actually made here in the USA. Okay, I will get off my soapbox and get to the recipe. For this recipe I used the Lodge round grill pan that measures 11 ¼” in diameter, is 2” in depth and weighs about 7 pounds. This Lodge cast iron grill pan is more than your ordinary grill pan. It makes grilling indoors taste like you grilled outdoors yet you did so in the comfort of your warm and cozy home. It holds two medium sized steaks just perfect. With its ribbed bottom, you can put those “grilling stripes” on your steaks just like your favorite restaurants do. And, with the ribbed bottom you are keeping your food out of the fat drippings so that you do not retain that added fat content which in turn means you are eating healthier meats.
Being that I work full time and have two very energetic kids as well as a very spoiled husband, I always purchase my Lodge cast iron pieces seasoned and ready to use. This saves me a lot of time and in this day and time, I can use all the extra time I can get. But, if you choose to purchase your cast iron cookware in the original finish, seasoning your skillet is fairly easy.
All you need to do is preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Wash your piece in hot, soapy water (mild detergent, never use harsh detergents on cast iron) and scrub it with a stiff brush. Rinse and dry it thoroughly. Coat all of the interior and exterior surfaces with melted solid vegetable shortening or vegetable oil. Now place the cookware upside down on the middle oven rack, (put aluminum foil on the lower rack to catch any drippings). Bake for 1 hour and then turn the oven off leaving the cookware in the oven until it cools. When you have finished seasoning your cast iron cookware it might look slightly brown but that is okay. Now you are ready to start using your Lodge cast iron cookware.
Now to get ready to cook those steaks: First, I always marinate my steaks for at least 30 minutes before cooking them. To do this, get yourself a plastic container with a lid and lay the steaks in it side by side so that the marinade can get to all areas of the steaks. In a small bowl mix the marinade ingredients well and then pour over the steaks. Cover the container with the lid and place in the refrigerator for 30-60 minutes. While these are marinating you will have time to fix those side dishes you want to serve with your steaks.
¼ cup A-1 Steak Sauce
4 Tbsp. Texas Pete
4 Tbsp. Chicago Steak Seasoning
¼ cup water
Mix all ingredients until well blended and pour over steaks. This makes enough marinade for 2 medium sized steaks. (I prefer using New York Strips or Ribeye steaks).
Cooking the steaks: I always spray my cast iron skillet with cooking spray as an extra precaution against my food sticking. Turn your stove on medium to start and place your cast iron grilling pan on the stove to heat. Depending on your stove, this usually takes about 2-3 minutes for the grilling pan to get hot and be ready to cook in. Now add your steaks and pour the marinade over them to coat them while you are cooking. Turn your stove to medium/low and let the steaks cook until done to your liking. My husband and I like our steaks well done so I usually let them cook for about 20-30 minutes depending on the thickness of the steaks. You may want to cover your grill pan with a lid or splatter screen to prevent the marinade from splattering onto you or your stove while cooking. Once the steaks have finished cooking remove them from the pan and place on a serving tray. With the ribbing in the bottom of the Lodge grill pans; your steaks look like they were purchased from an upscale restaurant when you actually did it yourself for half the cost.
Now that you have thoroughly enjoyed those delicious steaks (I am certain that you will), it is time for that dreaded clean up. Actually, cleaning your Lodge cast iron cookware is not so bad. Just place your pan in hot, soapy water (once again, mild detergents only) and scrub with a stiff brush. Do not use harsh detergents, as it will remove the seasoning from the pan. Never put a hot cast iron pan in cold water because this can cause the pan to warp or crack. Towel dry your pan thoroughly and store in a cool, dry place. If your pan has a lid, place a folded paper towel between the lid and the pan so as to allow the air to circulate between the two pieces. If your cast iron pieces begin to rust do not fret; simply scrub with a stiff brush and season them again.
Happy cooking and I hope you enjoyed this recipe!