If you’ve read any article about how to cook a good steak, chances are you know the importance of letting meat rest once it has cooked: 10 minutes at a minimum. Slice the skirt steak against the grain, and serve it with plenty of your fresh, summery, bright sauce spooned over top.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F. Place an Anolon 12-Inch Vesta Cast Iron Skillet in the oven and let it heat for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, place skirt steak on a cutting board and season generously on both sides with kosher salt and pepper to taste. If necessary, cut the steak to ensure it will fit in the skillet.
- Turn a burner to high. Carefully remove skillet from the oven and place it over the hot burner. Lower steak into pan and cook undisturbed for 2 to 3 minutes or until nicely browned with edges beginning to cook. Wrap a tea towel or potholder around the handle of the pan to remind yourself not to touch it—it will retain its heat for a long time. Flip the steak, and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a cutting board.
- Set a timer for 10 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Add a teaspoon of olive oil. Use a wooden spoon to scrape up any burnt bits clinging to the pan. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel.
- Halve the cherry tomatoes and place in a large bowl. Coarsely chop the olives and add to the bowl along with the capers. Toss to combine. Mince the clove of garlic and set aside.
- When 2 minutes remain on the timer, return the skillet to a burner set over medium-high heat, taking care that the handle may still be hot. Add the tablespoon of olive oil and the minced clove of garlic. Cook, shaking the pan for about 30 seconds, then add the tomato mixture. Cook for another 30 seconds, shaking the pan every so often. Juice the lemon into the pan. Cook for another 30 seconds or until the tomatoes have softened ever so slightly. Return the steak to the pan, spoon the tomato mixture over top, and cook for another 30 seconds. Transfer steak and sauce to a serving platter. Scatter basil leaves overtop. Slice steak against the grain into thin strips. Serve steak with plenty of sauce Niçoise over top.
Notes: Use your fan or open your windows. You may want to disable any smoke alarms, too—this technique tends to produce a lot of smoke.
If time permits, bring steak to room temperature an hour before cooking it.
If you can’t find skirt steak, use any other thin (1/2-inch thick or so) piece of meat—thicker cuts of meat will need to be finished at a lower temperature in the oven or over gentler heat stovetop.