october 2, 2015
When apples are paired with meats, the usual suspects are pork and chicken. Rarely does one think of apple and beef. I hope to alter that perception with a spice rubbed grilled flat iron steak accompanied by a refreshing citrus kissed apple salsa.
Apple season has gotten off to a spectacular start here in Virginia, with roadside stand tables piled high with fruits in shades of red, gold, orange, green and pink. The fragrance is heady and bees hover jealously, hoping, I am certain, that we will all go away and leave them every last apple.
With our moderate autumn climate in Virginia, and relatively mild winters, we like to worship at the grill altar all year long. I love a tasty steak, and prefer one with more texture and heft, which is why the flat iron cut is my favorite for grilling and searing. Read here why I love this steak and why I generally feel satisfied with just a few ounces of good grilled meat instead of what usually passes for serving size; thus, my line of “two to four servings” for a one pound steak.To each his own, and if you have a larger steak appetite, note that this recipe may be doubled for four eight ounce servings. Cooking times will vary for a thicker steak, so watch for that sweet spot of touching with one finger to determine medium rare or more well done.
Apply the flavorful rub to both sides of the steak at least one hour ahead, and allow the steak to rest at room temperature about a half hour before grilling. The salsa may be made a day ahead. This steak tastes great the next day and would make a marvelous salad or sandwich. The amount of light brown sugar may seem excessive, but not to worry – the smoked paprika and chili powder provide balance and depth, with the sugar giving a nice caramelization of the meat and not too much sweetness. In addition, the lime juice balances the apple’s sweetness, jalapeño brings heat and the cumin seed gives a nice umami vibe to the mix. I hope you enjoy this recipe and consider the apple when you think of dinner.
steak with apple jalapeño salsa
recipe by Michele Humlan, The Good Eats Company
makes two to four servings
one small apple, unpeeled and cut in fine dice
one small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
¼ cup finely minced red onion
juice of one small lime
½ teaspoon cumin seed
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
¾ teaspoon smoked paprika (sweet, not hot)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
one pound flat iron steak, trimmed as needed
- In small bowl combine ingredients for salsa and chill : apple, jalapeño, red onion, lime juice and cumin seed; may be made one day ahead.
- In another small bowl, combine remainder of spices for rub, and apply to both sides of steak.
- Allow steak to rest in refrigerator one to four hours.
- Let steak come to room temperature about 30 minutes before grilling.
- Bring gas (or charcoal) grill to high heat; place steak on grill, allowing about 4-5 minutes per side for medium rare (cooking time will vary for thicker cuts of steak).
- Rest meat about five minutes, then slice thinly on the diagonal.
- If desired, drizzle steak juices around the slices on the plate.
- Serve steak with salsa spooned lightly atop meat.