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Cajun Grilled Steak

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One could say I’m a dichotomy of sorts. I love it hot and I love it cold. For hot, I’m not talking about the weather. I’m talking about the heat from all manner of spice combinations whether jerk, Thai, curry, chipotle or in this case cajun. And for cold, I am talking about the weather and in particular when it snows. As soon as I saw the forecast was for a couple inches of the white stuff, I grabbed a flat iron steak out of the freezer and couldn’t wait for it to thaw so I could get outside into the chill and on the road to lighting my taste buds up with some outstanding cajun spice. And since I found an awesome new rub, I had to do very little prep. Which was great since by the time I got my grill close to hot enough, the snow was abating.

Cajun Grilled Steak Ingredients:

1 steak (I used a flat iron)
black pepper and a little salt
2 tbsp of salted butter
1 tbsp Riley’s Cajun seasoning

Yield: 1 serving – double up the ingredients for a second steak

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The Ingredients

If you are unfamiliar with a flat iron steak, you can read an article I wrote for Feast Magazine here about artisan steaks like the flat iron, tri tip and teres major. The article made the cover and is on page 59.

Cajun Grilled Steak Instructions:

Remove the steak from the fridge, place on a plate and hit each side with fresh black pepper and a little coarse salt. Not much salt because the rub has salt in it:

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Seasoned

Next, put a small sauce pan on a hot grill or on the stove like I did here and put in the butter and Riley’s Cajun Seasoning and bring to a boil:

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Make the Cajun Butter

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That Butter’s a’Burlin’

Turn the cajun butter to low and get the grill started. Set up the grill (in this case a Char-Griller Akorn Kamado style grill) for two zone grilling with coals on one side and nothing on the other. I will admit that I didn’t let the grill get quite hot enough because I was losing my beautiful snow. I should’ve waited another 20 minutes for it to get raging hot. I didn’t get my patented grill marks, but the end result was just fine and I got to watch the tail end of a snow storm while I grilled.

Place the steak over the side with the coals:

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On the Heat

You can see the snow coming down in that pic above and even better in this pic:

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My favorite time to grill, and it’s not even close!

After about 3 minutes of grilling I rotated the flat iron steak 45 degrees and then after another 3 minutes I flipped it. That seems like a lot, but the fire was not very hot. I got a little cross hatch action, but not much:

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Flipped

Now time for a blast of cajun, buttery goodness:

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Brush some gooey heat on

Close the lid and repeat the process for the other side:

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Char-Griller Akorn

Once both sides are slathered with the butter/Riley’s sauce, remove the cajun grilled steak from the heat and you will have a beautifully rare slab of beef. Want medium rare? slide the flat iron over to the side with no heat, close the lid for 4 minutes. Want medium? Leave it there for 8 minutes. These times depend on the heat of your grill, so make sure to use the thumb test to determine the desired doneness and not strictly on time.

Take the cajun grilled steak inside to rest for about 3 minutes so the juices that were in an excited state from the heat will slow down and redistribute throughout the flat iron:

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Plated

Resting is much more important to ensure a juicy steak than searing despite popular belief. Searing does not “seal” in the juices. Resting makes sure they stay in the meat and not on your plate. That doesn’t mean searing is bad. It’s great in fact. It creates a wonderful flavor crust which I didn’t get much of here because the grill wasn’t as hot as I would’ve liked.

How did I do? You saw in the teaser picture above already, but I decided to take a pic on a different setting to show how perfectly rare that steak is:

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Mmmmmm, Rare!

What would I have done differently? I should’ve let the grill heat up for another 20 minutes or so and then cooked the steak only 2 minutes, rotate for another 2 minutes and then flip and repeat. I would’ve gotten a much better flavor crust with a hotter grill. Basically this was like throwing a steak under the broiler rather than searing it in a pan and putting it in the oven. It was still delicious and cooked to the proper temperature for me and it had a wonderful combination of flavor and heat from the cajun seasoning. It wasn’t hot just to be hot. It also had a fantastic flavor profile. Give Riley’s a try. You can buy the cajun seasoning and their other rubs at Sam’s clubs in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa as well as a few other stores or on their website.

If you have any questions about cajun grilled steak, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.

If you liked this grilling recipe and would like others with beef, click here.

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Cajun Grilled Steak
A very simple steak with a robust flavor profile
Author:
Cuisine: BBQ
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 1
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Ingredients
  • 1 flat iron steak
  • black pepper and a little salt
  • 2 tbsp of salted butter
  • 1 tbsp Riley’s Cajun seasoning
Instructions
  1. Remove the steak from the fridge, place on a plate and hit each side with fresh black pepper and a little coarse salt. Not much salt because the rub has salt in it
  2. In a small sauce pan on a hot grill or on the stove put in the butter and Riley’s Cajun Seasoning and bring to a boil
  3. Turn the cajun butter to low while you start the grill
  4. Prepare the grill for two zone cooking: fire on one side and nothing on the other
  5. When the side with the coals is north of 500 degrees (or you can hold your palm over the coals for only 1 Mississippi or less) then put the steak right over the heat
  6. After three minutes, depending on the heat of your grill, rotate 45 degrees to get those excellent cross hatch grill marks
  7. After another three minutes, flip over and brush with the Riley's cajun butter sauce
  8. Rotate 45 degrees after three minutes
  9. After another three minutes, flip over on the side with no heat and slather with more butter sauce.
  10. At this point the steak is ready to serve rare
  11. Close the lid for 4-5 minutes to get the steak to medium rare, 8-10 minutes for medium and so on.
  12. Remove from heat and let rest for 3 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
Notes
You can use the cajun butter sauce as a dipping sauce for the steak or on bread and even mashed potatoes for some creole spuds. Please no hate mail on the difference between Cajun and Creole. I decided to use somewhat similar terms rather than use the same word in one sentence. I took the lesser of two faux pas

 

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