A few weeks ago, on my holiday wish list, was a request for a pink Himalayan salt block to cook on. My aunt sprang into action, went into the Meadow, armed with a copy of the list, and came out with a beautiful block that looks like a piece of rose quartz. From what I understand, it was quite a big deal, picking the exactly perfect block, and she came through with flying colors. Not to mention schlepping it halfway across town.
So the other night being home alone, and armed with a local steak from Dickson’s Farmstead Meats, it seemed like the perfect time to take it for a test drive. You need to slowly heat the block over a burner, and depending on what you’re cooking, turn the heat up every 15 minutes until it’s hot, about a 45 minute process. While the block was heating, I let the steak come to room temperature. It was a cut called a palomilla, which is a thin cut of sirloin, often used in Cuban cooking.
I also prepped some broccoli and gave it a steam in the microwave. Just before it was done, I added a little butter and some garlic confit, and tossed it to blend. When it was done, I tossed it on the salt block and gave it a quick stir-fry and set it aside.
The steak got cut in half and put on the block, plain, no seasoning. I gave it about 5 minutes on each side, pulled it off and let it rest for as long as I could stand to wait (about 2 minutes). Sliced it against the grain, and plated it with the broccoli.
The verdict? The broccoli being moister picked up more of the salt flavor, and was actually so good, that I cooked the rest of the bunch the same way, and ate all of it. The steak was flavorful, but it was a little more subtle than I usually like my meat. Doing it again with a steak, a thin skirt steak might work better as it has more flavor and more fat which would pick up more of the salt. The next time I see good looking scallops at the market, I’m going to give them a shot. There is certainly a coolness factor, that makes me want to use it the next time friends come for dinner.
Have you ever used one? What did you cook on it, or did you use it chilled?