Dashiell worked hard on this banner late into the night and hung it up while everyone else was sleeping…

But some time with scissors and scrap-booking paper was not enough to show Dad how much we appreciate him. In keeping with our gift theme of salt, we got Dad a Himalayan Pink salt cooking block from our fave store which I have blogged about before, The Meadow.

It took a few days to get up the gumption to actually cook with it (and Jeff was still sick on Father’s Day), but we eventually followed Mr. Bitterman’s recipe for Salt Block Flank Steak.

You have to heat the block very slowly to preserve its life. It took about an hour to heat up enough (Bitterman has tested it as high as 700 degrees F.) But once it was hot, we got exactly what he promised: super sizzling meat that only needed to cook for about 5 seconds per side (with the cover down):

Most of us have had a bad experience with this tough chewy cut. But cut into 1/2 strips (against the grain) and cooked at high heat on salt–wow! The steak bits were so juicy, tasty, and oozing with goodness that we ate several pieces outside standing around the grill. I could not believe how succulent it was. I haven’t eaten that much red meat in ages (and had a stomach ache afterward to prove it).

Mr. Bitterman explains in his literature that these blocks, which come from a mine in Pakistan, are ancient, dating back to an era pre-cavemen! It’s amazing to be holding something that old, let alone cooking on it. Read more about it on his site, or, better yet, buy his book. The content is beautifully engrossing, and his writing is a revelation.

I promise, this is my last post about salt…for awhile, at least (did I mention the excellent salted chocolate bar Jeff bought me?…). Sigh.