Naturally thin cuts such as flank steak and skirt steak cook quickly when seared over medium to high heat for a nice brown crust. You can use your favorite cut, such as strip, but to keep the prep and cook time under 15 minutes, the steak should be no more than 3/4 inch thick.
Prep: 5 minutes; Cook: 10 minutes.
1 (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound) flank steak
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, crushed
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, divided
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 large fresh fennel bulbs
4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
How to Make It
Heat a large cast iron or heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle steak with fennel seeds, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Cook steak in hot oil, turning once, about 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
While steaks cook, cut fennel in half, and remove tough outer layers. Remove core, and slice very thinly. Chop 1 tablespoon fresh fennel fronds, and place in a medium bowl with sliced fennel. Zest lemon into a small bowl; cut lemon in half, and add 1 teaspoon juice. Add remaining 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper; set aside.
Transfer steak to a cutting board, and cover loosely with aluminum foil to keep warm.
Add butter and remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet. Add fresh fennel, and cook about 30 seconds. Add lemon mixture; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes or until fennel is crisp-tender. Cut steak into thin slices, and serve with fennel mixture.