This recipe was inspired by last meal I cooked for my saba (grandfather). Israeli steak is typically eaten with something acidic, like lemon or tomato, but I like to add the earthiness of the za'atar spice to give it another dimension of flavor.
Technique tip: Pre-salting gives the seasoning time to work its way through the meat, and letting it rest in the fridge (ideally, for up to a day) helps it dry so it gets a better crust the moment it hits the pan. Cooking it in blazing-hot oil gives it that really hard sear.
Swap option: Serve with garlic butter instead of chimichurri.
For the steak:1.
Use a paper towel to pat the steaks dry on both sides. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt on each side of each steak, and press gently to make sure it sticks. Refrigerate the steaks on an uncovered plate for at least 1 hour and up to a day.2.
Before you cook, let the steak sit at room temperature for 20 minutes or so to take off the chill.3.
Set a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until it's blazing hot, then add the canola oil (if the steaks won't fit in the skillet without crowding, add only 1 tablespoon of oil now and save the other for the second steak. Heat your oven to 175°F so that the first steak stays warm while you cook the second). Allow the oil to get smoking hot.4.
Lay the steaks in the skillet side by side, and immediately decrease the heat to medium. Leave them alone for 5 to 8 minutes, depending on how thick they are. You should see a deep-brown crust climbing about 1/4 inch from the bottom for medium-rare, or a little higher if you prefer a more well-done steak. Flip and cook the other side for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the other side is deeply browned as well. Again, cook for an extra minute or two if you like.5.
Let the steaks rest for at least 5 minutes on a plate, so the juices can settle in (if you're worried about the steaks cold, keep them in a warm oven).
For the chimichurri:
Chop the parsley and cilantro together. Add them to a bowl with the garlic, za'atar, salt, and red pepper, then stir in the olive oil.
Shortly before it's time to eat, stir in the lemon juice (his is best eaten when it's very fresh).
Slice the steak thinly and on the bias to serve with chimichurri on the side.