Cajun-cut ribeye

I'm back. Finally. Suffice it to say, life has been pretty crazy. Then again I'm not sure that it's ever not.

Part of the craziness involved being deprived of good food for nearly a week. Over the weekend I was away at a department retreat in the middle of nowhere. Although the buffet food wasn't terrible, it was typical of a hotel buffet: everything overcooked, meat smothered in sauce, vegetables underseasoned. This was followed by a restricted diet, under which I was essentially left with white bread, tender meats, cheese, and a very small subset of cooked vegetables. Then a day of broth, juice, and jello. Blah. And no coffee. That's just cruel. But I am now back on the coffee and whatever I want to eat. It's the small things in life, you know.

Speaking of small things, one that Paramed and I indulge in periodically is a good steak. Sometimes it's tough to find a good steak that you can have more than once a year on a medic and postdoc's salary. Fortunately some years ago, I had a couple of meals at Foster's Market while on a grad school visit in Durham, NC (as an aside, I highly recommend the restaurant, especially as I was vegetarian at the time and loved it). I picked up The Foster's Market Cookbook before I left, and in the years since, one recipe (with some adaptations) has become our standby for steak night (yes, I gave up the vegetarianism along the way).

  • 1 to 1.5 lb rib eye steak - We have tried other cuts, but they just don't turn out the same. Also the original recipe calls for a single big-ass steak, but we usually end up with two smaller ones.
  • 1/2 cup port or dry red wine - Haven't tried port in the recipe. Beer works, but a nice bold red (I prefer a Shiraz or Cabernet mix) is better.
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary - I personally think fresh is better
  • 1 roasted red bell pepper, diced - You can use store bought or roast your own.
  • Optional: 1 roasted jalapeno pepper, peeled, seeded and diced - This is in the original recipe but makes it a bit too spicy to truly enjoy the steak flavor. If you decide to use it, toss it in at the same time as the red pepper.
Special equipment
  • A large cast iron or other oven safe skillet
  • Whisk together wine, mustard, Worcestershire, and soy sauce in a small bowl.
  • In another small bowl, combine black pepper, cayenne, and rosemary.
  • Place the steak(s) in a deep glass or stoneware dish. Pour the wine mixture over the steaks. Then press half of the pepper/rosemary mixture into each side of the steak. Marinate at cool room temperature for up to 2 hrs. (I wouldn't go much less than an hour).
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
  • The next part will smoke up your kitchen, so crank up the exhaust fan, open a window, whatever you need to do. Heat a large, cast iron skillet over medium high-heat to the smoking point, about 10 minutes. I've also used a stainless steel pan here. The key is to have a large (12-in or more), heavy duty skillet that transfers heat well and is oven safte.
  • Place the steak in the hot skillet and cook on each side for 3 min. (This creates a really nice sear on the steak. Also you can throw in some sliced sweet onions, if you like). Cut the heat and immediately pour remaining marinade on top of the steak. Toss roasted pepper in the skillet and transfer to preheated oven.
  • Cook to an internal temp of 150 to 120 F for rare, 125 to 130 F for medium-rare steak. The original recipe, which uses a single 1.5 lb steak, recommends ~15 min for rare and ~20 for medium-rare. My experience using two steaks totaling 1 to 1.5 lb is that ~10 min is sufficient for rare.
  • Transfer the steak to plate/carving board and allow it to rest for five minute before serving and slicing. Top with peppers, pan juices, and onions, if using.
Serve it up with a nice baked (sweet) potato and a glass of that wine, and you're in the steakhouse business :)

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