The Ultimate Italian Ribeye

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Every cook has a “safe place” in the kitchen. It could be as specific as a single recipe or as broad as a kind of cuisine. If I blindfolded myself and tied both hands behind my back, I’m pretty confident that I’d still be able to conjure up something reminiscent of Italian cuisine — my all-time favorite food — as there isn’t a week that goes by when something inspired by that country isn’t consumed in my home.

My use of flavors inherent in Italian and Italian-American food warms my soul like the embrace from a loved one. Biting into a dish enhanced with garlic, basil, thyme and tomatoes does nothing short of spawning a smile. And pairing all of that with my favorite cut of beef has enabled me to produce something on an uncharted culinary level.

Steakhouse Week continues on the blog with the Ultimate Italian Ribeye recipe I share with you today. This dish combines common ingredients you would find in a pasta dish minus all the carbs. In place of rigatoni is a perfectly-seared boneless cut of beef, coated in a flavorful rub and basted in butter bursting with flavors reminiscent of an Italian Sunday supper.

One bite of this steak proved something to me. There is unrecognized value in cooking from your core — exploring that “safe place” in the kitchen and applying what you are most comfortable with doing to foods you may not necessarily associate with a certain cooking style or flavor base.

So check out this Ultimate Italian Ribeye recipe that is my way of allowing what I love to shine in a brand new way, and see why you should never lose sight of what speaks most to you in the kitchen.

The Ultimate Italian Ribeye

For the ribeye:

1 lb boneless ribeye (1 inch thick)

1 1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp granulated garlic

1/2 tsp dried thyme

1 tb olive oil

For the cooking butter:

4 tb butter, cut into 4 pads

1 tb julienned sun-dried tomatoes

12 basil leaves

3 cloves garlic, smashed

Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until extremely hot.

Mix the salt, pepper, garlic and thyme in a small bowl and rub the spices into the meat on all sides, including the edges.

Add the olive oil to the pan (it will smoke instantly if the pan is hot enough). Place the meat in the pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Lift the steak up from the pan with a pair of tongs and sear the edges of the ribeye by resting the edges of the steak against the bottom of the pan, rotating the ribeye until you have caramelized the entire edge of the steak.

Lay the steak back down into the pan on its uncooked side. Add the butter, smashed garlic cloves, basil and sun-dried tomatoes and baste the steak with the melting butter for another 2 minutes for medium-rare or longer to your desired doneness.

Remove the ribeye from the pan and cover with aluminum foil. Allow the steak to rest for another 3-5 minutes and serve whole or slice against the grain to serve in pieces.

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