I used to dislike steak. When I was young, I was always frightened by the redness of the meat and the red juices flowing out of it once being cut. Which is why I, whenever we would have steak, or any other kind of slice of beef, would want it cooked totally well-done… Of course, now that I have grown up, I understand why a well-done steak is a total no no… and why it rendered those steaks I used to dislike in the past totally inedible.
Nowadays, a well-done steak is something that could send me into a fit (I wish I was joking…). I always feel that little bit of anxiety whenever I cut into a steak I have prepared at home: “What if I left it in the pan too long? What if it continued cooking while resting? What if I’ve completely ruined a perfect cut of beef?”. And yeah… whenever I cut into a steak and it is cooked anything more than a medium-rare, I do have a little temper tantrum like a little kid… maybe I’ll have a little cry as well.
I usually aim for a rare, or medium-rare cooked steak… which should only take about 3 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the cut. I always think a little bit ‘undercooked’ is better than overcooked if you’re using good quality beef. However, should you like your steak cooked a bit more than medium-rare, the cut I’ve used for this recipe should do perfectly fine as well.
The great thing about rib-eye is the generous marbling of the meat. Not only does it provide the meat with great flavor, it keeps it from getting dry and rubbery after cooking. However, in order to end up with a tender, juicy steak – no matter the preferred degree of doneness, or cut – it’s always important to let the steaks come to room-temperature before putting them in a scorching hot pan. Additionally, leaving the steaks to rest for 5 – 10 minutes after cooking allows the meat to relax and retain its juices once cut into. If you are afraid the steaks get too cold during their resting time, loosely cover them with a piece of aluminum foil.
I like to keep the seasoning of the steak to a minimum: I simply rub on some olive oil, dried red pepper flakes and a bit of pepper. I usually add some sea salt flakes after I’ve seared the steaks, but my chimichurri is already a bit on the salty side and you might not need to add any more salt to the steaks for this recipe.
By the way, I don’t claim my chimichurri here is in any way authentic. I’ve seen versions that use a combination of fresh parsley and fresh cilantro, while others just use fresh parsley and fresh oregano. My chimichurri here is relatively simple and quick by using a bit of dried oregano and a whole bunch of fresh flat leaf parsley (and by bunch I really mean a bunch). I also like to add some lime juice and the zest of one lime to give the sauce a zesty kick, but you could omit this step and simply add an extra splash of red wine vinegar… or neither, if you prefer your sauce to be less acidic. To get the chimichurri to your personal liking, it really needs a bit of eyeballing and taste-testing. It’s not very easy to mess up this sauce, though, and whatever way you make it, it’s always a quick and delicious classic accompaniment to beef and grilled meat!
Rib Eye Steak With Chimichurri
- For the chimichurri:
- Bunch of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 4 garlic cloves
- 2 - 3 small red chilies, or 1 large one
- 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
- 150ml virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- Zest of one lime
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- For the steaks:
- 4 rib-eye steaks, 2.5 - 3cm thick weighing around 250g each
- 1.5 tablespoons olive oil
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons dried chili flakes (optional)
- 50g butter
- Salt to taste
MethodFor the chimichurri:
- In a food processor, add fresh parsley, dried oregano, red chilies and garlic. Pulse a few times until all ingredients are finely chopped.
- Add the red wine vinegar, lime juice and zest of one lime. Pulse a couple more times until everything is well combined, but not turned into a weird paste. Transfer ‘sauce’ to a bowl.
- Finally, add olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside until needed. The sauce tastes better after it’s ‘rested’ for about half an hour so you can make this sauce before preparing the steaks.
- Brush the steaks with olive oil, freshly cracked pepper and dried red chili flakes (optional) and let them rest outside of the fridge for 30 minutes to let them marinate and come to room-temperature.
- When the steaks have come to room-temperature, heat up a frying pan or griddle on high heat. When the pan is hot, add the steaks. The steaks should make a loud sizzling sound when hitting the pan.
- For medium-rare steaks, pan-fry steaks of around 3cm thick for 3.5 minutes on each side (2.5 - 3 for rare, 4.5 for medium). Only turn the steaks once, and don’t press them down or move them. This ensures you will get a nice sear on the outside.
- When the steaks have about a minute left to cook, add a knob of butter and baste the steaks a little with the butter.
- Remove steaks from the pan onto a plate and let them rest for at least 5 minutes before cutting into them. To serve, slice steaks into 1 cm slices and drizzle on the chimichurri sauce.