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Author Notes: To make this bistro classic in my kitchen, I use a cast-iron skillet or grill pan that I get really hot, and then I sear the steak on both sides, cooking it medium-rare, which is the way I like it. My preferred cut is entrecôte, or rib-eye, and I ask the butcher to cut it into steaks that aren’t too thick since I like lots of surface area on my steaks. I rub them with chipotle chile powder to give them a bit of a smoky flavor.
It’s difficult to say exactly how long it will take a particular steak to cook to your liking since there are so many variables, but there is actually no truth to the rumor that if you cut a steak open a little and peek inside, all the juices will come gushing out and your steak will be dry. In fact, the best way to ensure a steak is dry is to overcook it. So feel free to peek inside if you need to. —David Lebovitz
For the Steak
- Two 8-ounce rib-eye steaks
- 1/2 teaspoon hickory-smoked salt, sea salt, or Kosher salt
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
- 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Vegetable oil or clarified butter
For the Mustard Butter
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
- 1 generous teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Pat the steaks dry and rub them with the salt, chipotle powder, and cilantro. Refrigerate the steaks, uncovered, for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.
- To make the mustard butter, mash together the butter with the mustard powder and the Dijon. Form it into two mounds and chill on a plastic wrap–lined plate.
- Heat a little oil or clarified butter in a grill pan or cast-iron skillet and cook the steaks over high heat, being sure to get a good sear on each side. For rare steaks, cook 5 to 7 minutes total on both sides, or aller-retour (“to go and return”).
- Remove the steaks from the pan and put on plates. Top each steak with a knob of the mustard butter and some ground black pepper and serve with a big pile of frites.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!