Pan-Seared Rib Eye With Jalapeño Coleslaw

September 17, 2020
1 Ratings
Photo by Julia Gartland. Food stylist: Drew Aichele. Prop stylist: Sophie Strangio.
  • Prep time 50 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • Serves 1
Author Notes

A thick, bone-in rib-eye steak is my idea of a nice solo dinner. Marinated in a fragrant mixture of jalapeños, cilantro stems, and garlic—some of which I like to reserve for use as a steak sauce later—the beef is brightly seasoned throughout and gains incredible flavor as the marinade ingredients caramelize in the pan. And this steak is 100 percent pan-seared, which means you don’t need an oven or a grill to achieve rib-eye nirvana. Though the spicy jalapeño-flecked coleslaw is optional (you could just as well serve this steak with rice or potatoes), it comes highly recommended: Sometimes you want a cold, crunchy thing to counter a well-marbled meat like rib eye.

Featured in: A Perfectly Cooked Rib Eye Is the Cadillac of Steak Dinners. —Eric Kim

What You'll Need
  • For the steak:
  • 1 cup cilantro stems, leaves reserved for garnish
  • 2 large jalapeños
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for cooking steak
  • 1 (1 1/2–pound) bone-in rib-eye steak, about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 1/2 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • For the coleslaw:
  • 1/4 pound green cabbage, finely shredded (about 1 cup)
  • 1 large jalapeño, deseeded and cut into thin strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch celery seed
  1. First, marinate the steak: In a blender or food processor, blitz the cilantro stems, jalapeños, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil until smooth. Transfer 1/4 cup of the marinade to a small resealable container and refrigerate (you’ll turn it into a sauce later). Add the steak to a large zip-top bag and pour in the rest of the marinade. Seal and smoosh everything around so the meat is fully covered in the green sauce. Set the bag on a plate in the fridge to marinate for as little as 4 hours, and as much as 8 to 12 hours or overnight. (If you’re in a hurry, you could also leave the steak to marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, then proceed straight to cooking.)
  2. Heat a large skillet, preferably cast iron, over medium-high heat until very hot. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, followed by the steak, and sear on that first side for 6 to 8 minutes. Flip, then cook for another 4 to 6 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the steak reaches 130°F for medium-rare (make sure your instant-read thermometer isn’t hitting the bone or any fat pockets, which will obscure this reading). Transfer the steak to a wooden cutting board and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, make the coleslaw: In a medium bowl, toss together the cabbage, jalapeño, olive oil, rice vinegar, sugar, and celery seed and set aside.
  4. When the steak has fully rested, carve it as thinly or as thickly as you like. But when doing this, just be sure to cut against the grain, which is to say: perpendicular to the parallel muscle fibers of the meat (the shorter these strands are, the tenderer the steak will feel as you eat). On a rib eye, these fibers usually run top to bottom across the surface, which is why I like to carve it on the diagonal. (Save the bone for nibbling on later.)
  5. Remember that 1/4 cup of reserved marinade? Stir in the rice vinegar and sugar, and transfer the sauce to a large plate, flattening it with the back of a spoon. Lay the carved steak slices over the sauce and garnish liberally with the whole cilantro leaves. Grind more fresh black pepper over top if you’d like, and enjoy with the jalapeño coleslaw.

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Eric Kim was the Table for One columnist at Food52. He is currently working on his first cookbook, KOREAN AMERICAN, to be published by Clarkson Potter in 2022. His favorite writers are William Faulkner, John Steinbeck, and Ernest Hemingway, but his hero is Nigella Lawson. You can find his bylines at The New York Times, where he works now as a writer. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @ericjoonho.

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