Cast-Iron Rib-Eye Steak With Anchovy Butter

August  2, 2021
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Photo by Dana Gallagher
  • Prep time 50 minutes
  • Cook time 8 minutes
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

While this recipe suggests using a rib eye, there’s really no cut of steak that won’t work well with anchovy butter. Ask your trusted butcher for whatever looks the best in their case, and you’ll be happy. While pairing anchovies and steak may seem a bit odd, the two are actually a perfect match. Anchovies are often hiding in your steak sauce anyway, so I’m positive this will become your go-to accompaniment when cooking your favorite cut of beef. Once you get the hang of making anchovy butter, you can use it other ways: It is equally delicious slathered on warm bread or thrown in a pan with pasta for a super-quick and simple meal.
Excerpted from The Magic of Tinned Fish by Chris McDade (Artisan Books). © 2021.Chris McDade

What You'll Need
  • Anchovy Butter
  • 2 sticks (230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 10 anchovy fillets, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons ground toasted fennel seeds
  • Steak
  • 1 1/4 pounds (565 grams) rib-eye steak
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. To make the anchovy butter: In a food processor, combine the butter, anchovies, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, and fennel seeds and pulse until all the ingredients are completely incorporated.
  2. Use a silicone spatula to transfer the butter to a plastic container with a lid. Use the butter right away or store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 6 months.
  3. To make the steak: Take the steak out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes before you start cooking. This helps even out the temperature of the meat, which makes it easier to cook to the desired doneness.
  4. Heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat and pour in the canola oil.
  5. Liberally season the steak with salt and pepper. Not only does this enhance the flavor of the meat, it creates a delicious crust. When the canola oil begins to smoke, add the rib eye to the pan. Cook it on each side for 4 to 5 minutes for medium-rare.
  6. Transfer the steak to a platter and top with as much anchovy butter as you’d like. The heat of the steak will melt the better and create a delicious pool for resting. Allow to rest for 8 minutes, then slice, spoon some of the melted butter over the rib eye, and serve.

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