A fellow food enthusiast friend of mine, who happens to work at the same restaurant I do, had been telling me for months about this steak recipe from our Chef Suzanne Goin’s cookbook Sunday Suppers at Lucques. My co-worker friend had made it for herself and her husband, and in the process set off the smoke alarm as her cast-iron skillet heated up in preparation for the steaks and filled her kitchen with smoke for eight minutes. Apparently her husband looked on horrified screaming that she had completely lost her mind. But in spite of almost burning her house down, she would not stop telling me to make this steak. And of course, nothing gets me more excited than a little bit of drama.
Finally, after finding the recipe on the internet and enticing my boyfriend with the idea of steak into buying me a cast-iron skillet because I absolutely needed one in order to make him this, I embarked on the famous try-not-to burn-your-house-down recipe. Cast iron skillets, by the way, are inexpensive and everyone who wants a well-equipped kitchen should have one.
Whenever I’ve followed a recipe that was created by a super famous and highly respected chef, the result is always astounding. I remind myself that these people are famous for a reason. They’re culinary geniuses. We are so lucky to have access to their creations. So when Suzanne says to disconnect your smoke alarm and let that skillet heat up for eight minutes before adding the steak…you should probably listen to her. The perfectly crusted steak it will produce is worth it.
I managed to not set off my smoke alarm much less burn down the house. However, I realized just after removing the steaks from the pan that my online recipe was only half complete. I was missing the second half of it! I didn’t know what I was supposed to do for the sauce. Thankfully, she mentions in the forward that the classic bistro sauce “Marchand de Vins” is based on Julia Child’s recipe from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, a book I do own. I quickly pulled it off the shelf and found the sauce, Julia Child to the rescue. Consequently, the following recipe is not the exact recipe from Suzanne’s book. It has been formatted to serve two and ends with Julia Child’s sauce.
The steaks were delicious. I served it with a simple watercress salad, as suggested in Sunday Suppers at Lucques. But I added an avocado just in case there wasn’t enough fat in the meal already.
Pan-Roasted Rib-Eye Steak with “Marchand de Vins” and Watercress Salad
- 2 Rib-Eye Steaks, 10 ounces each, about 1 1/5 inches thick
- 2 tablespoons fleur de sel
- 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons butter
For “Marchand de Vins” (Red Wine Sauce)
- ½ cup minced shallots
- 1 cup red wine
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 5 tablespoons softened butter
- 3 tablespoons minced parsley
- 1 bunch of watercress, cleaned, tough stems removed
- 1 ripe avocado, halved and sliced into thin wedges
- 1 tablespoon, really good extra virgin olive oil
- ½ a lemon for juicing
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Remove the steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking and let come to room temperature. Season them on both sides with fleur de sel and cracked black pepper.
Heat a large cast-iron pan over high heat for 8 minutes. Drizzle two tablespoons olive oil over the steaks and place them in the hot pans. Sear them for 2 minutes and then add a tablespoon of butter to the pan. Cook another 2 minutes or so until the steaks are browned and caramelized. Turn the steaks over and cook them for 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare. Baste the steaks often with the butter by carefully tipping the pan, scooping up the butter with a spoon and pouring it over the top of the steaks. When the steaks have reached the desired degree of doneness, remove them from the pan and rest them on a wire rack (so they don’t steam and continue cooking).
Toss the watercress and avocado slices with super good extra-virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Taste for balance and seasoning.
Add 1 tablespoon butter to the skillet. Stir in the shallots and slowly cook for a minute. Pour the wine into the skillet and boil it down rapidly, scraping up the coagulated juices from the bottom of the pan until the liquid has reduced almost to syrup. Off heat, beat in 4 tablespoons of butter a spoonful at a time until it is absorbed and has thickened the sauce. Beat in salt and pepper to taste, then parsley. Spread Sauce over the steak and serve.