- 2 large poblano chiles (about 5 ounces each)
- 1 tablespoon dried Mexican oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 1/4 cup beef broth
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 1/4 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Four 8-ounce rib eye steaks (each about 1-inch thick)
- Vegetable oil, for brushing
For the sauce: Place the chiles directly over a gas flame or place on a grill until blackened on all sides and softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Place the roasted chiles in a bowl. Cover and let them steam, 10 to 15 minutes. Peel the chiles. Cut off the stems, cut the chiles lengthwise in half and scrape out any seeds. Roughly chop the chiles.
Combine the oregano, fennel seeds and crushed red pepper in a mortar. Grind with a pestle to a coarse powder. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the herb mixture and stir until fragrant and the oil is bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the garlic and stir 30 seconds. Add the crushed tomatoes, broth, tomato paste and the chopped poblanos. Bring to a simmer, whisking to blend. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Season with salt and pepper.
For the steaks: In a small bowl, stir the cornstarch, salt and pepper to blend evenly. Rub a generous 1/2 teaspoon of the seasoning mixture over each side of each steak to coat. Arrange the steaks on a baking sheet and freeze for 30 minutes.
Preheat a ridged grill pan (preferably cast iron) over high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Brush the pan with oil. Cook the steaks until the bottom is crusty, about 5 minutes. Flip the steaks over and cook again until the bottom is crusty, but the center is still medium-rare, about 4 minutes longer.
Transfer the steaks to a platter or individual plates. Let stand 5 minutes. Spoon the sauce alongside.