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Ribeye with Homemade Steak Sauce

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 25 min
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 2 to 4 servings
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3 slices thick-cut bacon, diced (1/2 cup)

1 tablespoon salted butter, plus 3 tablespoons for basting 

1 cup finely diced onion 

7 cloves garlic, smashed

Fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper 

Fine sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper

1/4 cup tomato paste 

3 tablespoons ketchup 

1 tablespoon sweet paprika 

1/3 cup dried sour cherries 

1/2 cup dry vermouth 

1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice 

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 

2 tablespoons light brown sugar 

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 

10 dried juniper berries, cracked 

3 dried bay leaves 

1 to 2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce 

Juice of 1/2 lime 

Two 1 1/2- to 2-inch-thick ribeye steaks 

Canola oil

3 sprigs rosemary


  1. In a medium skillet, fry the bacon over medium heat until lightly crisp, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, and pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan.
  2. Add the 1 tablespoon butter, the onion, 3 of the garlic cloves, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to the pan. Saute the onion, stirring often, until it turns coppery brown and sweet, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste and ketchup and cook, stirring constantly, until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Stir in the paprika, and then add 1/2 cup water, the cherries, vermouth, cider, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, juniper berries and bay leaves. Simmer until the sauce thickens and bubbles evenly, about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly.
  4. Discard the bay leaves. Puree the mixture in a food processor, and then push it through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl. Season with the fish sauce and lime juice, and add more salt if necessary. (You can store the sauce in the refrigerator, tightly covered, for up to 2 weeks, or in the freezer for 6 months.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  6. Heat two large cast-iron pans over high heat. Pour a coating of oil into each pan, and then wipe it out with a paper towel so that just a thin film remains. Season the steaks generously with salt and pepper. Add the steaks to the hot pans. Cook steadily, reducing the heat to medium-high if they threaten to burn, until the steaks caramelize deeply on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the steaks and cook for 3 minutes. Transfer the pans to the oven and roast the steaks for 3 to 5 minutes more, or until their internal temperature reaches 120 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. (You want to have time to butter baste the steaks before they reach their final temperature.) Transfer the pans to the stovetop, off the heat. Divide the 3 tablespoons butter, the rosemary, and the remaining 4 garlic cloves between each pan. Using a large spoon, baste the steaks with the butter for a few minutes. The steaks are ready when they begin to feel firm when poked or reach 125 degrees F.
  7. Transfer the steaks to a platter and let them rest for at least 5 minutes. Serve with the steak sauce.
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