Pepper Crusted Rib Eye + Charred Leeks

Thumbing through the latest edition of Food & Wine, I came across this recipe by Alex Guarnaschelli, Iron Chef winner and co-owner of Butter Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan. Her version of the recipe called for skirt steak, but I already had a dry-aged rib eye sitting in my fridge that was begging me to use it so I figured why not. This honestly turned out to be one of my favorite steak preparations I’ve ever done, so high five to chef Alex for sharing. 


4 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 teaspoons coarsely cracked coriander seeds or 1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander

2 teaspoons coarsely cracked black peppercorns

2 teaspoons coarsely cracked white peppercorns

3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar

Kosher salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1.5 pound ribeye, thick cut

4 medium leeks (2 1/2 pounds), white and light green parts only, halved lengthwise and cleaned

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons canola oil

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


In a small skillet, melt the butter. Add the coriander, all the peppercorns and the crushed red pepper and cook over moderately low heat for 1 minute. Scrape into a medium bowl and stir in the brown sugar and 1 1/2 tablespoons of salt. Rub the mixture all over the steak and transfer to a baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 3 hours

In a large saucepan of salted boiling water, blanch the leeks until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, transfer them cut side down to a paper towel–lined baking sheet to drain.

In a small bowl, whisk the mustard with the vinegar.

Preheat oven, low broil. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over high heat until smoking. Add the steak and cook over high heat, turning a few times, until lightly charred on the outside and rare within, 4 to 5 minutes total. Move steak to oven on a lined baking pan, on the low rack for another 5 minutes until medium rare. Transfer to a carving board, spread with the Dijon vinegar and let rest for 10 minutes.

Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in it. Add the leeks cut side down and cook over high heat until lightly charred on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with the lemon juice, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Slice the steak against the grain and serve with the leeks.