Steak with Mustard Butter

While summer is salad time around here, I cannot live on salad alone. Sometimes I pair that salad with a properly cooked steak.

Because I am most often unwilling to pay the price asked at a steakhouse, I make mine at home… on the range! Is that where the phrase came from? I think so.

By starting the steak on the stove top then finishing it under the broiler in the oven, I end up with a fine steak. Here are the details of a good technique – in fact, it is the one I use:

Making that steak even better was adding the rub suggested in this recipe from My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz. Taking that steak to another level of deliciousness was topping it with mustard butter.

Here comes the play-by-play.

Mix together hickory salt and chipotle chili powder.

Hickory-smoked salt and chipotle chile powder.

Grab some parsley and chop it.

Parsley for chopping.

Add that parsley to the salt and chipotle chili powder.

There’s the rub.

Get your steak.

Strip loin.

Rub the hickory salt-chipotle chili powder-parsley mixture onto both sides. Place the steak in the refrigerator, uncovered.


For the mustard butter, mix unsalted butter with mustard powder and Dijon mustard. I formed it into a cylinder and popped it into the refrigerator too.

Butter, mustard powder and Dijon mustard.

After 6 hours, and a half hour before cooking it, take the steak out of the refrigerator.

Air dried for 6 hours.

Cook the steak using your preferred method.

While the steak is resting after being cooking, unwrap the mustard butter and slice it. Top your perfectly cooked, delicious steak with some of the butter.

Chilled mustard butter.

Steak with Mustard Butter.

Steak with Mustard Butter.

Here’s the recipe:


Steak with Mustard Butter
Serves 2

To make this bistro classic in my kitchen, I use a cast-iron skillet or grill pan that I get really hot, and then I sear the steak on both sides, cooking it medium-rare, which is the way I like it. My preferred cut is entrecôte, or rib-eye, and I ask the butcher to cut it into steaks that aren’t too thick since I like lots of surface area on my steaks. I rub them with chipotle chile powder to give them a bit of a smoky flavour.

It’s difficult to say exactly how long it will take a particular steak to cook to your liking since there are so many variables, but there is actually no truth to the rumour that if you cut a steak open a little and peek inside, all the juices will come gushing out and your steak will be dry. In fact, the best way to ensure a steak is dry is to overcook it. So feel free to peek inside if you need to.

For the Steak

Two 8-ounce rib-eye steaks
1/2 teaspoon hickory-smoked salt, sea salt, or kosher salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Vegetable oil or clarified butter

For the Mustard Butter

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons dry mustard powder
1 generous teaspoon Dijon mustard

Pat the steaks dry and rub them with the salt, chipotle powder, and cilantro. Refrigerate the steaks, uncovered, for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.

To make the mustard butter, mash together the butter with the mustard powder and the Dijon. Form it into two mounds and chill on a plastic wrap–lined plate.

Heat a little oil or clarified butter in a grill pan or cast-iron skillet and cook the steaks over high heat, being sure to get a good sear on each side. For rare steaks, cook 5 to 7 minutes total on both sides, or aller-retour (“to go and return”).

Remove the steaks from the pan and put on plates. Top each steak with a knob of the mustard butter and some ground black pepper and serve with a big pile of frites.



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