Seared Steak La Zaca

Ideal for an al fresco feast, this juicy ribeye is topped with a New Orleans-style BBQ sauce with a California-Southern spin. Recipe excerpted from CALIFORNIA COOKING AND SOUTHERN STYLE by Frances Schultz (Skyhorse, 2019)

Seared bone-in rib-eye steak on a cutting board. A bundle of fresh rosemary lies beside it.

What makes this steak so delicious is the crust that forms by searing the beef in a hot iron skillet. Grilling works too, of course! We find that half of a large ribeye is enough for a serving, but you may have major carnivores on hand who will eat more, hence the range of serving portions from 4 to 8. Tenderloin and other cuts of beef may also be used. Serve the steaks with Sauce La Zaca, which is really a New Orleans-style barbecue sauce with a California-Southern spin. The hot pepper addition gives an extra zing, but it is just as good without. The jalapeño is milder than the serrano.

Seared Steak La Zaca

Serves 4 to 8 

  • 4 ribeye steaks, each 1 1/2 inches thick
  • Kosher salt, or other coarsely grained salt
  • Olive oil
  • Coarsely ground pepper
  • Sauce La Zaca (recipe follows)

1 | Early in the day, dry the steaks with paper towels, sprinkle both sides with salt, and place on a rack over a plate or baking sheet in the refrigerator.

2 | When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 500°F and place the oven baking rack in the lowest position. Preheat a 12-inch iron skillet over high heat until hot.

3 | Rub both sides of the steaks with oil, sprinkle on more salt and liberally grind with pepper. Sear the steaks for 30 seconds per side. Place the pan with the steaks in the preheated oven and cook for 2 minutes per side.

Sauce La Zaca

Good on beef and chicken.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tablespoons butter

In a saucepan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and fry the sliced pepper for 1 minute. Add the shallots and garlic and stir 2 or 3 minutes more. Don’t let the garlic burn. Add the lemon juice to deglaze the pan, then the Worcestershire sauce, and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter.

California Cooking and Southern Style: 100 Great Recipes, Inspired Menus, and Gorgeous Table Settings by Frances Schultz (Skyhorse, 2019)

Excerpt from California Cooking and Southern Style: 100 Great Recipes, Inspired Menus, and Gorgeous Table Settings by Frances Schultz (Skyhorse, 2019). Signed copies available at francesschultz.com

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