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Perfect Seared Rib Eye Recipe

Excerpted from ‘The Dinner Party Project: A No-Stress Guide to Food With Friends’

spinner image rib eye on plate in yellow sauce with spices and herbs on top; hand holding spoon pouring some of the sauce on the rib eye
Alana Kysar

Serves 6

Total time to prepare: 2 hours (includes an hour of resting for the steak before cooking)

This steak recipe has been traveling through my friend group for years, probably because it’s low-stress and tastes professional. I love a rib eye because it’s an easy cut of meat to get right; the extra fat ensures lots of flavor, and the thickness makes it harder to overcook and turn into shoe leather. Yes, I know some people like it that way (hi, Mom). Because I like you a lot, I’ve given you two sauce options (soptions): Pistachio-Date Salsa Verde Sauce (if you want to live that spicy/herby life) and Bistro Compound Butter (if you want to transport yourself to France).

Just two things to keep in mind:

  • Don’t forget to turn on your vent hood and open any available windows and doors before you start searing!
  • Get yourself a good digital meat thermometer. It’s the only way to make sure you get exactly what you want out of a steak. You’ll never look back.
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Option 1: Pistachio-Date Salsa Verde Sauce

  • ½ cup finely chopped parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (chopped if the leaves are large)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 green onions, white and green parts, finely chopped
  • 1 Fresno chile, finely chopped
  • 1 date, pitted and chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted and salted pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus extra to finish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus extra to finish
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more to taste

Option 2: Bistro Compound Butter

  • 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) European-style salted butter, room temp
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper (freshly ground, if possible)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 2 tablespoons cognac or brandy
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • ½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste


  • 3 pounds (1½-inch-thick) rib eye steaks (see Tip #2)
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt, to finish



To make the pistachio-date salsa verde sauce (a zesty option, like your favorite colorful, snazzy shirt)

In a medium bowl, mix together the parsley, oregano, garlic, green onions, Fresno chile (start with half if you’re worried about heat), date, pistachios, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1½ tablespoons lemon juice, the lemon zest (if using) and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk in the ½ cup of olive oil. Add extra salt and lemon juice to taste. Serve on top of the salmon or alongside. Feel free to add more oil if you like a thinner sauce.

To make the bistro compound butter

In a medium bowl, combine 6 tablespoons room temp salted butter, 1 tablespoon black pepper, the shallot, 2 tablespoons cognac (or brandy), 1 tablespoon heavy cream and ½ teaspoon salt. Whisk vigorously until fully combined (you can also whiz the ingredients together in a food processor).

Add extra salt to taste. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap and plop the butter onto the center of it. Use the plastic wrap to roll the butter into a log. Refrigerate for at least two hours to harden. If you don’t have time to refrigerate it, just serve it whipped at room temp.

To make the steak

Pull the steaks out of the fridge one hour before cooking. Pat dry with paper towels and rub in the 3 teaspoons salt evenly on all sides (if you didn’t already salt them to age in the fridge as recommended in the tip). On one side of each steak evenly distribute the teaspoon of black pepper. Heat a large cast-iron skillet or a large stainless-steel pan over medium-high heat until it’s screaming hot, about 5 minutes. Pat the steaks dry again and lay them in the skillet, making sure none are touching. (You may need to do this in two rounds depending on the size of your skillet.)

Cook, pepper side down, undisturbed, until you can see each steak is forming a nice golden brown crust all around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip with tongs and repeat. The steaks should lift off the pan to flip easily; if not, give them another minute. Use tongs to hold the steaks up on their sides to sear all the edges until golden, about 30 seconds per side. Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness. Ideally, you want 120°F for a delicious, juicy, medium-rare steak. For a more well-done steak look for 135°F.

Rest the steaks on a cutting board for 10 minutes before slicing. Cut against the grain at a 45-degree angle in ½-inch slices. Top with the sauce of your choice and ½ teaspoon of flaky sea salt.

Tips + Timing

  1. The sauces can both be made a day in advance and stored in airtight containers in the fridge; in fact, they’re better that way! Cook the steaks just before serving.
  2. If you happen to buy your meat 24 hours in advance, pat the steaks dry, generously sprinkle them with the 3 teaspoons salt, and set on a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered, overnight, then cook as described. This is the most foolproof method for a flavorful steak with an excellent sear.
  3. When selecting rib eye, you want nice, thick steaks with even marbling. I prefer them without a bone to make life easier as well.


Cook With Natasha

spinner image book that reads the dinner party project on the cover, surrounded by a variety of different foods

Two more recipes from The Dinner Party Project for AARP members to try:

A Very Adult Salad (a.k.a. Grapies and Greenies)

Sometimes you just want a salad that seems fancy, and this salad seems fancy.

Babka-ish Monkey Bread

For me, the joy of this dessert is how easy it is. You’re just a few stirs and snips away from childhood nostalgia!

Read About Natasha Feldman's cookbook, The Dinner Party Project.


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