Smokin’ Cowboy Rib-Eye Steak with Spicy Onion Rings

Many, many year ago, Hubby and I took a road trip, just the two of us, to New Mexico. I can’t remember the last time a road trip, or any vacation for that matter, didn’t include Kiddo. This was one of those “we are a couple, right?” kind of trips. Just the two of us, doing whatever we pleased. While in Santa Fe, we had an unforgettable steak dinner at Mark Miller’s Coyote Cafe. Hubby and I both adore spicy foods, and New Mexican cuisine is out-of-this-world delicious. You haven’t truly experienced heat on a plate until you’ve dined in New Mexico!

A year or so later, Coyote Cafe opened a restaurant in Las Vegas. In the middle of the glitzy MGM Grand stood a New Mexican adobe building with high ceilings, traditional wooden vigas and Terra-cotta walls. Owner Mark Miller has duplicated his Santa Fe restaurant and its signature modern Southwestern cuisine smack dab in the middle of a casino. Needless to say, Hubby and I wasted no time making a reservation for dinner as soon as possible. Much to our delight, the food was perfect – just as we had remembered it to be in Santa Fe.

Unfortunately, Las Vegas is a glittery tourist destination, and not necessarily a culinary one. Within six months, the awesome steak with butt-kicking heat and spicy deep fried onion rings had been altered to tone down its sizzle. Diners, unfamiliar with New Mexican cooking, had complained about the amount of spice. Others, more familiar with Chef Miller’s knowledge of and passion for all kinds of peppers, left the Las Vegas restaurant scratching their heads – what had happened?  The establishment, last I heard, has closed its doors. That is a shame.

This recipe is one I clipped a while back as a way of savoring that perfect Mark Miller Santa Fe steak supper. I’ve made a few alterations, based on ingredients more abundant where we live. Just as soon as we get settled in the new place, Hubby and I are going to grill up these awesome spice-rubbed steaks as a way of saying “We’re home”. Can’t wait!

Smokin’ Cowboy Rib-Eye Steak with Spicy Onion Rings
Spice Rub for Steak
1⁄4 cup smoked paprika
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground Hot Mexican Style Chili Powder
1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground dried Poblano Chili
1 1⁄2 tablespoons ground chipotle Chili
1 1⁄2 tablespoons sugar
4  16-oz. bone-in rib-eye steaks

In a medium bowl, whisk together smoked paprika, salt, ground chilies, and sugar. Put steaks on a parchment-lined baking sheet; rub with the chili mixture. Refrigerate steaks overnight.

Build a medium-hot fire with mesquite charcoal. Make sure grate is clean and lightly oiled.

Grill steaks, turning once, until medium rare, about 12 minutes. Serve with onion rings.

Spicy Onion Rings
1 small yellow onion, cut crosswise into 1⁄8″-thick rings
1 cup milk
1 1⁄2 cups flour
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon Hot Mexican Style chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon White Pepper
Peanut oil for frying

Cut onion into thin rings. Place rings in a bowl of milk and let soak for 20 minutes. While the rings are soaking, pour Peanut oil into a 4-quart saucepan to a depth of 2 inches. Heat over medium-high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reads 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk flour with seasonings and spices. Set aside until ready to use.

Working in batches, lift onion rings from the milk, shaking off any excess milk. Toss rings into the seasoned flour to coat, then drop rings into the hot oil. Fry onions until crisp, about 2 or 3 minutes.

Remove rings, drain on paper towels. Set aside until ready to serve with steak.

Rings can be placed on the side, or piled on top of the steak when serving.

Original Recipe:

Whiskey Marinated Rib Eye Cowboy Steak

Rib Eye Steak has awesome flavor all on its own. Season with salt and pepper, grill it up and there you go. The most prized cut of roast is the rib eye roast which is boneless and cut from the most tender portion of the rib section. Rib eye steaks are available either bone-in or out, the latter of which is extremely tender in comparison. The marbling of fat that runs through rib eye contributes to its flavor and tenderness. However; add some Whiskey and Molasses to the mix and you’ve got yourself a trail-blazing cowboy favorite. (Although some will argue that no self-respecting Cowboy would waste a drop of Whiskey on a steak!).

download (18)If you can get your hands on the Real Deal as far as a cowboy cut (you know – with that long bone “handle”) all the better. Don’t look for a 20 ounce Rib Eye in your local meat counter – this big bad boy needs to be cut by the butcher. If possible; pick up your steak in the morning to grill up later in the day. Maybe it’s me – but a freshly cut hunk of meat just seems to taste better than one wrapped in plastic wrap from your meat counter.

The real trick here is getting a fire that is sizzling hot. You will need a good grill to maintain a temperature suited for flash-grilling. Have everything at the ready. Open the grill, then toss the steak in. Try not to peer inside until the steak is ready to flip. Let’s face it, the moment you open the grill, the temperature is going to drop. Cook steak a minute or two longer after the flip.

Whiskey Marinated Cowboy Rib Eye Steak
19 to 20 oz. Angus Rib Eye Beef Steak
3/4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon crushed garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
10 round of cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons Molasses
4 oz. Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey
2 tablespoons A1 Steak Sauce

Mix ingredients for marinade. Marinate your Rib Eye at room temperature for 1 hour, turning after 30 minutes to let the marinate soak in well.

Build a nice, hot fire in your grill (about 500 to 600 degrees). Throw steak on grill and cook about 3-4 minutes per side for medium-rare. (You don’t want to go much beyond medium or the steak becomes tough). Cover and let rest five to ten minutes before serving.

To serve, cut steak away from the bone, then slice. You can slice into large hunks of meat or slice thinner, pouring any drippings from the dish over the steak

Serve this Cowboy Rib Eye Steak with any side dish, and you have a great dinner in a flash!

Grilled Rib-Eye Steaks with Jack Daniel’s Grilling Glaze

Oh my goodness – here it is the end of June, and this is my first posting of the month. I should be ashamed – neglecting the one thing (besides my family) that gives me any pleasure. It’s really hard to create a post when you are reduced to cooking one day a week. I suppose I could have re-blogged a few recipes from last year – Grilled Chicken Ranch BurgersBest Pineapple-Up-Side-Down Cake that Ever Came out of a Box or for a complete menu of recipes Patio Entertaining with an Italian Flair – For Father’s Day or Just Because would have been nice, with a variety of recipes to choose from. I so wanted to come up with a few new recipes or some fresh ideas for Father’s Day. It just wasn’t in the cards.

Yeah, it’s been one heck of a crazy June in the Event Rental Business. Lots of weddings, graduations and this year we were a part of the massive set up for the Senior Golf Tournament. The days spend at work have been long – and stressful pulling everything together. Sundays have been the one night a week that I’ve actually found the time to cook for my family. We’ve done fast food, take and bake, frozen grocery store prepared meals and even resorted to those roast chicken dinners you can  pick up at the deli counter of your local market. More nights than I care to count, at the end of a fourteen-hour day, we’ve skipped dinner entirely, opting to collapse in bed only to start early the next day. I know – not healthy. Not good for anyone.

This recipe has been in my file of “Try Soon”. Hubby and I aren’t drinkers – we like a nice wine with a meal, but beyond that, we really aren’t drinkers. So recipes that call of shots of whiskey tend to be pushed to the back of the file. It’s hard to justify springing for a bottle of Jack Daniel’s simply to cook with and nothing more. This past week, the cost had very little impact on the weekly shopping budget. For the last several weeks, we haven’t spent much on groceries – the “planned” meals have simply moved from one week to the next. Breads and fresh produce have been the only real expense. Somewhere along the line, we realized we were buying fresh produce only to toss it because it wasn’t so “fresh” anymore. So there was a change in plan – every day I wrote down a list of fresh produce that would be needed for dinner. The plan was to shop for fresh ingredients on a daily bases. Yeah, a pain, but not wasteful. And that was a good thing since we ate a home cooked meal once a week. Everything else was frozen. The freezer has never been put to better use.

So last night was special – grilled steaks, garlic mashed potatoes and sautéed squash. Yeah, that’s what I call making up for all those skipped meals.

Here are a few quick tips to help everything come together smoothly.

  • Start preheating the oven to roast the garlic first.
  • Make marinade and get the steaks into the refrigerator to start the marinating process. By now, the oven should be heated for the garlic.
  • Pop the garlic into the oven, begin roasting. While garlic roasts, mix up all the ingredients for the glaze.
  • If desired, strain grilling glaze for a smooth finish just before serving.

Grilled Rib-Eye Streaks with Jack Daniel’s Grilling Glaze
4 Rib-eye Steaks (8 oz each, ¾-inch thick) or 4 New York Steak Strips
2 Limes
½ Cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
1 ½ Teaspoons Salt
2 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Olive oil or cooking spray for grill

1 head of garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup water
1 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/3 cups dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons minced white onion
1 tablespoon Jack Daniels Whiskey
1 tablespoon crushed pineapple
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

FOR STEAKS: Slice limes in half, rub fresh lime on steaks. Rub salt into steak. Squeeze lime juice into bowl. Whisk in Jack Daniels, garlic cloves and black pepper. Allow steaks to marinade for several hours in refrigerator. Don’t let the strange color of the meat scare you – the lime juice will start to “cook” the meat with its high acid content. The steaks will cook up beautifully.

Remove steaks from refrigerator and allow to continue to marinade while coming to room temperature, about 20-30 minutes.

While steaks come to temperature, prepare grill. Wipe or spray grill grate with olive oil or cooking spray.

Remove steaks from marinade. Pat dry and brush with grilling glaze. Grill to desired doneness, about 3-5 minutes per side, turning only once.

Remove steaks from grill, transfer to round plate (stack if necessary) and cover with stainless steel bowl inverted. Let rest 10-15 minutes before serving. (If you don’t have a stainless steel bowl, cover serving platter with foil).

Serve steaks with any remaining grilling sauce on the side for “dipping” if desired.

FOR JACK DANIEL’S GLAZE: Preheat oven to 325-degrees.

Cut about 1/2-inch off of top of garlic. Cut the roots so that the garlic will sit flat. Remove the papery skin from the garlic, but leave enough so that the cloves stay together. Put garlic into a small casserole dish or baking pan, drizzle olive oil over it, and cover with a lid or foil. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for about 45.

Remove garlic and let it cool until you can handle it. This should take about 15 minutes. As the garlic cools, spread the bulb open to allow for faster cooling.

Combine water, pineapple juice, teriyiaki sauce, soy sauce, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan over medium/high heat. Stir occasionally until mixture boils then reduce heat until mixture is just simmering.

Squeeze the sides of the head of garlic until the pasty roasted garlic is squeezed out. Discard remaining skin and whisk to combine. Add remaining ingredients to the pan and stir.

Let mixture simmer over medium-low heat for 40-50 minutes or until sauce has reduced by about 1/2 and is thick and syrupy. Make sure it doesn’t boil over.

Let glaze sit until ready to use, stirring occasionally.