Serious Eats: Recipes

Dinner Tonight: Cayenne-Rubbed Ribeyes with Lime Butter

[Photograph: Blake Royer]

When I opened up Cooking the Cowboy Way in search of dinner, I had one thing in mind: steak. I found more recipes than I could count, but was drawn to this simple recipe with big flavors: a spicy, salty-sweet rub and a disc of compound butter melted over it.

Making compound butter—the process of mixing herbs and other flavors into room-temperature butter then chilling—is one of the simplest ways to put together a compelling "sauce" for a simple dinner. Though I usually think of more classic flavor profiles, like garlic and parsley, I was pretty intrigued by the herbal zing from the cilantro and lime in this recipe. As a foil to the richness and acidity of the butter, they're rubbed with a mixture of cayenne, salt, and raw sugar. The heat of the cayenne leaves everything tingly, while the salty-sweet crust that forms adds an amazing amount of dimension.

And of course, in the cowboy way, it's melted over a juicy piece of ribeye.

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