Why It Works
- Flipping your steak frequently will help it cook more evenly and gently and develop a great crust
- Resting the steak on a bed of sliced tomatoes and using the butter-basting pan drippings to make a dressing ensures that no beefy juices go to waste.
- The subtle heat of shishitos replaces spinach for an updated take on a classic steakhouse side dish.
I've been a longtime cheerleader versatile ingredients, like 'nduja and instant dashi, and recipes like XO sauce, chili crisp, or a pot of well-cooked beans, that can be kept close at-hand in your pantry and fridge, and deployed for delicious, varied meals that don't require hours of planning and cooking just to figure out what to make for dinner. Creamed shishitos are my most recent entry in the adaptable recipe playbook—they're simple to make, taste great on their own, or can be used as a flavor building block in other recipes. Here, I served them with a thick, butter-basted steak and fresh summer tomatoes, in a nod to the classic steakhouse pairing of a big old hunk of juicy beef with a side of creamed spinach and slabs of beefsteaks.
The richness of creamed spinach makes it best-suited for cold weather, but the sweet heat of the shishitos in this version helps to cut through the dairy fat that makes it a great option for an end-of-summer meal. Peak-season tomatoes complete the look; after cooking, the steak is rested on top of sliced tomatoes, warming them and allowing them to soak up meaty juices. Finally, the butter-basting pan drippings from cooking the ribeye are spiked with a little sherry vinegar and fish sauce to form a savory dressing that is spooned over the steak and tomatoes. Make this meal to give summer produce the send-off it deserves.
- 1 large ribeye steak, at least 1 1/2 inches thick (see note)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound (450g) mixed ripe tomatoes
- Coarse sea salt such as Maldon or fleur de sel (optional)
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) vegetable or canola oil
- 4 tablespoons (55g) unsalted butter
- 1 large shallot (30g), peeled, root end trimmed but left intact, and quartered lengthwise through root end
- 2 medium garlic cloves (10g), peeled
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary (optional)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) sherry or red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) fish sauce (optional)
- 1 recipe creamed shishito peppers
Pat steak dry with paper towels. Season liberally on all sides, including edges, with salt, and place on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Let sit, uncovered, for at least 45 minutes or up to 3 hours (if you plan to cook the steak within an hour, you can leave it out at room temperature; otherwise transfer to refrigerator until you are ready to cook).
When you are ready to cook the steak, use a sharp chef's knife or serrated knife to cut tomatoes into an assortment of slices, wedges, and bite-size pieces. Arrange tomatoes in a single layer on a large serving plate, and sprinkle lightly with coarse sea salt (if using).
In a 10- or 12-inch carbon steel, stainless steel, or cast iron skillet, heat oil over high heat until just beginning to smoke. Carefully add steak and cook, flipping every 20-30 seconds, until a golden-brown crust starts to develop, about 4 minutes total.
Slide steak to back of skillet, and add butter to front of skillet. Once butter has melted and begun to foam, add shallots, garlic, and thyme sprigs (if using). Holding skillet handle with your non-dominant hand, tilt skillet so butter pools near base of handle. If butter begins to smoke excessively or steak begins to burn, reduce heat to medium. Use a large metal spoon to continuously baste butter and aromatics over steak, concentrating on areas where crust is less browned. Continue to baste steak, flipping every 20-30 seconds, until steak registers 120 to 125°F (49 to 52°C) for medium-rare or 130°F (54°C) for medium, 1 to 2 minutes for medium-rare, 2 to 4 minutes for medium.
Immediately transfer steak to serving platter with tomatoes, and let rest on top of tomatoes for 5 to 10 minutes. Transfer pan juices, including aromatics, to a small bowl, stir in vinegar and fish sauce (if using), season to taste with salt and pepper, and set aside. While steak rests, warm creamed shishitos in a small saucepan over medium heat until heated through, and transfer to a serving bowl. Transfer steak to a cutting board, slice against the grain into 1/2-inch-thick pieces, and arrange once again on top of tomatoes. Spoon brown butter-pan dripping dressing over the steak and tomatoes, and serve right away, passing creamed shishitos at the table.
This recipe is designed for very large steaks, at least one and a half inches thick. This method works for both boneless and bone-in steaks. A boneless steak of this size should weigh between 16 to 22 ounces (450 to 625g), or 24 to 32 ounces (700 to 900g) with the bone in. Porterhouse, T-bone, ribeye, and New York strip steaks will all work as well. Avoid using tenderloin steaks, as they are likely to overcook.
Make-Ahead and Storage
The creamed shishitos can be made ahead and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Gently reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave, adding a little cream as needed to achieve the proper consistency. The steak and tomatoes are best enjoyed immediately.