Here’s what happened when we tried this radical approach:
For our great steak test, we started with a nice, thick rib steak, about one and a half inches thick. To do it right, we made up a fresh mayo, because the difference between a freshly prepared mayo and the processed stuff is enormous (recipe follows). We blended in a generous amount of Dos Gauchos, spread it over the top and sides of the steak, and returned it to the refrigerator for three hours.
We chose to use a well-seasoned cast iron pan, but a grill pan would have worked as well. Cast iron allows for a better fond than a non-stick surface will. Fond is French for “base” and commonly refers to the browned bits and caramelized drippings of meat or vegetables that are stuck to the bottom of a pan after sautéing or roasting. It’s often retained as a source of flavor and deglazed with liquid and aromatics like onions and garlic. The fond forms the base for a large number of classic French pan sauces.
First we preheated the pan, and got it really hot. The goal is to introduce a great sear while the mayonnaise renders, and then finish the steak off in a 425°F oven. We added the steak to the pan top-side down, so we could add the Dos Gauchos-mayo mixture to the bottom of the steak. After about three to four minutes, we flipped the steak over, continued cooking it on the stove for another two to three minutes, and then moved the pan into the oven.
Given the thickness of the steak, it took about fifteen minutes to reach an internal temperature of 145°F degrees, or medium rare, while in the oven. We tented it with foil for five minutes to let the juices settle.
When we finally cut into this great steak we found that it was tender and very delicious, with a great crust.
We paired the steak with a tomato and onion salad with bleu cheese dressing, and washed it all down with a hearty Cabernet Sauvignon. It was truly a marvelous dinner.
Experimenting with new recipes and cooking concepts requires an open mind, as well as having plenty of Dos Gauchos steak rub on hand at all times!