Cowboy Steak

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6-8 Rib Steaks 22-26oz (long bone, if available)

Cowboy Rub
1 cup toasted and ground dried Pasilla Chile
1 cup toasted and ground dried Guajillo Chile
1 cup jalapeno powder
1/2 cup. smoked paprika
2 cup. brown sugar
1/4 cup fine sea salt

Cowboy Butter
4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup smoked paprika
1/4 cup Cajun spice
2 Tbsp. ground cumin
2 Tbsp. ground coriander
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh garlic
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh shallot
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley
3 Tbsp. fresh chopped thyme leaves
2 Tbsp. Cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper


Make the Dry Rub -- In a bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.  Place the steaks in a roasting pan and rub on all sides with the mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least 24 hours.

Make the Butter -- In a medium bowl, beat together 3 cups of the butter and all of the other ingredients until blended. Place on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll it into a sausage shape. Store in the refrigerator up to 3 days or in the freezer up to 2 weeks. Chef's Tip: European-style butters have slightly more fat and less water.  This gives them a creamier texture and richer flavor. 

Cook the Steaks -- Heat a barbecue grill.  Spread the steaks with the remaining 1 cup of butter. Season them on both sides with salt and pepper. Place the steaks on the grill and cook until browned, about 3 minutes. Turn the steaks and brown on the other side, about 3 minutes more. Be careful as the chili rub might burn. Transfer the steaks to a cooler part of the grill.  Cover and cook for 20 to 25 minutes for medium rare.

To check for doneness, make a small cut near the bone or insert an instant reading thermometer into the thickest part of the meat.   The temperature reading should be 130 to 135 degrees F for medium rare.

Serve -- Place the steaks on a cutting board and cover loosely with foil.  Let rest for 10 to 12 minutes. Carve the meat off the bone. Cut the steaks crosswise into 1-inch slices. Arrange the slices on the plates. Cut the butter into slices and arrange on the steaks. Serve immediately. 

Chef’s tip:  Steaks on the bone are much more flavorful than boneless, plus you have the bones to nibble on afterwards. 

4 cups hickory or mesquite chips, soaked and drained

Smoke the steaks In the bottom of a stovetop smoker, arrange the hickory or mesquite chips, mounding them slightly in the center. Place the pan and rack on top, and place the steaks on top of the rack. Cover tightly with the lid and place over low heat for 1 hour. For an outdoor or mechanical smoker, follow manufacturer’s directions.

Chef's tip:  The type of wood chips you add to the barbecue will make a big difference in the flavor of the meat.  Hickory is the most popular wood.  It has a pungent aroma typical of southern cooking.  Mesquite, typical of southwestern cooking has a sweeter and more delicate aroma.  The more chips you use, the more pronounced will be their flavor in the meat.  Soak wood chips in water for about 30 minutes before using.