“We’ve had this porcini rub at the restaurant from the beginning,” says Nancy Silverton. While a sublime steak seasoned only with salt and pepper will always be a winner, there’s an argument for amping it up a little too. “We have found that this porcini rub gives an extra umami flavour,” says Nancy. “People are eating the ribeye and they don’t realise why they are liking it so much.” With all her cooking, it’s about highlighting rather than masking. “We don’t overshadow the steak,” she says. “I think that’s really important. But this rub really does add that extra flavour.”
60 g (2 oz) dried porcini
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
¼ cup sugar
2 tbsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
4 Westholme cowboy or tomahawk ribeye steaks
finishing quality olive oil
aged balsamico condimento
Grind the porcini to a powder in several batches in a spice grinder. Transfer the ground porcini into a large mixing bowl.
Put the red pepper flakes in the spice grinder, grind them until finely chopped, and add to the bowl with the porcini.
Add the sugar, salt and pepper and stir to combine. The rub will keep indefinitely, stored in an airtight container at room temperature, but it will lose its lustre after about 30 days.
Wrap kitchen twine around the perimeter of each steak and tie the ends closed in a bow. This helps maintain the shape of the steak so it cooks more evenly. Cut off and discard the excess twine and lay steaks on a clean cutting board. Pour the rub onto a plate or pie pan. Place one steak in the rub and turn it to coat both sides and the edges in a generous, even layer. Place the prepared steak on a platter or baking sheet and repeat with the remaining steaks. If not grilling the steaks immediately, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 hours. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and bring them to room temperature before grilling.
Prepare a hot fire in a gas or charcoal grill or preheat a grill pan or heavy-bottomed skillet over high heat. Season both sides of the steaks liberally with salt and pepper and sprinkle additional rub on any bare spots.
Place the steaks on the hottest part of the grill or in the grill pan to cook, turning every 6 to 8 minutes, for about 25 minutes for medium rare, or until they reach an internal temperature of 52C / 125F. Remove the steaks to a cutting board or platter and let them rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Remove and discard the twine. Serve the steaks whole or sliced against the grain. If you are moving the steaks from a cutting board to plates, drizzle them with the juices that have collected on the surface they were resting on. Serve with finishing quality olive oil and balsamic condiment on the side.
“We’ve had this porcini rub at the restaurant from the beginning,” says Nancy Silverton.