Smoked Paprika-Rubbed Steaks with Valdeón Butter

This dish is a brilliant combination of robust flavors. Tender rib eye gets flavored by the smoky garlic marinade as well as by a pungent blue-cheese butter that melts down the sides. Any creamy blue would be terrific here, but Valdeón, a maple leaf–wrapped cheese from Picos de Europa, adds complexity.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Pimentón de la Vera (smoked Spanish paprika)
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Four 10-ounce rib-eye steaks, about 1 inch thick
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 1 scallion, dark-green part only, finely chopped
  • 2 ounces Valdeón or other intense and creamy blue cheese, crumbled (1/3 packed cup), at room temperature

How to make this recipe

  1. On a work surface, using the flat side of a chef's knife, mash the garlic to a paste with the salt. Scrape the garlic into a small bowl. Stir in the paprika, cayenne and oregano. Gradually stir in the olive oil. Spread the mixture on a large platter, add the steaks and turn to coat, rubbing in the marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 1 to 4 hours or refrigerate overnight.

  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, mash the butter with the shallot and scallion. Stir in the Valdeón. Scrape the blue cheese butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap and pat it into a 4-inch log. Wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

  3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Scrape some of the marinade off the steaks and grill over a medium-hot fire, turning once, about 8 minutes for medium-rare meat. Slice the butter 1 inch thick, set a pat on each steak and serve.

Contributed By Photo © Lisa Linder Published February 2005

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