Grilled Steaks with Onion Sauce and Onion Relish


Jonathon Sawyer likes serving grilled meat, like these rib eye steaks, with a tangy sauce that he makes by simmering red onions and jalapeños with water and vinegar, then pureeing them until silky. More Amazing Steaks

Grilled Steaks with Onion Sauce and Onion Relish. Photo © David Malosh
Photo: © David Malosh
Active Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
3 hrs


  • 2 tablespoons cracked black pepper

  • 2 dry bay leaves, crumbled

  • 1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Six 12- to 14-ounce rib eye steaks, about 3/4 inch thick

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 1 pound red onions, thinly sliced

  • 2 pickled jalapeños, seeded

  • 1 tablespoon dry red wine

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 1/2 cup drained cocktail onions, coarsely chopped

  • 1/4 cup oil-cured Moroccan olives, pitted and chopped

  • 1/4 cup torn mint leaves


  1. In a large, shallow dish, combine the cracked pepper with the bay leaves, fish sauce and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add the steaks to the dish and rub all over with the mixture. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours or refrigerate for 4 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, in a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the onions and jalapeños and cook over moderate heat until the onions are just softened, 5 minutes. Add the wine and 1 tablespoon of the vinegar and season with salt and ground pepper. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the onions are very tender, 40 minutes.

  3. Uncover the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid is evaporated, about 10 minutes. Transfer the onions to a blender. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of vinegar and puree until very smooth. Season with salt and ground pepper.

  4. In a medium bowl, toss the cocktail onions, olives and mint leaves with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

  5. Preheat a grill pan or light a grill. Grill the steaks over moderate heat, turning once or twice, until lightly charred, about 7 minutes for medium-rare meat. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes, then serve with the onion sauce and pickled onion relish.

Serve With

French fries.

Suggested Pairing

Rich, blackberry-scented Cabernet Sauvignon.

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