Photo: Jeff Marini

Even rib-eye purists, who insist that this well-marbled cut needs nothing more than salt and heat, may make an exception for Chicago Cut’s bold Cajun version. Iserloth starts the process two days before the steak hits the grill by rubbing the meat with a piquant cayenne spice blend. Then, just to drive home the flavor, he drizzles the grilled steaks with Cajun-spiced compound butter.

Steffen Iserloth’s Cajun Rib Eye

Makes:4 servings
Active time:40 minutes
Total time:About 48 hours

4 Tbsp. Freshly ground black pepper
5 Tbsp. Cayenne pepper
4 Tbsp. Ground white pepper
2 Tbsp. Garlic powder
5 Tbsp. Chili powder
3 Tbsp. Paprika
1 Tbsp. Dried thyme
1 Tbsp. Dried oregano
1 Tbsp. Dried basil
2 Tbsp. Kosher salt
2 (26 oz.) bone-in rib-eye steaks
3 Yellow onions, sliced
  Grapeseed or vegetable oil, as needed
1 Stick butter

Mix the dry ingredients together in a large, shallow bowl. Reserve 6 tablespoons of the spice mix in a ziplock bag. Dredge each rib eye in the remaining spice blend, thoroughly coating the steaks and using a fork to poke half-inch-deep holes in the meat so the spices penetrate it. Place half the sliced onions in a large bowl or baking dish. Place the steaks on top, side by side, and cover with the remaining onions. Add enough oil to submerge entirely, and sprinkle in any remaining spice mix from the bowl. Cover dish tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 48 hours.

Prepare a medium-hot grill for indirect-heat cooking: For a charcoal grill, bank coals on one side; for a gas grill, leave one or two burners off. Grill steaks over direct heat first, turning once, until nicely charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Move steaks to indirect heat, cover the grill, and cook until internal temperature reaches 125 degrees (for medium-rare), 8 to 10 minutes. Remove steaks and let rest, covered with foil, for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, add butter and reserved spice mix to a small saucepan and stir constantly over low heat until butter has melted. Slice the steaks against the grain and drizzle with the warm butter.