Ribeye Steak with Cauliflower Puree
This is a simple way to turn humble cauliflower into an elegant puree that will impress without stealing the show. It can be prepared a day in advance and reheated. Pre-seasoning the steak and slow cooking it prior to searing delivers the absolute best results and helps prevent overcooking. This technique requires steak that is at least 1.5 inches thick.
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small yellow onion, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 head white cauliflower, trimmed and sliced 1/4" thick
1 cup cream
1 cup milk
In a large sauce pan, melt 2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Take care not to brown anything. If you do, discard and start over.
Add cauliflower, milk, and cream. Bring to a simmer then cover and cook until completely tender, about 30 minutes.
Strain and reserve cooking liquid.
Add cauliflower, onion, and garlic, 1 cup of reserved liquid, and remaining tablespoon of butter to a blender and blend on high until completely smooth. Add salt to taste. Test consistency by dragging a spoonful of puree across a plate. The puree should hold its shape when the plate is tilted on its side. To thicken cook down over low heat. To thin, add more reserved cooking liquid. Puree can be prepared a day ahead and reheated.
White cauliflower is an elegant color to contrast against steak, but orange cauliflower looks better with white meat like chicken or scallops.
The only difference between this puree and a smooth cauliflower soup is the consistency. Simply use more cooking liquid to make soup.
2-inch thick ribeye steak, about 1.5 pounds
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and pepper
Place steak on a wire rack set over a baking sheet and season liberally with salt and pepper (about 1/2 teaspoon of salt per pound). Let sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour and up to a day.
Preheat oven to the lowest possible setting (around 200°F).
Cook until steak until a digital thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 10°F below your target temperature: 120°F for medium-rare, 125° for medium, 130°F for medium-well. This could take around 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on your oven. Check often, especially as the steak gets close, as the temperature will start to rise more rapidly. Remove steak from oven.
Add oil to cast iron pan and heat over your hottest burner until the oil just starts smoking. Sear the steak for about 1 minute on the first side then flip. Add butter to the pan and tilt the pan to create a pool. With the pan tilted, use a small spoon, baste the steak with butter for another minute. Using tongs, you can sear the sides as well, but take care not to overcook it. About 3 minutes total should be all you need. The final internal temperature should be 130°F for medium-rare, 135°F for medium, 140°F for medium-well.
Ribeye can be substituted for New York strip or other similar steak.
Try adding to the pan whole garlic cloves, large chucks of shallot, and/or sprigs of herbs while you baste for added flavor.