August 17, 2021
The waning of summer and approach of Labor Day means various things, including new seasons of some of your favorite cooking shows on WTTW, like Christopher Kimball's Milk Street Television, and plenty of opportunities to grill. Instead of the typical hot dogs and burgers, treat yourself with a nice rib-eye, and go one step further by dressing it up with a Middle Eastern-inspired marinade by way of a restaurant in Turkey, thanks to Milk Street.
Rib-Eye Steaks with Rosemary and Pomegranate Molasses
At Manzara Restaurant in Söğüt, in Turkey, we tasted a superb grilled rib-eye steak prepared by chef Naci Isik. We thought the fruity, tangy-sweet flavor of pomegranate molasses, the savoriness of onion, and the resinous notes of fresh rosemary in the marinade worked together as a delicious complement for the richness and smoky char of the beef. Our adaptation hews closely to Isik’s recipe, with a few modifications for cooking in a home kitchen and using ingredients readily available in the U.S. We recommend seeking out pomegranate molasses that does not contain added sugar; its flavor is purer and more intense than types made with sweetener.
Don’t forget to scrape off the marinade and pat the steaks dry before grilling. The marinade contains moisture and sugar that inhibit browning and cause sticking. Making sure the steaks are as clean and dry as possible when they hit the grill grate will help with better browning and easier release.
1 medium white onion, peeled and cut lengthwise into quarters
1⁄4 cup pomegranate molasses, plus more to serve
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper, or 3⁄4 teaspoon sweet paprika plus 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary, divided
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
Two 12- to 14-ounce boneless rib-eye steaks (about 1 inch thick), patted dry
Grapeseed or other neutral oil, for brushing
2 tablespoons salted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1. Set a box grater in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Grate the onion quarters on the large holes, allowing the pulp and juice to fall into the baking dish. To the grated onion, stir in the pomegranate molasses, Aleppo pepper, 1 teaspoon of rosemary, 1 teaspoon salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper. Add the steaks and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours; flip the steaks once or twice during marination. If refrigerated for longer than 1 hour, remove the steaks from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before grilling.
2. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill. For a charcoal grill, ignite three-fourths of a large chimney of coals, let burn until lightly ashed over, then distribute the coals evenly over one side of the grill bed; open the bottom grill vents. Heat the grill, covered, for 5 minutes, then clean and oil the grill grate. For a gas grill, turn all burners to high and heat the grill, covered, for 10 to 15 minutes, then clean and oil the cooking grate.
3. Scrape any excess marinade off the steaks and pat dry with paper towels. Brush one side of the steaks with oil, then place oiled-side down on the grill (on the hot side if using charcoal). Cover and cook until nicely charred on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Brush the side facing up with oil, then flip the steaks. Cover and cook until the second sides are nicely charred and the centers reach 120°F (for medium-rare), another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the steaks to a serving platter, sprinkle each with the remaining rosemary, and top each with 2 pieces of butter. Tent with foil and let rest for about 10 minutes.
4. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and cut into thin slices on the diagonal. Return to the platter and pour the juices from the cutting board over the steaks. Sprinkle with salt and black pepper and, if desired, drizzle with additional pomegranate molasses.