Cast Iron Cowboy Steaks
Why This Recipe Works
Cowboy steaks are traditionally thick-cut bone-in rib eyes that are grilled over a hot fire, and they are known for their big, beefy, smoky flavor. We turned to a cast-iron skillet to replicate this Southwestern classic indoors. Fitting four bone-in rib eyes in a single skillet and still getting an even sear on both sides of each steak proved too cumbersome. Instead, we chose the thinner and less expensive (yet still tender and flavorful) top sirloin steak. To replicate the smoky flavor of meat slow-cooked on the grill, we used two smoked spices in our rub: smoked paprika and chipotle chile powder. This combination ensured levels of smokiness and spice in every bite for a quick, easy barbecue fix. Garlic powder, salt, and pepper rounded out our simple yet deeply flavorful rub. We began by searing each side of the steaks over medium-high heat on the stovetop in a preheated cast-iron skillet for an ideal brown crust, then gently finished the steaks to a perfect medium-rare over medium-low heat.