Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Basque Country Salt-Crusted Rib Steaks

Recipe from Steven Raichlen's Planet Barbecue!

A steak as thick as a leather-bound copy of Don Quixote crusted with a 1⁄4 inch of rock salt and charred over charcoal.


  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Direct grilling
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Step 1: Set up the grill for direct grilling and preheat it to medium-high.

Step 2: When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Arrange the steaks on the hot grate and sprinkle the tops with a 1⁄4-inch-layer of salt. Grill the steaks until they are darkly browned on the bottom and beads of blood start to form on the top, about 5 minutes.

Step 3: Turn the steaks over (some of the salt will fall into the fire; it’s supposed to). Sprinkle another 1⁄4 inch-layer of salt on top of the steaks. Continue grilling until the second sides are darkly browned and the steaks are cooked to taste, 4 to 5 minutes longer for medium-rare. Use the poke test to check for doneness. At Casa Julián, they serve the steaks blood rare.

Step 4: Using tongs, turn each steak on its side and whack it with the back of a knife to knock off the excess salt. Transfer the steaks to a cutting board and let them rest for 2 minutes. Cut the meat off the bone. Return the bones to the grill to char them, then serve them separately.

Step 5: Cut the boneless steaks crosswise and slightly on the diagonal into 1⁄2 inch-thick strips.

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