Episode 201: Grilling with Wood

Sear and Slide Beef Tomahawks with Bearnaise Butter

Sear and Slide Rib Steaks with Bearnaise Butter

More Recipes from Episode 201: Grilling with Wood


Sear and Slide Beef Tomahawks with Bearnaise Butter

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Makes 3 steaks serving 6 people very generously
  • Equipment: Parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap


For the Bearnaise Butter

  • 3 small shallots, peeled and diced
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, plus 8 tablespoons (1 stick) at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon cognac or other brandy
  • A few drops of fresh lemon juice
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper

For the Steaks

  • 3 beef “tomahawk” rib steaks, each about 2 pounds and at least 2-inches thick
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly and coarsely cracked black pepper
  • Vegetable oil for oiling the grill grate

Recipe Steps

1: Heat the 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Saute the shallots until they are caramelized and very soft, 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and let cool.

2: In a small mixing bowl, combine the 8 tablespoons of butter, the shallots, Parmigiano-Reggiano, tarragon, cognac, and lemon juice and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place a 12-inch square of parchment paper, wax paper, or plastic wrap on your work surface. Mound the bearnaise butter in the center, then roll the butter into a cylinder about 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Twist the ends so the butter maintains its shape, then refrigerate or freeze until firm, about 2 hours. (The butter will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or can be frozen for 3 months.)

3: When ready to cook the steaks or up to 45 minutes in advance, brush the steaks on both sides with olive oil. Season evenly with coarse salt and cracked black pepper.

4: Build a wood fire in your grill and heat one side of it to medium-high. Leave the opposite side fire-free. Brush or scrape the grill grate clean and oil it.

5: Arrange the steaks on the grill grate and sear on both sides, turning them at a 90 degree angle to obtain a handsome crosshatch of grill marks. Slide the steaks to the fire-free zone to continue cooking.

6: When the steaks are cooked to your liking—125 to 135 degrees is rare to medium-rare—transfer the steaks to plates or a platter. Top each with a disk of béarnaise butter, allowing it to melt from the residual heat. Serve immediately.

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2019 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein.