South Africa might be all about the braai, but arguably the best way to cook a rib-eye is not to grill, but to fry it, which will give you that golden brown Maillard crust that food writers weep about. Simplicity is key here, and attention. Watch the steak like a hawk while it’s on the heat. You won’t regret it.
1kg boneless rib-eye beef, cut into 4
equal steaks, at room temperature
100g unsalted butter, diced
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled and left
4 thyme sprigs
rock salt, lightly crushed
It’s important that your steaks are removed from the fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking, so they cook through evenly with hot centres.
Melt the butter with the oil in 1 or 2 large hot sauté pans over a medium heat.
The oil helps prevent the butter from burning. Add the steaks to the pan with the garlic cloves and thyme and season generously with salt.
For medium-rare, I suggest you fry the steaks, basting constantly with the butter, for 4 minutes over a medium to low heat. Turn the steaks over and continue basting for a further 2ó minutes. Adjust the heat under the pan if necessary.
Transfer the steaks to a platter, cover with kitchen foil, shiny side down, and leave to rest for 4 minutes. Serve with the garlic cloves and some of the pan juices.