Grilled Rib-Eye Steak with Red Wine and Thyme Caramelized Onions

Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in Musings, Recipes | 1 comment

My friend Dan accuses me of writing a vegetarian blog.

“Where’s the meat?” he demands. “There’s none in your recipes.”

Being a diehard meat eater, I found that hard to believe. But, when I went back and looked in the archives, I had to admit he was right. Sheepishly.

So, in a round about manner, this is my first Meat Post. Because the recipe is really for these all-purpose Red Wine and Thyme Caramelized Onions which I happen to love piled on top of a grilled rib-eye, finished with a generous sprinkle of fleur de sel. (Even better, top the warm rib-eye with a pat of butter before piling on the onions and let it melt underneath, making for a juicy, sweet mouthful.)

And sweet is the key word here. Caramelizing onions, slow cooking them down to their essence brings out their natural candy-like sweetness and richness. Their umami-ness. For balance, and to round out the flavors, the addition of lemon juice makes them wine-friendly and the fresh thyme gives a nice herbal note.

These caramelized onions can be made ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks. They just get better. Try them tucked into a grilled cheese sandwich, stirred into sautéed romano beans or summer squash, warmed over grilled chicken or pork or even served room-temp along side a sharp, aged cheddar.

Red Wine and Thyme Caramelized Onions
(approximately 1 cup)

1 ½ pounds yellow onions (3 medium)
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup red wine
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Peel the onions and cut in half lengthwise. Cut into 1/8-inch slices, also lengthwise.

Place the olive oil in a large saute¢ pan over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the sliced onions, the salt and the pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions just start to brown. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until they are tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Give them a stir every now and then to prevent sticking.

Stir in the red wine and turn the heat back up to high. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously, then reduce the heat to low and cook for 10 more minutes or until the wine has evaporated. Cover the onions and continue cooking until very tender and starting to get a little brown around the edges, another 8-10 minutes.

Stir in the lemon juice and thyme and taste for seasoning, adding more salt and/or pepper if desired.

*(It’s important to keep an eye on these onions, as they can burn easily, if not watched and stirred. You may have to raise or lower the heat if they are either cooking too slowly or quickly – how’s that for accuracy?? )

Grilled Rib-Eye Steak

Select nice thick, well-aged rib-eye steaks from your butcher or meat counter. (the ones I prefer are about 16-ounces each, 1 ½” thick)

Season the steaks with salt and pepper and refrigerate them, loosely covered, on a baking sheet, overnight. Remove them from the refrigerator at least one hour or up to 1 ½ hours before cooking to come to room temperature.

Prepare a grill to medium high heat.

Grill the rib eyes for 7-8 minutes per side for medium rare. Remove them from the grill and let them rest for at least 5-8 minutes before serving. Top them with some soft butter, then the warmed onions and finish with a generous sprinkle of fleur de sel.

1 Comment

  1. Like, seriously yum. I just bought an old Alice Waters cookbook from 1980 and she puts a pat of butter on top of a fresh grilled steak too. But she didn’t mention these fabulous onions. Can’t wait to try ‘em.

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