“One-Armed” Rib-Eye Steak with Black Bean Sofrito

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves


Appears in

America's Best Chefs Cook with Jeremiah Tower

America's Best Chefs Cook with Jeremiah Tower

By Jeremiah Tower

Published 2003

  • About

Robert calls this a “one armed steak” because when he broke his right (steak-flipping) arm, he decided to leave a 6-inch-long rib bone in each steak to make it easy to flip the steaks with his left hand.

The sofrito would be good with grilled or roast chicken as well; sometimes Robert adds kernels of fresh corn for the last 4 minutes of cooking. While he gets a marvelous smoky flavor by literally smoking his onions, you can cook them until lightly charred on a cast-iron stove-top grill. It works well.


  • 2 large yellow onions, sliced in ¼-inch-thick strips or “julienne
  • 1 cup diced raw bacon (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 cup sliced scallions, cut on the diagonal
  • ½ cup garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • ½ cup thinly sliced roasted, peeled, seeded fresh poblano peppers
  • 2 large tomatoes, seeded, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves (1 big bunch, stemmed)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 (18-ounce) bone-in rib-eye steaks, with the bone scraped clean*
  • 2 tablespoons white truffle oil (optional, but really good)
  • 1 cup crumbled queso fresco


Smoke the onion strips over hickory wood or charcoal in a small smoker or in a covered kettle grill with the cover closed, until the onion is translucent.

Sauté the bacon in a skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes, until the fat begins to render. Add the scallions, garlic, black beans, roasted poblanos, and smoked onions and continue to cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and cilantro. Cook for another 5 minutes, then stir in the butter. Season the sofrito with salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a cast-iron skillet until it is very, very hot. Season the steaks thoroughly, but not excessively, with salt and pepper and blast sear them on the cast iron to the desired degree of doneness. Immediately before removing the steaks from the skillet, drizzle the truffle oil over the meat.

Place each steak on a large heated plate and spoon the sofrito over the top where the bone leaves the meat. Sprinkle the queso over the top of each steak and serve.

* Ask your butcher to do this for you, if you like.