Ultimate Cast Iron Cowboy Steak with Chimichurri

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Prep Time
35 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

How to cook the Ultimate Cowboy Steak, also known as a bone-in Ribeye. This rich flavorful piece of steak doesn’t need much, just salt & pepper and a foolproof cooking method. You’re minutes away from perfect date night dinner.

Bring on the Beef! Make sure you check out my 15 minute Filet Mignon Recipe or my Epic Pan Seared Ribeye with Herb Butter

cowboy steak in a cast iron skillet with butter

Cast Iron Cowboy Steak with Chimichurri

Steak. It’s the way to a man’s heart. Especially when it’s the best most husky piece of meat you can get. No ladies. I’m not taking about your man. I’m talking about this Cowboy steak. 

A 2″ thick perfectly marbled extremely flavorful hunk of steak that’s bone-in to add even more flavor. 

Make this for Valentines Day or date night in and I guarantee you’ll keep him for life! At least that’s how it worked for me!

raw bone in ribeye steak

Why is it called Cowboy Steak?

A cowboy steak comes from the primal rib section of a cow, or the prime rib. I’m not sure exactly how the “cowboy steak” got it’s name. Some say it’s called a cowboy steak because cowboys could pick it up by the bone or it’s “handle” to hold it and eat it. Others say, because this thick cut of ribeye is ultra hearty and rich makes it perfect for the hardworking cowboys appetite. Either way, this rugged bone-in ribeye is called a cowboy steak.

SHOP MY FAVORITES FOR THIS RECIPE

 

What is the Difference Between Ribeye and Cowboy Steak?

Both cuts are from the primal rib section of the cow. The Cowboy Steak is a much more impressive piece of meat. A cowboy steak is a thick 2″ bone-in ribeye with extra meat along the bone. (essentially more than just the eye and the cap of a ribeye) Most importantly, with a cowboy steak you can ask your butcher to do a frenched bone which really just showcases the bone and gives you a true handle. A Ribeye is a standard cut you can pick up in the meat section. They come boneless or bone-in and usually are smaller in size and just contain the eye and a small portion of the ribeye cap.

sliced bone in ribeye with chimichurri sauce on the side

How to pick the perfect steak?

When picking the best cut of meat for grilling here are the things to keep in mind.

  • Grade of Meat – I highly recommend buying Prime, you will definitely taste a huge difference. However, if it’s not in the budget then go Choice.
  • Date – Don’t be afraid to shuffle through the meat packages. I always buy the freshest meat, and actually prefer to go to the butchers counter to ask them. Fresh is BEST. They know exactly what’s out and what you should buy.
  • Amount of marbling – Scan the marbling in your steak. I want to make sure I see a good amount of marbling but not so much that I barely get any steak because the fat just takes over. This is very common in Ribeye Steaks specifically

seasoned raw ribeye with a bone

Recipe Ingredients

A good cut of beef doesn’t need a whole lot of help in the flavor department. Salt and pepper is really all you need. However, with a thick piece of steak like this just make sure you season it generously. To really take the flavor up a notch add a zesty chimichurri sauce.

Cowboy Steak

  • Cowboy steak – Go to the butcher and ask them to cut you a 2″ thick bone-in ribeye, it will probably be between 1-2lbs. They may have some bone-in ribeyes at the meat counter, but trust me. You can’t beat getting it freshly sliced by the butcher. If you would like to showcase the bone, ask them to french the bone for you. This just means they will cut all the meat and fat off the top portion and leave you with a clean 1-2″ of bone at the top.
  • Seasoning – All you need for seasoning this rich cut of meat is salt and pepper. But don’t skimp here. You want to generous season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper so that it penetrates to the center of the steak. This will ensure you have a well seasoned bite every time.
  • Butter – I like to add 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter while searing on the stove to baste over the top of the steak. 
  • Garlic – Slice a whole head of garlic in half and add to the pan cut side down. This will allow the garlic to infuse into the butter.

Chimichurri:

  • Garlic – Just one clove for that pungent garlic flavor.
  • Cilantro – The key to a fresh chimichurri is fresh herbs, cilantro is the most commonly used herb and the main ingredient in our zesty sauce. You can finely mince with a knife if you’re a ninja in the kitchen, or you can take the easy route and pulse in a food processor.
  • Red Wine Vinegar – The vinegar is what gives the chimichurri that true zesty flavor. I have used rice wine vinegar and plain vinegar here before as well. Sherry Vinegar and Balsamic will NOT work.
  • Lime Juice – Fresh is best.
  • Olive Oil – I like to use olive oil in most of my dressings or non cooked sauces because of the flavor. You could use avocado oil or canola oil here if you’re like to substitute.
  • Seasoning – The main spice to add in are red pepper flakes, this adds the “spice” you typically get from a chimichurri. I also love to add in smoked paprika for that mild smokey taste and of course salt & pepper to taste.

close up of a cowboy steak in skillet with butter on top

How to Cook a Cowboy Steak

There are two components to this epic steak. The first is the chimichurri sauce and the second is the star – our juicy tender Cowboy Steak. Don’t be overwhelmed. The chimichurri tastes maybe 5 minutes to make – if that. And then the steak itself will take about 30 minutes. Viola! A steak house dinner in no time and for more than half the price. Here’s how to make it.

To Make Chimichurri Sauce:

  1. To a food processor add cilantro, garlic, red wine vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Pulse until cilantro is fined minced and mixture looks like a sauce. Set aside.

To Make the Cowboy Steak:

  1. Take cowboy steak out of refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Generously season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  4. Place a large 10″ cast iron skillet in the oven. Heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and place on a burner set to HIGH heat. Immediately add cowboy steak to the pan.
  6. Sear for 2-3 minutes, until you have nice browning. Add butter and halved garlic heads (cut side down) to the pan. Flip the steak and sear on the other side for another 3 minutes.
  7. Immediately place skillet in the oven and cook (at 500°F) for 9 minutes. Flip the steaks and cook for another 4-5 minutes on the other side (for medium rare). The steaks should have internal temperature of 125°F. (this will be medium rare) If you like it more well done, cook it an additional minute for each temperature (1 minute for medium, 2 minutes for medium well, 3 minutes for well done)
  8. Let steaks rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve with chimichurri sauce

chimichurri sauce on top of a seared bone-in ribeye steak

Tips for Success

  • Quality is Key – If you want quality end product, then you need to start with a good quality steak. Buy Prime!
  • Bring Steaks to Room Temperature: This is a key part. If you take a steak straight from the refrigerator to the pan it will seize up and you’ll end up with a really tough piece of meat. Be sure to take your steak out of the refrigerator to take off the chill for at least 30 minutes before it hits the heat.
  • DO NOT TOUCH: One of the biggest things I can tell you when cooking steak is to stop messing with your meat when it’s cooking. Just put it in the pan and let it be. Trust the time and flip when your protein releases from the pan. It’s kind of a science.
  • Keep it Simple Stupid: No need for fancy marinades or seasonings. If you have a good piece of meat, all you need is salt and pepper.
  • Slice Against the Grain: Unless you want to be chewing on a tough piece of meat for hours I’d highly recommend slicing against the grain (perpendicular) so you have a tender and moist piece of meat.

how to grill steak perfectly every time temperature doneness chart

How to Store and Reheat Leftovers

If you have any leftovers, which I doubt you will. Store them in an air tight container in the refrigerator. They should keep for up to 3 days. 

What Goes with Cowboy Steak?

finished cowboy steak in a cast iron skillet with butter and garlic

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cowboy steak in a cast iron skillet with butter

Ultimate Cast Iron Cowboy Steak with Chimichurri

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • cook_time Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • total_time Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • yield Yield: 2-3 1x
  • category Category: Beef
  • method Method: Stove & Oven
  • cuisine Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

How to cook the Ultimate Cowboy Steak, also known as a bone-in Ribeye. This rich flavorful piece of steak doesn’t need much, just salt & pepper and a foolproof cooking method. You’re minutes away from perfect date night dinner.

Scale

Ingredients

Cowboy Steak

  • 12 lb. cowboy steak, bone-in (2″ thick cut)
  • salt & pepper to season
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 whole head of garlic

Chimichurri:

  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

To Make Chimichurri Sauce:

  1. To a food processor add cilantro, garlic, red wine vinegar, lime juice, olive oil, smoked paprika, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Pulse until cilantro is fined minced and mixture looks like a sauce. Set aside.

Cowboy Steak:

  1. Take cowboy steak out of refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Generously season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper.
  3. Preheat oven to 500°F.
  4. Place a large 10″ cast iron skillet in the oven. Heat for 5 minutes.
  5. Remove the cast iron skillet from the oven and place on a burner set to HIGH heat. Immediately add cowboy steak to the pan.
  6. Sear for 2-3 minutes, until you have nice browning. Add butter and halved garlic heads (cut side down) to the pan. Flip the steak and sear on the other side for another 3 minutes.
  7. Immediately place skillet in the oven and cook (at 500°F) for 9 minutes. Flip the steaks and cook for another 4-5 minutes on the other side (for medium rare). The steaks should have internal temperature of 125°F. (this will be medium rare) If you like it more well done, cook it an additional minute for each temperature (1 minute for medium, 2 minutes for medium well, 3 minutes for well done)
  8. Let steaks rest for 5 minutes.
  9. Serve with chimichurri sauce

Notes

Note about cut: If you want to showcase the bone, ask your butcher to give you a french cut.

Keywords: cowboy steak, cowboy steak recipe, how to cook a cowboy steak, cowboy ribeye steak, cowboy cut steak, what is cowboy steak, valentines steak dinner, date night dinner ideas, how to cook steak,

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Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football!

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