For this spice mixture, chef Josef Centeno, of Bäco Mercat in Los Angeles, was inspired by the coffee rub his father used to make for grilling steaks. Basting with butter before transferring the pan to the oven helps bloom the dried spices and adds irresistible flavor to the meat. Remember that grass-fed steak is cooked for 30% less time than grain fed!
1 2-inch-2 1/4-inch-thick bone-in beef rib eye (about 2-2 1/2 pounds), preferably dry aged, at room temperature for 1 hour
2 tsp. kosher salt
4 tbsp. grapeseed or vegetable oil, divided
3 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
4 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
For pan searing.
Preheat oven to 400°. Set a wire rack inside a large rimmed baking sheet. Season steak with kosher salt and 2 tablespoons spice rub, pressing onto all sides of meat and adding more spice rub by the teaspoonful if needed to coat entire surface. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet over high heat. When oil begins to shimmer, place steak in skillet (be sure to have fan on high; the rub creates some smoke). Sear steak for 1 minute (any longer and the rub will start to burn).
Transfer steak to a plate and carefully drain fat from skillet. Wipe skillet clean with a paper towel. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in skillet and sear other side of steak for 1 minute. Add butter, garlic, and herbs to skillet; cook until butter is foamy. Carefully tip skillet and, using a large spoon, baste steak repeatedly with butter for 1 minute. Turn steak and baste other side for 1 minute. Pile herbs on top of steak, transfer skillet to oven, and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center of meat registers 125° for medium, 15-17 minutes. Transfer steak to prepared rack; let rest for 10 minutes. Cut steak from bone, slice, and serve.
For the grill.
To use as a grill rub, season steak with kosher salt and 2 TB of rub and sear one minute on each side on a hot grill. Grill until desired doneness is reached turning about every two minutes. Melt 2 TB oil, butter, garlic and herbs in small skillet. As soon as the steak is removed from the grill, place it in the skillet with the oil mixture. With a large spoon, baste the steak repeatedly with the oil mixture. Cover and set aside to rest for 10 minutes. Slice steak from the bone and serve.