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Steak with pepita-lime butter

I do love a good steak, grilled over charcoal or even broiled in the oven. The aroma of slowly melting fat and the charring meat is irresistible.

In India, I am forced to use lovely mutton steaks, freshly cut and packed with flavour. They do differ from the beef that was originally called for in the recipe, but as a chef, I have to work with the ingredients available.

This dish starts with the French cooking technique of grilling or broiling a steak seasoned with pepper and salt, and topping it with flavoured butter on the table. However, the use of traditional Mexican flavours, lime zest and pumpkin seeds and the addition of roasted fresh jalapeños is what makes this recipe so special. The jalapeños add that pop of spice and the butter melts adding a lovely nuance of flavour and softness to the meat. I served this with the Vegetable "cake" from Ixtepec, they made for a perfect pairing.

This is a very contemporary cookbook that specializes in the cuisine of the Yucatan Peninsula. The presentation is contemporary but the chef has stayed with the beautiful flavours and recipes of the region. The famed restaurant off a small road in Tulum is gorgeous, and the food has got a cult-like following. Every recipe that I have cooked from this book is fantastic and it is my favourite contemporary Mexican cookbook. In addition, it is a beautiful book, with vivid photographs that capture the land, the ingredients and the food, combined with anecdotes and cultural stories, this is more of a coffee-table cookbook that sits in my kitchen.

For more recipes from this cookbook click here.


1 large steak, 1 1/2 oz, bone-in rib-eye or tomahawk

1/2 tablespoon ground allspice

Salt, to taste

1 teaspoon pepper

12-15 fresh arbol, serrano or jalapeño chillies

2-3 fresh habanero chillies

For the butter:

5 tablespoons butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds (pepitas), lightly toasted and ground to a powder

1 tablespoon lime zest

pumpkin seeds to garnish

Limes halved to garnish

To make the butter:

Mix the ingredients well. Taste and adjust for lime zest. Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes till slightly solid. Roll into a cylinder in cling wrap and chill till needed.

For the steak:

Marinate the steak with allspice and salt for 1 hour.

Heat the oven to 450 F.

Cook the steak for 4-5 minutes on each side, till each side is well browned. Remove and allow to sit covered with foil for 5 minutes.

Once the steak is removed, or towards the end of the steak cooking, add the chillies in a single layer and roast for 4-5 minutes till they are soft and charred. Remove and set aside.

To serve, Cut the steak diagonal to the thread of the meat. Plate the meat and bone on a large platter. Drop a few dollops of the butter and sprinkle with the roasted chillies and pumpkin seeds. Serve immediately.

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