Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Spanish Steak with Sherry Vinegar Steak Sauce (Chuleton)

Spanish Steak with Sherry Vinegar Steak Sauce

Spain has a vibrant steak culture, a surprise to tourists with tapas and paella on their minds. Rib steak, known as chuleton (“large steak”), appears on many restaurant menus and is typically cooked over a live fire. The rub and piquant steak sauce are very versatile and pair well with pork, chicken, or shrimp. (Find jarred piquillo peppers online or in the international aisle of larger supermarkets.)


For the rub and steak:

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Spanish smoked paprika (pimentón)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 4 boneless rib-eye or strip steaks, each about 12 ounces
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the sherry vinegar steak sauce:

  • 6 jarred piquillo peppers or 2 jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup aged sherry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish, drained
  • 2 tablespoons honey or agave
  • 1 tablespoon molasses
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Step 1

Make the rub: Combine the paprika, cumin, mustard, fennel seeds, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl and whisk to mix. Fifteen minutes before cooking, generously brush each steak on both sides with olive oil and season with the rub.

Step 2

Make the steak sauce: Combine all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, add a tablespoon or two of water. Transfer to a small saucepan and warm over low heat. If not serving immediately, transfer the sauce to a covered jar or bottle and refrigerate. It will keep for up to 5 days. (Shake to re-emulsify if the sauce separates.)

Step 3

When ready to cook, set up a grill for direct grilling and heat to high. Brush and oil the grill grate.(Alternatively, heat a grill pan on the stovetop.) Grill the steaks on one side for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn with tongs and grill 5 to 6 minutes more for medium-rare. Serve with the warmed steak sauce.

Serves 4 — Recipe adapted from