Scotch has a long and storied history, much like the country it is named after.
Scotland has been settled, conquered, pillaged, and freed, seemingly, too many times to count. With each new ruling class, whether they were Roman, Norman, or Viking, the people of Scotland took on various cultural qualities; which included their culinary traditions.
It was the Christian missionaries from Ireland that brought with them recipes for whiskey distilled from grain, most commonly barley, to the country, and the Scottish put their own spin on it. But instead of having a singular style, the whiskey created there reflects the landscape of the country.
There are five official Scotch regions: Islay, Campbeltown, Speyside, Highlands, and the Lowlands, each with a distinct style that sets itself apart, yet each of these whiskeys is distilled almost exclusively from a blend of water and malted barley.
And while I don't have enough time to go into the differences of each style, just know that they can range from light and fruity, like many whiskeys from the Speyside region, to earthy and smokey, like the great malts from Islay. So no matter what kind of whiskey you prefer, there is likely a Scotch for you.
In this episode of Cooking with Fire, my co-host Chef Tom and I will discuss two Speyside whiskeys as well as give you a recipe for a simple Scotch steak sauce.
- 2 ribeye steaks
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Smoked salt
For the Scotch Steak Sauce:
- 1/4 cup red onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 3 tbsp Scotch Whisky
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp vinegar-based hot sauce
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, sliced into 1 tbsp pats
- Preheat your grill for high heat (450ºF+) direct grilling. Set a 12” cast iron skillet over the fire to preheat.
- Season the ribeye steaks with fresh ground black pepper and smoked salt on all sides.
- When the skillet is smoking hot, add the steaks and cook until a nice crust is seared onto the bottom side. Flip and repeat, cover with a lid (as needed) and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 130ºF. Remove the steaks from the skillet. Cover loosely with foil and set aside.
- To make the Scotch Steak Sauce, add the minced red onion and crushed garlic cloves to the hot skillet. Toss in the beef fat left behind from the steaks. Cook, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the onions are softened. In a separate bowl, mix together the Scotch, Worcestershire, mustard and hot sauce. Remove the skillet from the heat. Add the liquid and whisk well. Place the skillet back on the heat and bring to a simmer. Reduce the liquid until it is nearly gone. Remove from heat and whisk in the pats of butter, one at a time until all butter is incorporated.
- Serve the Seared Ribeye steaks topped with the Scotch Steak Sauce.