To make this bistro classic, use a cast iron skillet, get it really hot, and sear the steak on both sides. The preferred cut is entrecôte, or rib-eye, and if you ask the butcher to cut it into steaks that aren't too thick you'll have lots of surface area on the steaks. No bistro steak is complete without the classic accompaniment of French fries.
Prepare the steaks
Pat the steaks dry and rub them with the salt, chipotle powder, and cilantro. Refrigerate the steaks, uncovered, for at least 1 hour, or up to 8 hours.
Make the mustard butter
To make the mustard butter, mash together the butter with the mustard powder and the Dijon. Form it into two mounds and chill on a plastic wrap–lined plate.
Make the steaks
Heat a little oil or clarified butter in a grill pan or cast-iron skillet and cook the steaks over high heat, being sure to get a good sear on each side. For rare steaks, cook 5 to 7 minutes total on both sides, or aller-retour (“to go and return”).
Remove the steaks from the pan and put on plates. Top each steak with a knob of the mustard butter and some ground black pepper and serve with a big pile of frites.
Photo: Ed Anderson