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  • Writer's pictureCarlos Sarmiento

“Tomahawk” ribeye steak, cilantro butter, potatoes & Peruvian aji amarillo sauce & watercress salad

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

What is summertime without a proper bbq?

I love summer for many reasons, it’s a warm time to enjoy with family and friends by the beach or pool, usually take time off from work, and because my birthday falls in July.

For my birthday, my friends Ricardo and Milagros gave me a Wagyu Tomahawk Ribeye Steak. I told them that I had never cooked one before but that I would promise to invite them to be my taste testers when I cook it.

Well, a week or so later, I delivered on my promise. I hosted them along with some other friends and family to a pool and bbq cookout. The main event, the Tomahawk steak.

A “sneak peak” of the Tomahawk steak during the reverse searing process.

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

I also asked Milagros to share with me her recipe for Peruvian aji amarillo (yellow hot pepper) sauce, which goes amazingly with salted potatoes (and even the steak).

Not to boast, but it turned out to be an epic soirée. Gracias Ricky & Milly!

Yours truly, during the reverse searing process (yes those are NY Strip steaks grilling on top as “appetizers”).

(Photo: Ricardo Rodezno)

Let‘s get cooking!

Menu: Reversed-seared grilled Tomahawk ribeye steak, cilantro butter, yellow potatoes with Peruvian aji amarillo sauce and watercress salad.

Wine pairing: 2018 Sequoia Grove Winery - Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, California)

Serves 4

Ingredients Steak:

Cilantro butter:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) of unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced

  • 1 bunch (1/4 cup) of finely chopped cilantro

  • Zest of one lemon

  • Cracked pepper


  • 2 (24 ounces each) bags of baby yellow Dutch potatoes

  • Extra Virgin olive oil

  • Sea salt

Aji Amarillo (yellow pepper) sauce:

  • 5 Aji amarillo peppers (yellow hot peppers) also available frozen in your local supermarket

  • 1 1/2 garlic cloves (whole)

  • Half a red onion (quartered)

  • 1 bunch (1/2 cup) of fresh cilantro

  • Sea Salt and pepper

  • 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil

  • Salted crackers (approx 6)

  • 1/4 cup of evaporated milk

  • 1/2 tablespoon of mayonnaise

  • 1 teaspoon of oregano

Watercress salad:

  • 1 (4 ounce) package of watercress

  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped into medium sized cubes

  • 1 cucumber, peeled and cut in 1/2 inch slices

  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced in julienne strips

  • 1 shallot, finely minced

  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped cilantro

  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar

  • 4 tablespoons of extra Virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon of honey

  • Pinch of sea salt and cracked pepper


Aji amarillo sauce:

  • Heat oil in a medium sized frying pan on medium heat.

  • Add yellow peppers, garlic and onions and cook until lightly charred (no more than 5 minutes).

  • Add fresh cilantro and stir. Cook for additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

  • Transfer pepper mixture to a blender and blend.

  • Add crackers and blend again.

  • Add evaporated mil, mayonnaise and oregano. Blend well. Transfer to covered bowl and store in fridge until serving. *If sauce is too thick, add more milk, if too thin, add more crackers. **Sauce can be stored in fridge for up to one week.


  • In a medium mixing bowl, mix butter, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, lemon zest and cracked pepper (to taste). Make sure that all ingredients are mixed thoroughly.

  • Place butter mixture on a plastic cling film and roll up tightly the ends to form a tube shape.

  • Refrigerate until butter is set and firm.

Salad & vinaigrette:

  • In a medium deep serving bowl, mix watercress, tomatoes, cucumbers and red onions.

  • Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk in vinegar oil, honey, shallots, cilantro and salt & pepper. Transfer vinaigrette to a glass jar with lid. Keep refrigerated until serving time (make sure to shake jar well right before serving).


  • Fill a large boiling pot halfway with water.

  • Add potatoes and bring to boil, cooking potatoes until a knife can easily go through.

  • Remove potatoes from heat. Carefully drain and place evenly on a foil-lined baking sheet.

  • Drizzle potatoes with extra Virgin olive oil and sprinkle sea salt on top.

  • Slow roast in oven at 225 degrees F for 20-30 minutes. * I recommend that the oven roasting of potatoes take place during the last 20-30 minutes of the tomahawk steak oven roasting part of cooking process.


  • Season both sides of the steak with sea salt, cracked pepper and lightly pat it with extra Virgin olive oil (If possible leave in the fridge for an hour or two).

  • Preheat oven to 225 degrees F, while the oven is preheating, take the steak out of fridge to get to room temperature.

  • Place steak on top of a wire rack on a long cooking sheet.

  • Place the baking sheet with the steak in the center of the middle oven rack.

  • Cool steak for at least one hour or until internal temperature reaches 115-120 degrees F.

  • Transfer steak to hot grill, searing each side for approximately 4 minutes (turning steak 45 degrees to get some nice criss-cross grill marks). Remove from grill once internal temperature reaches 125-130 degrees F.

  • Transfer steak to large wooden cutting board and let steak rest for 10-15 minutes (as an option, you can loosely tent steak with some foil on the board while it rests).

The sizzle of the reverse searing process.

(Video: Carlos Sarmiento)

Serve it up!

The tomahawk steak is truly the star of the show here, so naturally, you want to present it the final product in all of its splendor.

Although rustic looking, placing a good piece of steak on a wooden board is so visually appealing.

For presentation purposes for this posting I placed all of the completed dishes on large wooden cutting board, however, I recommend similar small size wooden boards for individual servings.

Naturally, you can serve these individually on regular dishes and have the steak, potatoes, salad, butter and aji sauce served family style.

For the salad, make sure all ingredients are well tossed together and that the vinaigrette is shaken. Add the vinaigrette to the salad and toss again.

The aji amarillo is meant to spice up the potatoes, so serve some on top or on the side of the potatoes.

One thing you do want to maintain on a wooden cutting board is the tomahawk steak itself, carefully cutting around the bone to get as much as the meat as possible and then cut steak, against the grain, in 1 inch slices (cutting against the grain breaks up the muscle fibers making the steak much more tender). Top with a nice thick slice of herbed butter.

Buen provecho! Enjoy!

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

About the wine…

The grapes for the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon come from the finest vineyard sites in the best appellations of Napa Valley, including the Sequoia Grove Estate and Tonella Estate Vineyards in Rutherford, as well as select parcels from top growers, including Morisoli and Beckstoffer in Rutherford, Stagecoach in Atlas Peak, Lamoreaux in the Oak Knoll District and Healy in St. Helena.

All fruit is hand sorted before undergoing a cold soak followed by inoculation with French yeast strains. Individual wines are fermented in small batches with daily pump-overs.

The wine then undergoes malolactic fermentation in French oak barrels and is further aged in oak before bottling.

2018 Sequoia Grove Winery - Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley, California)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

Tasting notes: Dark red in color, the initial aromas are of bright black cherry and blackberry, followed by baking spices and a hint of chocolate.

On the palate, the wine is intensely flavorful with round and smooth tannins, full of blackberry flavor and subtle toasty vanilla notes.

Grapes: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon

Food pairing: A versatile food wine, the Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with any red meat on the grill, pork tenderloin, heavy cheeses and grilled vegetables.


94 Points Blue Lifestyle

92 Points - Gold Medal

North Coast Wine Challenge

For more information, visit:

Special thanks to my friends at Kobrand Wine and Spirits for this spectacular wine pairing collaboration.


Decorative wine drip collar by:

(Special discount promo code: CFW15)

(Photo: Carlos Sarmiento)

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