Lacquered Steak with Watercress Salad

Going for steakhouse vibes? The sauce lacquering technique and the crunchy, vegetal watercress salad will make this meal a memorable one.
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I’m squeezing in one more steak before summer is officially over, and let me tell you, it’s a GREAT one! The sauce lacquering technique and the crunchy, vegetal watercress salad will carry you through these lingering hot summer days. This sauce is only TWO ingredients that you probably have in your pantry now: A1 and maple syrup. Each is delicious in their own right, but even better in combination when brushed onto a steak in many smoky, caramelized layers. This technique is perfect for a super thick cut, and there’s even extra sauce at the end for dipping.

Now that we’ve established how much I love this steak, I have to admit that I decided to try watercress on a whim after spotting it during my usual Sunday morning farmer’s market run. Let me tell you, I fell in love at first, crunchy bite. If you’ve never had it, watercress is perfectly peppery and bright, and it contrasts so well with a big, juicy steak. I dressed the cress with a super simple honey dijon vinaigrette to balance out the bitter notes, and it’s truly a perfectly balanced bite.

Lacquered Steak with Watercress Salad

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 2 people


For the Sauce

  • 1 cup A1 steak sauce
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup

For the Steak

  • 1 14 ounce bone-in ribeye, at least 1 ½ inches thick
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Vegetable oil as needed

For the Watercress Salad

  • 1 small shallot thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 small garlic clove grated
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch watercress thick stems removed
  • ¼ cup walnuts pieces toasted


  • Remove steak from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking.
  • In a spouted measuring cup, whisk together steak sauce and maple syrup. Pour out a ½ cup of the sauce into a small bowl, and reserve the rest for serving.
  • Preheat grill to 450-500°F, either charcoal or gas, and set up two zones, one with intense, direct heat, and one with indirect, gentler heat.
  • Brush both the grill grates and steak with vegetable oil, then season steak generously with salt. Grill steak on the direct heat side, moving to indirect heat as needed if too much charring begins to form. Cook for 1-2 minutes per side, or until you have defined grill marks.
  • Using a pastry brush, add a thin layer of sauce, and place over indirect heat. Flip and repeat on the other side, and cook for 30 seconds. Repeat this process 8-10 times, or until a deeply brown crust forms on the outside of the steak and the internal temperature reaches 130°F (for medium rare). This should take about 10 minutes for a 1 ½ inch thick steak.
  • Remove steak from the grill and place on a racked sheet tray. Set aside to rest.
  • Next, make the watercress salad. Fill a small bowl with very cold water and add shallots. (This will help remove some of the intense onion flavor while you make the vinaigrette.) In a large mixing bowl, add red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, lemon, honey and garlic and whisk to combine. Slowly stream in the olive oil while whisking, then taste and adjust with salt and pepper. Add watercress, drained shallots and walnuts, and toss to combine.
  • Slice the steak into thick slices and serve with watercress salad. Reserved sauce can be used as a dipping sauce, if desired.
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