Barbecue rib eye steak with watercress salsa verde

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Barbecued steak is one of the ultimate summer treats, adding a smoky depth to deliciously tender meat. Helen Graves pairs her recipe with a fresh and zingy salsa verde made with another summer speciality — watercress.

First published in 2015

Steak is best when cooked on the BBQ; no frying pan can compare to the smell of the smoke, the sound of spit and sizzle as fat drips onto hot coals. As the steak hits the bars of the grill and instantly sears, the aroma of caramelising meat begins to work its magic on the appetite.

Rib-eye is one of the best cuts for cooking in this way. It has plenty of fat, which will melt as the steak cooks, and more fat equates to more flavour. The best way to cook a steak is firstly to ensure the barbecue grill is as hot as possible, so start cooking when flames have died down and coals are covered in a layer of grey-white ash. The meat must be seasoned highly, as this helps to create a really savoury crust on the outside, so don’t be shy with that step. Onto the BBQ with the steak, and then it’s all about frequent flipping, which again, will help build up the desired layer of flavour. Make sure to rest the steak well, too, before slicing.

Salsa verde is a perfect accompanying sauce because it has such punch. Capers, herbs, lemon juice, anchovies, garlic … it’s a powerful boost to any grilled meats, fish, or poultry. This version uses watercress, which has a lovely iron-rich flavour.





  • 1 rib-eye steak, at least 300g
  • vegetable oil, or groundnut, for brushing

Watercress salsa verde


Start by making the salsa verde. Finely chop the herbs, capers and watercress, then mix with all of the other ingredients
Light a barbecue for direct cooking. When the flames have died down and the coals are covered in a layer of grey-white ash, the barbecue is ready for cooking
Brush the steak with oil on both sides and season heavily with salt and pepper
Place on the grill, turning very frequently - every 30 or seconds or so - until the steak has cooked for around 3 minutes on each side
Transfer to a plate, cover loosely with foil then allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving with the salsa verde. This is excellent when served with boiled new potatoes
First published in 2015

Helen Graves is Head of Content at Great British Chefs. She's also the author of the cookbook LIVE FIRE: Seasonal Barbecue Recipes and Stories of Live Fire Traditions, Old and New, and the editor of Pit, an independent magazine with roots in live fire cooking.

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