Grilled Steak With Red Chile Barbecue Sauce

16 dried New Mexico chiles, stemmed and seeded (about 4 ounces total)
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 t. dried oregano
1/4 t. ground black pepper
1/8 t. ground cumin
3 2/3 C. beef broth, plus a little more, if needed
2 1/2 T. vegetable or olive oil, divided
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. sugar
1 T. cider vinegar

6 ribeye steaks, each 1 inch thick
1 large red onion, sliced1/2-inch thick
Several sprigs of cilantro, for garnish

Toast the chiles on a hot griddle or skillet; open them flat and press down firmly on the hot surface with a spatula. When chiles crackle and send a wisp of smoke, flip them and press them down to toast the other side. In a small bowl, cover the chiles with hot water and let rehydrate for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure even soaking.

Combine the garlic, oregano, black pepper and cumin in a food processor or blender, along with the drained chiles and 2/3 cup of the broth. Blend to a smooth puree, scraping and stirring every few seconds. Press through a medium-mesh strainer into a bowl,

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy, medium-sized (4-quart) saucepan. When the oil is hot enough to make a drop of the puree sizzle sharply, add the puree and stir constantly until it reduces into a thick paste, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the remaining 3 cups of broth, partially cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes. If necessary, stir in a little more broth to bring the sauce to a medium steak-sauce consistency. Taste and season with the sugar.

Mix 1/4 of the sauce with the vinegar and salt in a large bowl. Add the steaks and turn to coat evenly with the marinade. Let marinate, covered and refrigerated, for 1 to 2 hours, but no more than 4 hours.

Place the steaks on the cooking grate directly over the heat and grill for 10 minutes, turning once halfway through the cooking time.

While the steaks are grilling, brush the onion slices with the remaining oil. Arrange the slices on the cooking grate around the steaks and grill, turning once halfway through cooking time, until they are lightly browned and crisp-tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the sauce to a simmer. Remove the steaks and let sit for 5 minutes. Serve with a generous 1/3 cup of the heated sauce and a topping of the onions. Garnish with sprigs of cilantro.

Makes 6 servings with about 2 cups sauce.



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