TriathlEats: Grilled Ribeye With Cherry-Infused Jus

This protein-rich dish pairs a smoky-sweet sauce with a robust ribeye.

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This protein-rich dish pairs a smoky-sweet sauce with a robust ribeye.


¼ cup smoked bacon
(recommend slab bacon),
medium diced
½ cup sugar
½ cup fresh pitted cherries
½ cup dried cherries
3 each star anise
1 T whole fennel seed
½ cup (non-aged)
balsamic vinegar
2 cups pinot noir
(or other red wine)
6 cups chicken stock
4 12-ounce rib-eye steaks
(1 inch thick)
Salt and pepper


To make the jus (sauce), first reduce 6 cups of chicken stock by half, about 30 minutes over medium heat. Render the bacon in a small pan over medium heat, and reserve. In a separate wide-bottom pan, melt the sugar. Add the star anise and fennel seed, and toast lightly. Once toasted, add the pitted cherries, dried cherries, vinegar and red wine. Bring to a simmer and reduce by half. Strain through a fine tea strainer and add to reduced chicken stock. Reduce over medium heat to desired consistency—around 25 minutes, until the sauce has some body. To grill the ribeye, heat the barbecue to medium-high heat. Rub steaks with generous amounts of salt and pepper. Grill steaks to desired doneness, about 6 minutes per side for medium-rare. Let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with roasted potatoes and spinach, as pictured (see below for recipes). Pour some of the cherry-infused sauce around the beef and serve. Serves 4

Chef Justin Cogley loves this meal at the end of a big training day. To cut down on prep, make the sauce ahead of time (it keeps for five days in the fridge). He likes to serve it with wilted spinach and roasted potatoes, as pictured (find his recipes at Another time-saving tip: Partially cook the potatoes the day before and refrigerate.

RELATED: Wilted Spinach And Roasted Potatoes Recipe

Meet The Triathlete-Chef

Justin Cogley’s career path took a detour before culinary school. Growing up a competitive figure skater, he toured the world for four years with Disney On Ice, during which he got a wide variety of cooking inspiration. After culinary school, Cogley spent five years cooking at the fine-dining restaurant Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago before answering an ad for an executive chef at L’Auberge Carmel hotel in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif., just outside Monterey. He calls the nine-table restaurant, Aubergine, a “dining destination,” where patrons enjoy eight to 14 courses. His creativity and skill in the kitchen earned him Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chef” award in 2013, which led to more attention for the restaurant—he earned a James Beard nomination in 2014, and the restaurant earned three in 2015. Cogley jumped into triathlon last year, after finishing the Big Sur Marathon and setting his sights on a half-Ironman. He dove into the sport full bore, entering Ironman Lake Tahoe (which was canceled due to wildfires—he raced Ironman 70.3 Silverman instead). The new devotee of the sport has discovered another major perk of multisport: a weight loss of 27 pounds and counting.

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