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Cooking with a Butcher's Apprentice, Part VI - Reunion Ribeye - A little less than a happy high — LiveJournal
Cooking with a Butcher's Apprentice, Part VI - Reunion Ribeye
In celebration of seeing V for the first time in two months, I simply had to cook. And because he had detoured on her way home from a conference in barbecue country (Lexington style, iirc), secured transport into the hippie hills in the wee hours, and braved the treacherous path up to the cottage on crutches and in a boot, I wanted it to be something special. Enter the dry-aged ribeye.

The shop does its own dry aging, setting aside whole joints for a period of roughly 21 days. During this time, various natural processes shed moisture, tenderize muscle fibers, and concentrate and improve the overall flavor of the beef. When it's finished, it's trimmed, cut, and sold dear. The result is steak that tastes like a little bit of magic.

I riffed on David Chang and Fergus Henderson for this one. I think what was most fun about this process was that adaptations and departures seemed to suggest themselves based on what was on hand and entirely on the fly.

You will need for a generous dinner for two:

2 marrow bones (center-cut, roughly 2" long)
3 shallots, one sliced paper thin, the other two peeled
Bunch of parsley
Olive oil
Meyer lemon
Bone-in dry aged ribeye steak, cut to 1.5"
Thyme (sprigs are best, but make do)
Salt and pepper

  • Let steak sit for roughly 30 minutes at room temperature.
  • Slice one shallot as thin as you can, chop parsley leaves, and toss the lot with olive oil, salt, and the juice of your lemon. Cool in the fridge.
  • Pre-heat oven to 400F. When you reach temperature, place the marrow bones in a roasting pan large enough to hold them and eventually the steak and put them into the oven for 12 minutes.
  • Liberally season both sides of the steak with salt and pepper.
  • Place pan with a hint of oil over medium high heat. When oil just begins to smoke, sear each side of the steak for 2 minutes.
  • Transfer steak to roasting pan with marrow bones and return to the oven for approximately 10 minutes.
  • At your mark, remove the steak from the oven and set aside. Cover and rest for 10 minutes.
  • While your meat rests, take the pan the steak was seared in and place it over medium low heat. Add a knob of butter and a splash of oil and scrape any fond from the bottom of the pan. Scoop the marrow from the bones and whisk it into the resulting mixture. Add shallots and thyme, reduce heat to low.
  • Cut main muscle of the steak away from the bone and cut on the bias into 1/2" thick slices. Place several of these onto each plate with a hint of the heavily flavored butter and a spoon of the parsley salad on the side. Serve with a green salad and savor.

Chang actually does this whole process in a large cast iron skillet, with no transfer, and with a spoon basting of the meat after it comes out of the oven. Conceptually, it's rather lovely, but equipment being what it is and wanting to introduce the roasted marrow to take it that much more over the top, I opted for a departure from his method. Dinner was brilliant, and all the more so for V's smile and quiet enjoyment.


Some naming criteria as shared by one of my mentors:

1) Get over the "What the hell am I doing?" (or in my case "I'm the Junior Team Member!") hump
2) Lose weight
3) Notice that your hands hurt almost all of the time

and as a special optional bonus...

4) List "apprentice butcher" as your occupation on a passport application
7 comments or Leave a comment
oceanic From: oceanic Date: March 14th, 2011 02:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
I am full of warm fuzzies that you guys got to see each other, and full of envy for that steak. :)
komos From: komos Date: March 14th, 2011 04:55 pm (UTC) (Link)
It was far to short, but a great time nonetheless. Seems like we squeezed a whole lot into 36 hours.

I'll not pretend that I've any real idea of what I'm doing with any of these posts. I know what I like, know a little technique, and poke around on the internets for ideas and applications. So far, things have come together really well, and it's been writing the tongue in cheek accounts.
oceanic From: oceanic Date: March 14th, 2011 06:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
I love these posts-- mostly cause I like hearing what you're doing, but also because it's cool to hear about these dishes from a butchery perspective. Most recipes start with "buy this kind of meat from the store." I think ones that start at the actual butchery are more..... meaty.

ba-dum ching.
komos From: komos Date: March 14th, 2011 10:08 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's been "fun," I meant to say...

It can be worse than that. Were you to pick up, say, any given issue of Cooking Light, you would have a collection of recipes calling for either boneless skinless chicken breasts, lamb chops, center cut salmon, or beef fillet or flank steak. If you want to unveil the Wizard once and for all, notice that the standard formula involves seasoning the meat with some sort of ethnic twist, and then either baking at 350F, broiling/grilling, or (in some isolated cases) pan searing in extra virgin olive oil. Somehow they've turned a handful of cuts and a couple of techniques into an empire, and it's all predicated on irresponsible use of animal proteins and a distinct lack of instruction on how actually to cook.

Sorry. Ranty.

I'm glad you're enjoying these. I suspect they may continue in some form or another after my stint at Fancy Meat Camp is over, especially if I am moving in the direction of making this a proper career.

When might you be free for a chat this week?
oceanic From: oceanic Date: March 15th, 2011 02:45 am (UTC) (Link)
I love the idea of Fancy Meat Camp. You guys should have a social with Buttery Vegetables Camp at the end of the summer.

Maybe tomorrow (Tuesday) night? Noah'll be gaming all night so I will be around anytime after 6pm. Give my cell a call if you're free.
faux_eonix From: faux_eonix Date: March 14th, 2011 05:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just to be clear, she said you'd lose weight even if you weren't trying. Which you have.

Also, don't forget to mention that while you're waiting for the oil in the pan to heat up, you should snuggle with your gimped out wife, enjoy tasty local cheeses and watch The Hangover. ;)
komos From: komos Date: March 14th, 2011 05:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have, and I wasn't. I mean, trotter red sauce isn't exactly health food.

I'm likely not going to remember much from that film outside of Mr. Chow, but it's totally worth it.
7 comments or Leave a comment