Made Man - February 28, 2012
Bruce Bozzi Jr. Rocks the Rib Eye
Rib eye doesn’t just have a manly name—it’s also got a taste so spectacular it’ll knock your socks off. Not to mention the socks of whoever is lucky enough to be joining you for a meaty feast with it as the centerpiece. Combine with the proper appetizer, sides, wine and dessert, and it just might knock a few other things off a female dining companion. For all the prep tips you’ll need, read on.
1. Know Your Cut
One of the tenderest cuts of beef, rib eye boasts a beautiful red color and impeccable marbling—a lot of it—which gives the meat its flavor. That also makes it one of the most expensive cuts on the market, to the tune of up to thirty dollars per pound. But trust me, it’s worth it.
2. Drop Some Trivia
As you’ve probably guessed, it’s called “rib eye” because of the rib bone attached to the meat. However, rib eye can be served either bone in or bone out. Without the bone, it’s called Delmonico. Of course, I suggest you go for bone-in. There’s much more flavor that way.
3. Prep Shrimp, Spuds and Suds
A great way to start a rib eye steak night is with a spicy shrimp cocktail. If you can get U10 shrimp, that’s the best way to go. “U10” means the shrimp are so big that less than ten of them make up a pound. Mix some cocktail sauce with a generous teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce for optimal spiciness. As for sides, I like to serve a rib eye with two things: potatoes Lyonnais and creamed spinach. For the former, sauté some onions with olive oil and salt, then roast red potatoes in the pan with slices of garlic at 325 until they turn golden brown. Drink-wise, go with a super Tuscan wine like Ornellaia. It’s full-bodied, flavorful and fruity, the perfect complement to this cut of beef.
4. Whip Up Some Creamed Spinach
Creamed spinach is a little more involved. You need:
1 box frozen, chopped spinach
2 oz. whole butter
1-1/4 quarts heavy cream
2 cups grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
1 tsp. white pepper
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. cold water
Thaw and squeeze the spinach until all the water is removed.
Heat the heavy cream and butter in a pot until the butter melts.
Add seasoning and spinach.
Heat this mixture until it boils.
In a separate bowl mix the cold water and cornstarch.
Add the cornstarch mixture to the spinach mixture, stirring slowly until it becomes thick.
Add the cheese and the seasoning (pepper, salt, nutmeg) to taste.
5. Rub and Broil
Those who have been following this series—parts one and two here and here—know that I like to keep it simple. After all, are you cooking top-shelf meat because you want to taste the sauce or because you want to taste the steak? A great way to bring out the flavor in any steak is to massage it with olive oil, then rub in some kosher salt and fresh black cracked pepper. When it comes to cooking, broil the steak, turning each piece just once, if possible. Use a meat thermometer to make sure you bring the internal temperature 120 on the inside. Then you’ve got yourself a perfect rib eye, medium well, the way this steak was meant to be prepared.
6. Let Them Eat Cupcakes
While I’m generally an advocate of fresh-baked desserts and treats, I’m going to cop out on this one. Just go find the best bakery in town and pick up some cupcakes. A rich chocolate cupcake is a great way to follow this meal. No one has to know you didn’t bake ’em fresh that afternoon.
Click here to view Bruce's column on the Made Man website.