Even though there would be only 2 of us for dinner on Sunday, I had expected to cook something festive, something roast-ish (but necessarily small), but a glance at the mid-April New York weather forecast (high in the mid-80’s, and humid), sent me back to my sketch pad.
My choices at the market when I was there 2 days before didn’t include anything lamb or goat, or even pork of an appropriate size; any of them would have been my preferences. I then turned to the farm stall I knew as an purveyor of excellent beef (and other meats). there, with Mike’s counsel, I picked out a very fine thick ribeye.
Then, on Sunday evening, everything was proceeding well (I was nearly halfway thorough roasting the fingerlings) when I finally had a good look at the cut that was going to be the centerpiece of our meal.
It was a full 2 inches thick.
I had no experience with a steak of that size.
Barry starts worrying when i begin Googling 30 minutes before we were supposed to sit down to eat, and I totally understand, especially when it’s already a bit late.
I didn’t find much this time, except many reminders that some folks take their beef very, very seriously (it’s something like coffee fanaticism), and that most of those folks seem to have outdoor grills, so I went with my instincts, guided by earlier steak experiences.
It was absolutely delicious, and I think the image at the top helps to describe that.
Barry was very, very happy.
- it all went together so fast that I’m not certain I’m remembering all the details, but the steak preparation involved bringing to room temperature one 100%-grass-fed 2-inch-thick Black Angus rib-eye steak (22 ounces), purchased from the very sunny Mike at Sun Fed Beef (Maple Avenue Farms) in the Union Square Greenmarket, drying it, rubbing both sides with olive oil, seasoning it well with sea salt and freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, searing each side for about 3 or 4 minutes over high heat inside a vintage seasoned cast iron pan, placing it in a 500º oven for about 6 or 7 minutes, turning once, then removing it when a thermometer had read about 130º (it would continue to cook outside of the oven), letting it rest for about 7 minutes, loosely covered with aluminum foil, removing the bone, dividing it into 2 equal shares, arranging the beef on the plates, where they were drizzled with a juice of a local sweet lemon from Fantastic Gardens of Long Island, a bit of olive oil, and draped with half a dozen ramps, an impulse purchase, from Eataly (not yet seen in Union Square this spring, they had to have come from somewhere south of New Jersey) which had earlier been rolled in a little seasoned olive oil and pan-grilled, bulbs first, the leaves following
- red French fingerlings from Race Farm, halved lengthwise, tossed with a little olive oil, sea salt, freshly-ground Tellicherry pepper, sage leaves from from S. & S.O. Produce Farm, 2 small bay leaves broken into pieces, from from Westside Market, and a small amount of crushed dark home-dried habanada pepper, arranged cut side down on a large Pampered Chef unglazed ceramic pan, roasted at about 375º for 15 0r 20 minutes, sprinkled with micro bronze fennel from Two Guys from Woodbridge
- a small bunch of frizzy purple mustard greens from Lani’s Farm, wilted inside a large enameled cast iron pot in a little olive oil in which 2 cloves of garlic from John D. Madura Farm, halved, had been allowed to sweat, seasoned with sea salt, Tellicherry pepper, and a very small amount of crushed dried Sicilian pepperoncino from Buon Italia, finished on the plates with a drizzle of juice from the same sweet local lemon used on the beef, and a bit of olive oil
- the wine was a California (Amador) red, Ana Diogo-Draper Amador Tempranillo 2015, from Naked Wines
- the music was Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, performed magnificently by Tafelmusik