Thursday, September 27, 2012

The 35-day Dry Aged Rib Eye

According to Wikipedia, the rib eye steak is “a beef steak from the rib section.” It also says that the cut of meat spans ribs six through twelve and includes the longis...a whole bunch of muscles.

Let's take a different tack here. Rib eye steak is delicious. It's one of the more flavorful cuts of beef because it's from around the ribs, where the muscles get a lot of use and the fat gets marbled in such a way as to basically beg to be slow-roasted or grilled. All-told, most chefs will tell you that it's pretty hard to screw up a rib eye.

Of course, just because it's hard to screw up doesn't mean you can't do it really, really well.

Chef James Wilschke takes dry-aged rib eyes to build the rib eye entree at 320 Main. “That's really the key to how we make an awesome steak,” says Wilschke. The beef that gets picked to serve has been dry-aged for 35 days. That's 35 days of letting the beef hang in a “hot box” (which is actually cold inside, but who can worry about semantics when you're dealing with a massive side of beef?) so that the natural flavor of the meat is allowed to concentrate. This is an expensive process and one that is only ever performed on the choicest cuts of beef.

Once Chef Wilschke has his cuts, he cooks them (at 12 ounces a piece) with a rub of spices and sea salt. After the steak is cooked to perfection it is laid atop a bed of oyster mushrooms and fingerling potatoes. The final touch is a tarragon compound butter laid atop the steak to add an extra dimension of herbal and savory notes.

The rib eye is succulent and rich, complemented exquisitely by the potatoes and mushrooms – and probably with an excellent cocktail like the Earl Grey Martinez or a Manhattan.

Matt “RumDood” Robold is a bartender at 320 Main and, in his spare time, runs, where he writes about rum, rum cocktails, and rum history.

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