The Ribeye

In most circles this is the true steak eaters steak; this is the real flavor of meat. A man’s steak, possibly only rivaled by the porterhouse in testosteronic manliness. As a connoisseur of meat eatery I will almost always go to the rib chop to really test the mettle of a steakhouse to its very bones. It is cut from the rib of the animal, and has a circular shaped chunk of meat encased in a thin layer of gristle just off the bone. In the center of the circle of carnivorous delight, there is ideally some good quality, melt-away marbled fat dispersed throughout. Don’t be alarmed at this. Good preparation of quality ribeye steaks will render the fat into a liquid – meaning the fat melt into the meat and add flavor to it. My favorite part of the cut, however, is the outer ridge, outside the gristle and away from the bone. This section is often several times more tender and juicy than the center of the chop, and it absorbs flavor like a sponge, so savor every bite. Some restaurants will call the ribeye a “tomahawk steak” if the entire rib bone is left on and french cut by the butcher, since it then looks like a small hatchet. It is common for butchers to cut the bone down a bit, however, for packaging purposes. In its unbutchered form, it is a tear-drop shaped slab of beef containing several steaks along each rib. French cutting exposes the bone neatly, trims away the excess and portions the ribs out into individual steaks. The ideal way to eat a good ribeye is simply grilled or broiled with kosher salt and cracked black pepper. A favorite for home cooking is to treat it beforehand with some olive oil and garlic if the quality is not prime (standard grocery store cuts), and then cook on a high-heat gas grill or BBQ for a few minutes on each side. Sizes and portions range from anywhere between 14oz to 36oz, most often hovering around the 20oz mark in restaurants. Often times it is seen served boneless, bone-in but with a shortened bone, or roasted whole and sliced as “prime rib” with some juices.