Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Cowboy Steak in The Prime Style

I can still remember the meal at George Vongerichten's The Prime, even though it was several years ago.  The Prime is located at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.  I was in Sin City for a convention and, after a day of meetings, I was invited by colleagues to a dinner at the Steakhouse.  I am not one to turn down a steak, and, the meal was amazing.  I have always wanted to make it back to The Prime for another steak.  The problem is that there are a lot  of restaurants in Las Vegas and, each time that I visit the city, I end up going to other restaurants.  

Fortunately, Saveur magazine recently published its Las Vegas issue.  The issue contained a recipe for a Porterhouse with Lemon-Thyme Butter, which was inspired by a recipe from The Prime.  I really wanted to make this recipe; however, I could not lay my hands on a three pound, two-inch thick porterhouse steak.  (It was not for lack of trying.)  Still, I found a two pound cowboy steak, which worked perfectly for the dish.  

Cowboy steaks are basically ribeyes that are still on the bone.  The butcher "frenches" the bone, so that the end result is a big piece of meat on a nice, long bone.  One cannot ask for much on a steak night.

Recipe from The Prime Steakhouse, printed in
Saveur Magazine at p. 76 (April 2002)
Serves 4-6

2 pound cowboy steak
2 tablespoon of canola oil
3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
6 sprigs of thyme
1 lemon, halved cross wide

1.  Cook the steak.  Season steak heavily on all sides with salt and pepper, let sit for thirty minutes.  Heat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.  Heat a 12 inch cast iron skillet or oven proof skillet over high until it begins to smoke.  Add oil and steak.  Cook until lightly charred on one side, about five minutes.  Flip steak and transfer skillet to oven and cook until medium rare and an instant read thermometer reads 135 degrees, about ten to twenty minutes.  Transfer steak to a platter and let rest for ten minutes.  

2.  Prepare the thyme butter.  Meanwhile, pour off the pan drippings and return skillet to stove over high heat.  Add butter and then thyme and lemon halves, cut sides down.  Cook until golden brown, about four minutes.  Remove from heat.  Slice the steak, transfer to plates and drizzle from the skillet.  Serve with lemon for drizzling. 


Red wine. This is the first pairing that comes to mind for this recipe.  Any bold red will do.  Chianti, Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec, Merlot, or Zinfandel.  I went a completely different direction and paired this meal with a beer.  More specifically, I paired the dish with the following beer:

D.C. Brau -- The Corruption
India Pale Ale
Washington, D.C., USA
Flavors of pine, citrus and resin


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