Sunday, January 12, 2014

The "Italian" Ribeye

Three words always appeal to me ... Bistecca alla Fiorentina.  Those three words speak of a recipe that is among my favorites.  One starts with a huge porterhouse steak.  The steak itself must be at least two pounds, but often times it will be larger.  Then there are the fresh herbs ... usually rosemary and thyme ... that are combined together with salt and black pepper to make a simple, but incredibly tasty rub.  After that rub is pressed into the meat, the steaks are left to rest, which allows the flavors to develop. After a couple hours, or overnight, then the steak is grilled over charcoals until it has a nice crust, while a pink to red interior.  

That recipe is one of my go-to recipes for my Steak Nights.  It is also perhaps my most favorite preparation of meat. While many steak lovers simply swear by salt and pepper, there is something about the addition of rosemary and thyme that transforms a piece of meat into something much more than a steak.

For this particular recipe, I decided to start with the "Fiorentina" and add more herbs to the rub.  In addition to rosemary and thyme, I added dried oregano, parsley and sage.  I also grinded the dry spices until they were a fine powder, and, rubbed that powder into the meat. (I used a little olive oil to help keep the powder on the meat).  The end result was a rub that incorporated some of the most basic, but most flavorful spices used in Italian cooking.

For this recipe, I found a two-pound ribeye, which keeps with the classic Fiorentina-style steak ... a massive hunk of meat rubbed with herbs.  The only deviation is that it was cooked under the broiler.  It was simply too darn cold outside to start a charcoal fire, let alone cook the ribeye. 


THE "ITALIAN" RIBEYE
A Chef Bolek Original
Serves Several

Ingredients:
1 very large, very thick ribeye (about 2 to 3 pounds)
2 teaspoons of dried thyme
2 teaspoons of dried parsley
1 teaspoon of dried sage
1 teaspoon of dried rosemary
1 teaspoon of dried oregano
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper
Olive oil
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Marinate the ribeye.  Salt and pepper all sides of the ribeye several hours before adding the spice rub.  Prepare the rub by combining all of the dried ingredients (thyme, parsley, sage, rosemary, oregano, and crushed red pepper).  Grind in a spice grinder until it is very fine and powdery.  Apply some olive oil on each side of the ribeye and then rub the spice mixture into the meat.  Refrigerate the ribeye for at least a couple of hours, if not overnight.

2.  Grill/broil the ribeye.  Heat the charcoal in a grill (or heat a gas grill) to high.  Add the steak, cook over direct heat for about five minutes on each side, for about fifteen minutes until you reach an internal temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit.  Alternatively, grill the ribeye over high heat, turning so that every side of the ribeye faces the heat for at least four to five minutes each (less time on small sides), until you get an internal temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit, which is medium rare.  Remove and let rest for ten minutes.  Slice and serve.

ENJOY!

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