First there was puzzlement. Then I think I had a little twitch, followed by a nervous laugh. As the delivery driver walked towards our house with the box, it became apparent that the box sported a cow’s head on it, with an accompanying perishable logo on the side. By then, a full smile was on my face, the spidey senses were tingling, and I felt a little giddy about what was in that box, plainly marked, Pat La Frieda Farms, New Jersey.
Opening it like a kid on Christmas, my eyes were met with a couple of huge Tomahawk ribeyes, or Cowboy ribeyes, depending on your preference. At any rate, they were big, and long, and heavy. About 2 1/2 pounds each, and now in my possession to do what I wanted to do with them. My immediate thought, other than hugging them tight, was, That’s a whole lot of meat.
Being a rookie with this cut, I didn’t want to screw this up, and I knew that most pit jockeys recommend an indirect cook followed by a reverse sear. This all sounded logical to me, but as always, I wanted to put my own spin on this, so with a smile on my face, I prepped one of these beauties for our Sunday Supper. I took to rubbing that steak with a favorite steak rub, basically salt, pepper, and garlic, and let it set for about 30 minutes before going on the smoker. Yep, the smoker.
I’m going to smoke this beef monster until it reaches about the 130 degree mark, then sear it off the rest of the way. So in it went at about 225 degrees, monitored and left to soak in a little hickory, as did this pit minder as well. Kick back for a couple of hours, assume my pit-side monitoring position, and drink in the smoke and beautiful, sunny day. Hard work indeed!
While the tomahawk was slowly reaching its mark, I fired up the Weber and started getting a salt block heated for the final sear. Rather than tossing this steak on the grates, I wanted that coast to coast, total surface, seared crust that the salt block would give me. But never fear. If there is no salt block available, a nicely seasoned cast iron pan will do nicely. So when the steak hit 130 degrees, it was laid on the salt block, immediately creating a chorus of sizzles that led to the smell of searing beef, a perfect combination. Zucchini slices and a couple of handfuls of new potatoes were tossed on the grill as well, because you know, some folks prefer more with their meal than just two pounds of beef and a rather hefty bone to gnaw on afterwards. To each their own.
The meat was flipped, the veggies were grilling, and a quick temperature check read 140, actually a bit higher than I really wanted, but still in the range of “not screwing it up”, and looking pretty gorgeous on that salt block all the while.
So with everything pulled off the grill, the steak was left to rest for a few minutes. After all, it’s been through a lot, with the smoker, salt block and all. Give it a rest. Then, give it the business, slicing it up for a crusty, delicious, tender beef bite. One of those bites that would give one a reason to look upward with a silly grin, rub their belly, and then go in for more.
A satisfied and full bellied thank you goes out to Erica for providing these flintstone-like steaks. They were a great surprise. But what happened to that second one, you may ask, with a suspicious side-eye?
It’s in safekeeping, and will be waiting for when she has a chance to partake in the eating and belly rubbing.
Because Life Is Better Wood Fired