As Geoff said in our first Sunday Dinner Post Sundays offer the non-professional cook the ability to take time otherwise not available during the week for intricate preparations. For this Sunday meal I refrained from serving an ego-maniacal overly complicated and fussy dish. Instead we got the value-add out of the dinner by splurging on an absolutely spectacular ingredient: USDA Prime Bone-in Ribeye.

Follow up:

At some point in the future when Geoff stops being so lazy I’m sure he will delve more deeply into the where’s and how’s of meat grading and this particular cut, but here is a little background:

USDA Prime meats, especially beef “steaks” are difficult to get one’s hands on in most areas of the USA. This is because something like 1-2% of all beef processed here qualifies, and those beef carcasses that do make the grade, are gobbled up frantically en masse by high price tag restaurants. If you are lucky enough to have a boutique butcher (this is who I use in DC: Wagshall’s), which you should already be trying to locate after reading Geoff’s post: The Meat Rules , they may be able to source some of the goods for you, but don’t count on it.

Even if the stars should align and the opportunity presents itself to purchase some USDA Prime steaks, be prepared to pay through the nose for them. For example, when sourcing this meal I bought about 4.5 pounds total and the bill ran (well) over $100… and don’t forget the “bone in” part because a significant portion of that weight is held in inedible (though not unusable) bones. This quantity of beef was enough for 3 thick steaks and made a highly satisfying meal for 3 with enough leftover for steak and eggs. On a separate occasion the 3rd steak provided a more reasonably portioned meal for 2, which Sara and I ate on Valentine’s day (PS Geoff: You get nothing!). Even considering the high price it was well worth it for the quality and besides, we got 7 servings out the 3 steaks making our cost about $15 / serving.

On to the recipe. You will need the following for the steak and caramelized onions and mushrooms:

  • 1 large yellow onion sliced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms sliced (any kind - I used white buttons here)
  • 2 Tbl butter
  • 2 Tbl olive oil
  • grapeseed (or vegetable) oil to coat grill pan
  • sea or other course grain salt
  • pepper to taste

Please see my post on Twice Baked Potatoes for that recipe. Also, the “Bordelaise” sauce served here is based on a recipe from cooks.com (link below). I realize that it does not qualify as an “authentic” bordelaise as the ingredients vary and we used a California red instead of a Bordeaux. For more information about an authentic Bordelaise from a trusted source please follow the link to Chef Hertzman’s post about it.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees F. About an hour before you plan on grilling, remove the steaks from the fridge to bring them to room temperature and sprinkle them liberally with salt to draw the proteins to the surface. Repeat this process and flip the steaks every 15 minutes.

Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and drizzle the top with olive oil.

At this point turn the heat up just to get them going. Stir them around a bit and after 5 minutes turn the heat down to the low side of medium.

Add the mushrooms and stir until they release most of their moisture. Then turn the heat down to low and allow the mix to caramelize to your liking. I know they are ready to come off the heat when the steaks are ready.

Add enough grapeseed oil to cover your grill pan. Using a brush is probably effective enough. I like to swing mine around like a crazy person to achieve the desired effect.

Heat the oil on high till it begins to smoke. Add the steaks.

When the steaks no longer stick to the (ridiculously hot) grill pan, which should take around 2 minutes, rotate them 90 degrees to make pretty hash marks on them.

Cook for an additional 2 minutes then flip the steaks, cook for 3-4 minutes on the stove top and then put the grill pan directly into the hot oven. For medium rare (130 degrees F) these steaks cooked for around 5 more minutes in the oven. If you are unsure, check them every few minutes with a meat thermometer until you reach your desired closing temp. I would recommend you cook these beauties no more than 140. Also, remember that the final temperature will be about 5 degrees higher than whatever the steaks are at when you remove them from the oven because of carry-over cooking that will occur during the resting stage. Just look at those grill marks, I’m a genius (or did Geoff make these? I can’t remember. Even if he did, I must have instructed him to prevent an epic FAIL!.)

My steaks have rested on the board covered for 15 minutes and are ready to be carved.

Remove the main muscle from the large bone piece with a small carving knife and then begin to slice on a bias.

Geoff is using my Santoku knife here, probably not the best choice, but it certainly will get the job done. For ease of cutting I would recommend a large carving knife or a sharp, heavy chef’s knife if you have one.

I made a bordelaise sauce to serve with the steak. I have made this sauce a few times based on a recipe that I found on cooks.com. Here is the mis en place for the sauce. The recipe is not very specific with the amount of certain ingredients. For instance, it calls for 1 onion slice and 2 carrot slices. Okay. I just put in a few reasonably sized slices of each and that seems to work.

The first step is to make a roux, and then add the cut up herbs and vegetables.

Here, I diverge from the recipe and add the wine now as opposed to at the end after the sauce is done cooking. For some reason, adding it at the end instead of reducing and concentrating the wine alters the taste in a way I don’t enjoy - though it probably would help darken the final color of the sauce some. Once the wine has reduced, I add the beef broth and stir constantly until it thickens.

Once it has thickened, I strain the sauce and add the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper as needed. The end result is quite tasty, though it does look a little like peptobismol.

No fancy plating here, straight up steak and potatoes.

Leftovers for steak and eggs: