Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Tomahawk

We have talked about my infinite love for the rib-eye steak before. The tomahawk or sometimes the "cowboy" rib-eye is an extremely expensive version of the rib-eye. Usually cut to to an uber extrapulous weight, with the bone still in, still attached to the rib that leads down the begining of the rib cage on the animal. It is not often you see one, and when you do prices can hit the ceiling quickly. For valentines day this week, I had a few relatively brief conversations with my meat purveyor (an absolute genius) about their availability from him and he said he had just the rib I was looking for. I called and left a message to order them on last sunday, and they showed on monday. I had no idea what kind of price we were talking, and wasnt really too worried about it. We also received a two case allocation of a new Orin Swift cabernet a few weeks ago and it hasnt made it to the wine menu yet, so they morphed together into a perfect dinner for two. The allocation for the state of Oregon was three cases of this wine and somehow we were able to weasle two of those cases into the wine storage at the restaurant. Wine geeks love that stuff, the ability to try something no one else has, or you cant get anywhere else.

The tomahawks came and I saw. Dry aged since the begining of December they had never seen any sort of cryovacked packaging. They were weighed to 32oz each, and had been stamped "Prime" grade by a USDA inspector for thier network of marbeling, color, and overall quality. We opted to sell them with some locally foaraged mushrooms on top, and then piled high with tobacco onions (a dish that originally did contain shredded tobacco leaves, but obviously we couldn't do that, so it now consists of shaved onions that take a marinate in club soda, then a cornstarch/flour dredge then a quick ride in the fryer. Think of it as funions.....on steroids) with some roasted local potatoes and an optional pairing of this new wine. Price tag was  easily double the next most expensive thing on my menu, but still a steal for a steak you couldnt beat in the nicest steak houses in the country, and on a day when people tend to splurge for a meal. Especially a meal that is designed from the get go to be shared between two people. We did a pretty serious stand up, or explanation with the staff, and even formulated a plan to reward the person who could sell the most. We ended up only selling a few but that doesnt bother me. Sometimes in the kitchen chef's do things just to be a tad on the arrogant side, ballsy things to do are my specialty. I have been known to overpay for the first of any of the ubercool seasonal products that abound in Oregon, just to be able to say we are the first to have it. We are the first people to put this on the menu this season is a treat for my staff to sell and cook, and for me to prepare. I am fortuanate that I am able to do it. The steak falls in that same realm, no one and I mean with in hundreds of miles could pull that off. Maybe my customers bought, maybe they didnt, but at least they heard I was doing it. Not to mention the buzz it creates with my staff, even the maintenance guys from the hotel stopped by to see the rumored two pound steak. With the excess steaks we will sell to my staff for cost (cooks first, then service staff), so it really doesn't cost us much, if any money, and we had no problem sparking their interest in them. The holy grail of steaks is pictured above during the middle of dinner service next to a filet mignon that is on my menu. The filet is cut to 7.5 oz so is extremely big by standard filet sizing. Also the bone is wrapped in foil to protect it from burning, the foil is removed after cooking and the bone will remain stark white. That is a really good trick for lamb loins as well. Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

  1. I love your blog, always pop in every couple of weeks to see what you have written. I bought some danelion greens at the farmers market, what is the best way to cook these. Is it similiar to wilted spinach. I know if I like them I am planting some in garden, $2 for a small bunch is steep. Got some rainbow chard for the same price. I can grow regular chard but have problems germinating the rainbow chard.