Hence the confusion…

From the moment someone decided to call the longissimus dorsi muscle of a steer “Prime Rib,” (with or w/o bone), colloquialism and marketing strategies created as much confusion as possible about what cut of meat was what. Marketing for profit has always been at least vaguely deceitful and amoral. It has become even more so since the introduction of newspapers and all other mass media, including the internet. From long before the time of snake oil and swampland salesmen, it’s been clearly obvious that confusing consumers was more effective at emptying their pockets than them honestly.

The end result is that different cuts of meat are rarely referred to via their accurate but cumbersome latin nomenclature, giving way to romantic and even misleading monikers. Prime Rib itself is a misnomer, because “prime” refers to a grade of meat, not bovine anatomy. The term “rib” usually refers to a bone, but  bone is served with Prime Rib either on request or at extra charge.

Yada, yada, yada…

Even though the anatomy of lamb and pork is almost identical to that of cattle, you never see a prime rib of lamb–because we know that as “rack of lamb.” You occasionally see things like “prime rib of pork,” even though pork is not graded. Only beef is designated as choice, prime, good, select, etc. It’s really difficult to sort it out, even for chefs, much less to explain it to the average butcher case browser.

Butchers themselves have been known to “tart up” the name of certain cuts in order to make them sell faster or at a higher price. It would seem that half the cuts of your average steer might end up being referred to as “London Broil,” even though London Broil is a style of preparation, not a cut of meat.

Not to be outdone…

So it is with Beef Rib Eye steaks. Happily, the use of the term “eye” is allegorical, not literal. Rib eye steaks rarely have a rib one attached, and if they do, they are marketed as “bone-in ribeye.” Shouldn’t it be the other way around, with the variant being referred to as “bone-LESS ribeye?” Actually, you see that now, too. It might appear to be some form of modification that would justify a higher price. Crafty, cunning, those butchers are.

Okay, enough of that. Good rib eye steaks are really good, there is very little confusion about that. They are fattier than New Yorks, another misnomer, or Filets, yet another. If cut from the shoulder end, they have some spinus dorsalis surrounding them, one of the most unctuous and delicious cuts on the entire animal. You almost NEVER see spinus dorsalis sold on its own, it doesn’t even have a familiar name. Most people have no idea what to do with it, because of it’s irregular shape. Ironically, it makes great London Broil.

A good time to stop, or start, depending.


  • Rib eye steak, boneless, about 16 oz/450g.
  • Baby red onion with scallion, if possible, 1 ea.
  • Cherokee Heirloom Tomato, if available.
  • Fresh horseradish, grated.
  • S+P, as needed.
  • Russet potato, sv processed 183Fx2  and shocked cold. 1 ea.
  • Oil for deep frying, as needed.
  • Butter as needed.
  • Demi-glace, one oz./30ml.

Pâte à Choux Recipe

  • Water, 1/2 cup/240ml.
  • Shortening or butter, 1 oz./30g.
  • S+P
  • flour, .75 cup/100g.
  • Egg, whole, 1 ea.
  • Egg yolks, 2 ea.


  • Bring water, shortening or butter, and S+P to boil.
  • Reduce heat, add flour all at once, stir vigorously to form a ball.
  • Continue to mix for one minute.
  • Remove to Kitchen aid mixer, turn on low.
  • Slowly add egg and yolks.
  • Continue to mix–it will take a while to incorporate the egg.

Gentle reader, it’s not a bad idea to watch the little video first, click HERE

  • Process the steak “naked” @125×2.
  • This will not necessarily pasteurize the steak, but is safe practice as long as the steak is finished “same day.”

  • Remove the steak from the pouch, and cool on a dry absorbent surface, a clean towel, etc.
  • Sprinkle with your favorite seasonings–I use S+P with a little bit of home made dried parsley.

  • Dust lightly with flour.
  • I know, crazy, right?
  • Bear with me.

  • Paint with beaten egg white.
  • Again, crazy, I know.
  • Indulge me.

  • Coat well with fresh herb
  • No, not THAT kind of herb.
  • Fresh herbs.
  • I usually use parsley, or a blend, but fresh rosemary or thyme applied in this manner will give you a lot more flavor and value than putting the herbs in the bag.
  • Really.

  • Allow to rest for at least half an hour to give the surface treatment time to cling.
  • While the steak is resting…

  • I was lucky to find these onions.

  • which I then sliced as thin as possible.

  • Split the leek end, and then split the halves half way.
  • Run the potato through the mandolin on the shoestring blade (see VIDEO)

  • Pan sear with S+P and a little oil.

  • Until you get this.
  • Run the potato through the mandolin on the shoestring blade (see VIDEO)

  • Make the Pâte à Choux.

  • Add the potatoes and sliced scallions to the mixer.

  • Mix well.
  • The potatoes will break apart, that is okay.

  • Turn the mix out.

  • Form into shapes, using a scoop or the quenelle method (see video HERE)

  • Deep fry the tots

  • If you’re lucky, they will flip themselves.
  • If not, you can do it.
  • Eventually, they will start to burst a little, because of the egg.
  • The idea is to take them out just before that happens, which is a matter of practice.
  • It is harmless.
  • If you see one start to crack, they are probably all done.

  • They look like this, hopefully.

  • Professional standards require that you cut one to make sure.
  • You should also eat it to make sure the seasoning is right, although there is nothing you can do about it now.

  • Sear the steak in cast iron, or BBQ, or saute pan.
  • This is the easy part.

  • Easy on the eyes.

  • Ready to plate.

  • Cut the tomato into rough squares.
  • Sprinkle with S+P and the grated horseradish.

  • Drizzle a little bit of the demi over the tomatoes, or wherever you like.

  • Now we’re talking.

  • The lady’s portion, my wife in this case.

  • and this is how I roll.

I hope you like this article/recipe. We’ve been working really hard on the renovation and all the other minutiae of daily life. Eating lots of crackers. I want to thank the FB group Sous Vide Resources; Sans Vide™, and SOME Meat Curing, Smoking, BBQ, for all the support and encouragement.

Thanks again






Hot cast iron, about 450F/232C is plenty hot, although some of us get a little carried away.

This is a good time to take a quick look at the video.