God Bless Electricians and Carpenters.

We spent the last two months coping with a complete gut and reboot in our small kitchen area, and this wasn’t my first. Actually, it wasn’t the worst, or even the longest, either. We threw everything out INCLUDING the kitchen sink, but we did save the refrigerator and dishwasher, both less than two years old.

I saved the Boos Block, but it had never been used anyway, so it feels and looks new. Put it on wheels, too. Everything on wheels. We kept cooking and writing, but at a much slower pace. Now that we’re really pretty much done, except for some decorating and so forth, it’s time to refocus our efforts. Narrow them down. It’s nice to wake up in the morning and forego the mental query “who, if anybody, is going to show up for work today? Will this ever be finished?”

We’ve got the meat.

I recently connected with NICKYUSA, they’re a local specialty meat company, good people. They have everything. Well, nobody has EVERYTHING, but they do have veal breast, Bison tail and tongue, and Painted Hills Beef, all of which were on my first order. First, the rib eye. Bone-in, and about 25 lbs. That’s huge, too huge for prime rib. Export Ribs, the moniker for your basic bone in prime rib, usually run around 16 lbs, and that matters because it governs the conformation of the meat on your plate.

If the steer was too big, the roast will hang over the edge of the plate, be too thin, and still weigh too much. This is why Angus cattle are so popular–they are small, and square, blocky. Perfect for bone in prime rib and other steaks. But there are lots of cattle that provide great beef. Texas Longhorns are great beef, but their horns preclude them from being easily transported by rail, and they are really big, too, so, hard to fit on the plate. So, what do you do when this happens? I’m going to show you.

  • This thing covered the block, meaning it’s almost three feet long.

  • And there’s the weight. 25.3 lbs.
  • That means it was over $260.
  • Usually, you can pick up a prime rib at Costco for $160 or so.
  • Yikes.

  • Out of the bag.

  • I had a reason for cutting it in half right off the bat.
  • You can clearly see the huge spinus dorsalis muscle, that flap on the top.
  • That is the prize component of a well formed prime rib.

  • I removed the dorsalis from one side, the leaner end that’s getting ready to morph into a NY strip.

  • Trusty hunting knife.

  • But begging to be cut down some.
  • I was starting to get an idea of just how much marble there was.
  • A lot

  • I scraped one side, flipped it and did the other.
  • Cleaned up, it was just over 1.5 lb.

  • Then I removed the skin from the top, and I don’t even always do that.
  • I don’t always do any of this, you can just cook the whole thing, there aren’t any tough layers.
  • I have a special plan for this piece, for all the pieces.

  • Flipped over, getting ready to remove the bones.

  • So, these are the “back” three, the posterior three, the long three, lots of names for them.

  • This is how I usually do this. I cut the bone out of the middle w/o leaving any meat on it (it’s the one on the left in this pic), and the other two end up being very meaty. The bony one goes into demi, etc.

  • There’s the fully cleaned out piece, it ended up at 3.5 lb.

  • We’re going to do an 18 day age on this, and use it for Carpaccio at the Thing In Clackamas.
  • Here I have it wrapped in faux muslin, actually a nylon cheese bag.
  • More on that as the aging proceeds.

  • This is the shoulder end, the tenderest end, the most desirable end by those who discern.
  • Not exactly lean, this Steer had a good run, albeit short.

  • The other half of the spinus dorsalis muscle.

  • Cleaned up, about another 1.5 lb.

  • Getting ready to remove the bones from the shoulder end.

  • I cut the Delmonico off.
  • There’s a lot of controversy about what a Delmonico is.
  • I knew cooks and waiters that worked at Delmonico’s and even NEW Delmonico’s, and they didn’t all agree either.
  • We’re going to call the first cut off the shoulder end, the Delmonico. Or the NEW Delmonico.
  • This steak is even too good for me.

  • The bones that came off that chuck end.

  • So I took it apart, and turned the central muscle into sort of a Faux Filet, sort of a Ribeye Mignon.
  • And a couple of pieces that would make an enviable brochette, but I have a different plan for them too.

  • The Delmonico Faux Filet Ribeye Mignon.
  • This piece is just about a pound.

  • The bones from that end on the left, and the long ones from the other end.
  • Before you ask, these are not short ribs.
  • There is no such thing as a short rib.
  • Well, there is, but it’s only called a short rib because the BUTCHER cut it that way.
  • Short ribs are cut off of long ribs.
  • These ribs, actually, but later, as they proceed south towards the chest of the poor creature.

  • This is what comes after the Delmonico, this is good stuff.
  • It’s a shame to see it go.

  • It gets fully denuded too, and really does look like a way out tenderloin.
  • More tender than your basic tenderloin, this isn’t going to take long in the bath.
  • This piece is about 2.5 lbs.

  • This would be great for Chateaubriand or Wellington, but, no.
  • I don’t usually roll that way.
  • I can, but I don’t.

Now What?

Now, we wait, until I take the next step.

So far, we have…

  • Spinus Dorsalis, 3 lb
  • Solid piece for aged Carpaccio, 3.5 lb
  • Faux Filet, 3.5 lb
  • Trim for grind, 5 lb.
  • Bones, 5 lb
  • Tallow, 5 lb

Stay Tuned…