This week began a three week hiatus from work, and in typical December fashion I have scheduled too many things to truly wind down yet. The good thing is, many of them involved cooking.
So MANY great cookbooks out this fall, and so many recipes earmarked to try…I’ve been twitching to have some uninterrupted kitchen play time. Making things even better, my friend Matt Wright offered to give me a food photography/styling lesson at his house this week. We had a blast hanging out, cooking, trying to figure out plate presentation, harassing his wife, bantering and grazing--all while he patiently tried to teach this idiot how to take compelling photos of the food. If you haven’t seen Matt’s recipes, Charcuterie and photography, go to his blog and prepare to lose hours of your life looking through everything he does. It’s brilliant. I’ve long been a fan, have pored through his food photography book, plus I like him because he’s a caustic, hilarious Brit. Food, photos and snark! What’s not to love?
We did four dishes during our photography session this week, but one of my favorite photos is this bigassed ribeye. (All four of the recipes are worth repeating, and I will put them up in subsequent posts.)
Getting the ribeye cut in the manner this recipe requires wasn’t an easy task. Many grocery meat counters don’t break down their own meat any more, and sometimes a butcher will argue with you if they don’t agree with what you’re wanting. This cut was a prime example. The butcher I talked to debated with me about my desire to have a bone-in cut. “But you don’t need the bone”, he told me. “I understand that, but it’s for a food photography class”, I countered. “Yes, but it’s unnecessary.” “But I’m willing to pay ribeye price for a ribeye bone.” We went back and forth a few more times and finally he agreed to do what I asked. Oh, and just so you know, I managed not to blurt out, “Trust me. No one knows when they need the bone more than I do. Give me the bone!!!!” I don’t think he would have appreciated my sense of humor.
We marinated this for twelve hours, the maximum recommended by the recipe and cooked it in a grill pan. Be careful when you sear the beef, because the sugars in the marinade caramelize quickly. It’s a careful balance between letting it get a good crust and having it burn. Also, USE YOUR MEAT THERMOMETER. If you do as the recipe instructs and manage to convince your reluctant butcher to cut you a bone-in ribeye, it’s thick like a chuck roast. This makes it more difficult to maneuver with the touch-test, in my opinion. We overcooked this to our tastes just a bit, lacking a thermometer. For a relatively expensive cut of meat, you don’t want to repeat our mistake!
Enjoy! The flavors in this are incredible.
Korean Ribeye Steak
Adapted from the new cookbook, Andrew Carmellini’s American Flavor
Serves 4 to 6
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup Coca-Cola
¼ cup sesame oil
¼ cup hoisin sauce
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 green onions, minced
2 bone-in ribeye steaks (2 ½ pounds each)
½ cup kimchee (from a jar), for serving (optional)
½ cup peeled, grated daikon radish (from a 3-inch piece), for serving (optional)
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, Coke, sesame oil, and hoisin sauce. Add the garlic and green onions, and whisk well. There are two ways to get the marinade on the steak. Do whichever of these floats your boat: (a) put the steaks in a large deep dish and pour the marinade over them. Cover the dish tightly with tin foil and put it in the fridge. Or (b) pour the marinade into a gallon plastic bag, put in the steaks, seal the bag, and shake them around till they’re coated in the marinade. Either way, the steaks should marinate in the fridge for 12 hours. (But don’t let them marinate for longer than that: you don’t want the meat to break down too much.)
Pull the steaks out of the marinade, pile them on a plate, and let them come up to room temperature (about 20 to 30 minutes). Either fire up the grill or turn the broiler on high. If you’re using the grill, you should also preheat the oven to 400°F. If you’re using the broiler, put the steaks on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet, place the baking sheet on the middle or middle-high rack, and broil the steaks for about 6 minutes per side. If you’re using the grill, lay the meat right on the rack so it gets a nice char, and let it grill for 4 to 6 minutes a side, depending on the thickness of the meat: you just want to get a nice char going. Then bring the meat back inside and finish it on a rack in a roasting pan in the oven at 400°F for 6 minutes, turning it over once so it cooks more evenly.
No matter how you’re cooking the steak, it’s done when the meat springs back to the touch (if you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should be 115°F). Let the meat rest for 5 minutes; then slice it thin. If you want the full Korean experience, serve up a bowl of kimchee on the side. And even though it’s not Korean at all, I really love to serve this with grated daikon, too.