I would like to thank the steer I ate last night.
Dude, you were awesome.
It's unseemly to tout your own successes, but I gotta say, I cook a mean steak. Last night, I cooked a giant mean steak.
There's a new trend in steaks. Nah, not the tiny flat iron steaks. It's the cowboy steak.
It defines the great American steak the way the t-bone once did. It's an enormous bone-in rib eye that gives you everything you want in a steak: a marbled cut that's as tender as a fillet and juicer than the strip. Basically, what the t-bone offers on either side of the bone, the cowboy steak gives you in one cut.
It's also a scary big piece of cow.
When you throw a couple cowboy steaks on the grill, people know you're not screwing around. Anyone willing to cook and eat that much beef is to be reckoned with.
What do you serve with a cowboy steak? Whisky.
(Well, whisky and a nice salad of cherry tomatoes and peach vinaigrette.)
As the missus and I cut into our prehistoric-sized steaks, the rib eye finally made sense to me. Before last night, it was my least favorite cut. While the fat of the cut helps the flavor of the rib eye, it also makes the soft piece of meat a bit stringy. I've always preferred the density of the strip and t-bone. But when presented with a bone-in rib eye that's nearly two-inchs thick, all that fat and soft tissue becomes so unctuous that butter knives can replace steak knives (in fact, if you ever need to use a steak knife, you have a poorly cooked steak.).
So pour that whisky and throw a couple cowboy steaks on the fire. You'll be happy you did ... provided you're still awake after eating all that beef.
2 bone-in rib eye steaks (a.k.a. cowboy steaks)
1 head of garlic, minced
2 tbs. cumin
2.5 tbs. black pepper
1.5 tbs. salt (sea salt or kosher salt)
1 tbs. crushed red pepper flakes
3 tbs. of olive oil
The night before (or if you're like me and forget, the morning of) you plan to cook the steaks, throw the marinade together and put it on the steaks. You can combine the minced garlic, cumin, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and olive oil in a bowl and brush it on the steaks. However, you can also add these ingredients right on the steaks, as I do. Either way, once the seasoning and oil are on both sides of the steaks, make sure you rub them into the meat. And if it seems like a lot of seasoning for two steaks, keep in mind that you're dealing with thick pieces of meat, which require a lot of seasoning. Besides, the seasoning will form a crust on the steaks, which contrasts perfectly with the tender meat inside the steaks.
When you're ready to get started, pull the steaks out of the fridge so they can lose some of their chill and light your grill. If you're using a gas grill, make sure you pull the steaks out of the refrigerator 30 minutes before you fire up your grill.
When the coals are white hot, put the steaks on directly over the heat. (I also added a few chunks of oak to the coals to create some smoke to give the steaks a camp fire flavor.)
For rare to medium rare, grill the steaks for 7 minutes on each side. Afterward, move the steaks to the cooler side of the grill, put the lid on and cook for another 20 minutes. (If you want the steaks to be more than medium rare, leave them on the cooler side of the grill for 25 minutes. If you want it even more done, cook something else.)
Pull the steaks off and let them rest for about 7 minutes before serving.
Now eat 'em, cowboy.