One of the best meals of my life took place in the north of Spain at an establishment that can only accurately be described as a tavern. The meal took nearly four hours, which was part of its perfection as the quantity of food served was immense and the luxury of time allowed for periods of digestive rest that mainly involved indulging in whichever cider cask had been freshly tapped. Four dishes were served, one arriving every hour or so, and there were no plates except for the ones that the food was brought in on. Everyone was given an enormous baguette that they could eat at whatever pace they liked. I squandered my loaf by snacking on it incessantly in between items.
The final dish, prior to dessert, was an enormous rib eye steak weighing easily five pounds, cooked over a fiery grate at the front of the tavern. It came paired with nothing other than a heavy serrated knife. The meat was cooked perfectly, leaving me in a state of bleary-eyed delirium after finishing my share – a fairly impressive feat when you consider the progress made on the baguette alone. Plus I had a nub of bread left to drag through the juices on the plate. Insert prayer hands emojis.
Although I have no hope of replicating the environment that steak was created in at home – due to the absence of both a roaring fire and small children being used as delivery systems to help old men get drunk – what I present to you here is the home cook’s version of the perfect steak. Guided by Bon Appetit and with accompanying additions of my own, this steak is simple and satisfyingly primal to eat.
One last note before you toddle on: please please please get nice, good-quality meat if/when you make this. The reason all you add to the steak in this recipe is salt and pepper is that the meat doesn’t need anything else to be fantastic. It is also imperative that the meat be on the bone.
So…make good choices.
Click photo for recipe link.