How to cook a British Tomahawk
You might be wondering, how the heck do I cook a 7cm thick, bone-in ribeye?
Well the answer from a chef will be the same for just about anything: Sous vide.
Most cooking techniques have been around for millenia, but the idea of vac or cryo-sealing food and slowly cooking it in a temperature controlled water bath has only been around since the 70s. The thing is, to properly sous vide, with all the equipment needed, it's expensive.
Sure, there’s plenty of ways to bodge a sous vide-like machine out of a coolbox, an aquarium pump, thermometer, and tea kettle parts...but who has time for all that nonsense?
The sous vide technique works because of precise temperature control. Water is a better conductor of heat than air, so maintaining a continuous temperature is easier particularly when it comes to denaturing myoglobin (protein) and collagen (connective tissue).
A reverse sear mimics the process of sous vide, slow cooking the protein, barely melting the collagen into gelatine, while searing at the end to get the crisp crust needed for that perfect bite.
Instead of the ‘gradient’ of raw steak bordered by grey in the well done meat that you’d get if you just tossed this monster on the grill and cooked it for 20 minutes each side, slow cooking this massive steak in the oven gets the whole piece to the interior temperature you want. Then to serve, simply sear the outside on a super hot grill or cast iron pan.
If you want to step it up notch, flare the bone and the fat with a blowtorch so you get a crispy, barely-charred, maillard-seared crust, surrounding the perfectly succulent, juicy, just-the-way-you-like-it, cooked steak.
It’s so easy to master you might never go to a steakhouse again.
How to Reverse Sear:
Set your oven to 100°C, Wrap a sheet pan in foil and place a cooking rack on top, or just use a roasting pan. Generously salt every inch of the marbled steak and place it on the rack/ pan. Leave it out the fridge long enough to get close to room temperature.
Place the steak on the middle rack about 30-40 min, or up to an hour until it’s just below the temp you’d normally cook it to. That’d be 35° for rare, 45° for medium rare, or 50° for medium. Feel free to check the temperature every 15 minutes or so if you like. When you’re getting close to your desired temperature, start heating up the pan or the grill. If you’re cooking on charcoal, then start the grill before you put the steak in the oven!
When you’ve hit your desired temp, just take the steak from the pan to the screaming hot grill. In just a couple minutes the temperature increases ten degrees, 45° for rare, 55° for medium, or 60° for medium rare.
Rest it for 10 minutes to keep the juices locked in. Top it with soft butter, chopped chives, and more salt and pepper. Serve whole or cut into thick slices. To complete the steakhouse experience at home, why not try some creamed spinach, a baked potato and wedge salad to bring it all together.