Swamp Donkey’s Weekly Grilling Tips
Swamp Donkey – Ribeye Steak! (Part One)
OK, Carnivores, I’m going to assume you did your homework and now have a solid understanding of how to control your fire. I’m also going to assume you been making some fat cash from your trading! Please bear with me. The Donkey had a little mid-week fiesta at the house last night that ran late. I’m banged up and wore out. But I have a happy belly full of delicious steak.
NOW, let’s get serious. I love all kinds of meat, but the king of them all is the STEAK. If you know how to properly prepare a steak, you’re a large step ahead of most folk. If you can cook great steak for 20-30 people at once, you’re a damn legend. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
People always say to me, “Hey, you gorgeous Swamp Donkey, how the hell do you always cook that steak to perfection?” And I say, “It’s a secret.” But right here and now, I’m going to share that secret with all of you fine people. So, lean in and pay very close attention. This is some high-end intel.
I use a meat thermometer.
Let down? Tough it out. Every time I see some dumbass grilling a steak without a therm, I start to sweat. I know it’s gonna be overcooked. I know the griller doesn’t care. He’s rolling the dice. I don’t take that chance with a great steak. That cow was raised from a calf, cared for by great people, and slaughtered for us to enjoy and appreciate. If you overcook a steak, I consider you a monster or an idiot. Or both. So take a few minutes right now and go buy a Thermapen from ThermoWorks online. It’ll cost you about $100. Get one – I’ve got three! If you’re going to a cookout at some Floridian’s house, bring it with you.
Alright. Let’s talk about steak. We live in the greatest country in the world, and that’s a fact. And one of the best things we have is the USDA. They take the time to inspect our beef and give it a grade. That saves you a ton of effort. Based upon the degree of fat marbling and the age of the cow at slaughter, they rank them accordingly: Prime, Choice, Select, Standard, Commercial, Utility, Cutter, and Canner (the preferred grade of Gator fans). Prime costs the most, as you might imagine. Buy Prime – you’ve got the money- it tastes better.
Today, we’re going to focus on the ribeye steak. It’s my favorite. You can buy a bone-in ribeye, which is known as the Cowboy or Tomahawk; or you can get the boneless, which is called the Spencer steak, the Delmonico, or for our friends Down Under, the Scotch fillet. The ribeye is cut from ribs 6-12 on that beautiful cow. When served as a whole roast, it’s called the Prime Rib.
Why is the ribeye so damn delicious? Great question, class, I’m glad you asked! It’s because it comes from a part of the cow that doesn’t do much work. It has tremendous fat and marbling. It’s tender, and it’s a good-sized steak. Speaking of which:
Author’s Note: Do NOT buy a thin ribeye. It’s nearly impossible to get a well-seared crust without overcooking the inside. If you’re feeding multiple guests: instead of buying a bunch of thin, crappy steaks, buy several ribeye’s 2 to 3-inches thick. Cook them to perfection, and slice them. It looks great, tastes great, and impresses on the plate. Your friends will be taking pictures and posting them in your honor.
It occurs to me that this piece has run long. Dutch will be all over my ass. He runs a tight ship, and I try not to push the envelope. You’ll discover in time that he’s crazy as a shithouse rat – most geniuses are. Best to stay within the boundaries. At any rate, the Donkey could use a nap. We’ll wrap this up next week!
PS – My cat Mr. Bojangles says Hello