Are you one of the multitude that stare at the labels at meat counter trying to decipher the difference between a strip loin and a New York steak only to find out they’re the same thing?  Every wonder where the tenderloin comes from and what make a prime rib “prime”? I have to admit, that all to often, I am.  Even though I love a nice hunk of meat, I don’t really cook beef that often and I have never invested the time to learn what it all means.  When it comes to beef, I know what I like and I stick to what I know… until today that is.

Your Steak Roadmap - From the American Angus Association

For National Prime Rib Day I thought I should learn a little bit more about bovine anatomy.  Prime Rib comes from that section right behind the shoulder, or chuck in butcher-speak. And it is, quite deservedly, one of the priciest parts of the beast.

A perfect prime rib steak

See all that fat… I mean marbling.  Well that is flavour!  Big flavour!  The only problem is that a rib roast or even the rib steak you see here is also a BIG piece of meat… not that I object to a big piece of meat, but that’s a topic for a different blog.   I’ve been working on term papers all week and have had no time to cook, much  less to entertain.  That means this giant hunk of meat was for just two of us.  It was a big, but oh-so-delicious meal.

If you don't have a cast iron pan, invest in one. It's the next best thing to a barbecue and sometimes even better.

I like to keep things simple when it comes to a good cut of meat.  I’m all over a beef bourguignon or a good stroganoff but a really great steak can stand on its own four feet.  And this one performed swimmingly.  A good sprinkling of sea salt and some ground black pepper and it was straight into my favourite cast iron pan.  A little sear on both sides and into a good hot oven for about 10 minutes and you have a perfectly juicy, rare steak.  While the beef is resting, whip up a little red wine and shallot reduction with all of those pan juices and you have a meal that would cost you $50 at Gotham.

Don't forget to finish your red wine reduction with a knob of butter!

We had ours with some wilted spinach and grilled peppers.  With all that meat I couldn’t face a potato too.

It was fantastic, indulgent and so very, very simple.  Including chopping the vegetables I had dinner on the table in half an hour.  Now that’s a weeknight dinner!

Bon appétit,