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Chef's Notes

Culinary Beef Brief

by NCBA Executive Chef Dave Zino

The Ribeye: New Ideas for a Classic Cut

Steak-loving chefs have a secret that they've only just started to share with their customers. It's the Ribeye Cap (spinalis dorsi/IMPS 112D), that highly marbled, supertender layer of meat wrapped around the Ribeye, and it's starting to show up on the menus of innovative chefs around the country. With all the flavor of the Ribeye and all the tenderness of a filet, the Ribeye cap is perfect for dry-heat cooking methods like grilling, roasting and pan-searing. The flat, oblong muscle can be cooked in one piece as a roast, cut into individual steaks, or rolled, tied and cut into medallions, and it's ideal for a stuffed and rolled presentation.

Top chefs favor preparations that highlight the outstanding flavor of the Ribeye cap. The French Laundry pairs grilled calotte de boeuf (the French name for this cut) with a selection of seasonal vegetables, while Ad Hoc, the French Laundry's more casual cousin, has featured the Ribeye cap alongside lobster and slices of roast Ribeye on a family-style "surf and turf" platter. It's also become a popular addition to steakhousestyle menus, including Michael Mina's Stripsteak in Las Vegas. And the rich, beefy flavor of the Ribeye cap stands up well to intense sauces and earthy flavors, the way it's served at Vetri Ristorante in Philadelphia where it's roasted and paired with sofrito and trumpet royale mushrooms. Versatile, tender as butter and loaded with flavor, any way you cut it, the Ribeye cap is too good to keep secret!

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