WHAT IS A TOMAHAWK RIBEYE STEAK?
The tomahawk steak is essentially a ribeye beef steak specifically cut with at least five inches of rib bone left intact. The extra-long, french trimmed bone utilizes the same culinary technique that shapes a rack of lamb. “Frenching” means trimming the bone of meat and fat to the point where it looks like a handle.
This gives the steak its signature flavor and unique look, which resembles a Native American tomahawk axe (hence the name). It can also be referred to as a “tomahawk chop,” “bone-in ribeye,” and “cote du boeuf.”
A highly marbled, exquisitely tender and flavorful steak, the tomahawk is primarily taken from the longissimus (Latin for “longest one”) dorsi, or loin, of the steer. This consists of two muscles outside of the steer’s rib cage that run along both sides of the spine. It is also the main muscle used in T-bone and Porterhouse steaks.
This is a key point. Since these particular muscles aren’t utilized as much as others, they are particularly tender and soft. When cooked, this wealth of intramuscular fat combines with the elements released from the large bone to give its sweet, rich flavor and buttery, melt-in-your-mouth texture.
TOMAHAWK RIBEYE VS RIBEYE?
Despite technically being the same steak cut, there are a few key differences between a tomahawk and a traditional ribeye. Obviously, the easiest to spot is the extended bone, which gives the tomahawk its impressive, instantly recognizable, eye-opening presentation. It certainly makes for an enticing point of discussion at the dinner table.
The other main distinction is size. The tomahawk is cut according to the thickness of the rib bone, and is generally about 2 inches thick, while typically weighing between 30 and 45 ounces.
HOW TO COOK A TOMAHAWK
RIBEYE TO PERFECTION
At Ruth’s Chris, our chefs are expertly trained to hand-select each tomahawk to order, depending upon how rare or how done each guest prefers theirs to be prepared. From there, we balance our perfected aging process with our special cooking method in 1800-degrees broilers to make the best tasting tomahawk steak in the world.
COOKING AT HOME
While some people choose to oven-roast the tomahawk due to its size, grilling on a barbecue is widely considered to be the best method.
Before starting, allow the steak to come up to room temperature. This ensures that the steak cooks evenly. If it is frozen, place it in the refrigerator 2-3 days in advance to let it steadily thaw.
Now you can truly get going. Begin by liberally seasoning the steak with salt. Due to its thickness, make sure to cover all sides with a healthy amount. This should be done just before you’re about to place the meat on the grill.
With your grill turned onto its highest heat setting, use an internal heat thermometer to measure the cooking process until reaching the optimal medium-rare steak temperature of about 130-135-degrees Fahrenheit. Flip the meat over routinely every few minutes or so on all sides and ends.
Due to its size, be sure to cover in foil and rest the steak for at least 10-15 minutes. This gives the heat from the bone enough time to spread back through the meat - adding to its signature flavor and mouthfeel.
Proceed to slice the meat against the grain to your desired level of thickness. If you choose, you can fully wrap things up with a dash of salt and some butter.
BEST WINE PAIRING WITH A TOMAHAWK RIBEYE STEAK
Glass of Cabernet Sauvignon
A full-bodied, moderately robust wine like a Cabernet Sauvignon is recommended for such a highly marbled steak.
We might suggest a young Cabernet Sauvignon, or one that is equally agreeable through its maturity like a wine from Napa’s Caymus Vineyards. Other suitable brands include a Newtown 2013 Unfiltered Napa Valley, Canvasback 2013 Red Mountain, and J. Lohr Hilltop Paso Robles.
Our award-winning wine list has a wide variety of bold Cabernets available by the bottle or glass, so feel free to ask one of our servers for a particular recommendation - or test your own taste and select a variety yourself.
If you prefer a lighter, more gentle red variety, a Pinot Noir would also be a great fit. Other suitable alternatives to a Cabernet would be a Zinfandel or a nice Malbec from Chile or Argentina.
WHAT IS A TOMAHAWK RIBEYE STEAK?