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Mar 1, 2006 09:43 AM

Cap of ribeye (or, for serious beef geeks, spinalis dorsi)

  • p

Like many beef fans, I am particularly fond of the *spinalis dorsi* -- commonly referred to as the cap of the ribeye -- the heavily marbled muscle running around the outside of a center-cut ribeye steak.

Thanks to some fortuitous circumstances not worth explaining here, I may soon be able to acquire an entire spinalis dorsi -- in other words, the entire cap from the entire center rib section (this means a bunch of ribeye steaks will be cap-less, but that's going to be someone else's problem).

My question is: Has anyone here ever cooked an entire spinalis dorsi? Any thoughts on whether it would be best to cook it like a steak or to roll it up and treat it like a roast?

-- Paul

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  1. Paul, I'm with you! I love that beast! Though I must say, I'd never thought of eating it bu itself...

    As for cooking, I'd lean towards the roasting option- more along the lines of the popular 8 hour roast pork- there is a lot ov tender met in the cut, but also a great deal of fat and a fair bit of tougher tissues.

    THe only other thing I'd toss out there would be treating it like a (I'm sure I'm going to mis-spell this) Bracciole- the Italian braised flank steak roulades.

    Since I'm reading this board from the top down today- did you pick this up at your new Latin market with the lips?

    1 Reply
    1. re: jdherbert

      >did you pick this up at your new Latin market with the lips?

      That was a different 'hound's post, not mine. I'm getting the rib cap from a purveyor with whom I have a special arrangement, not at a local market.

      -- Paul

    2. I would recommend marinating the cut in a nice garlic, lemon, olive oil mixture and grilling it - i've done it in the past and it is delicious!!! (really worth the 3 ! marks)

      1. good for you!

        I've never cooked a whole one. But I would do two things. Cut 1 steak of for myself to enjoy later, then roast the rest. Roast it like a beef tenderloin - only I think this will be much more flavorful. So, personally, I'd either do a sear first and roast slowly, or the opposite - slow roast, then sear. Either way, I would never take it above medium or medium rare... just like a you would never take a good roast or rib eye above that temp.

        Good luck and please let us know how it turns out!

        1. Wow, that's a lot of spinalis dorsi. Way to make friends with your butcher! I'd be leery of the slow-roasting approach suggested below -- I think you'd lose the contrast between seared outer crust and rare inner meat that makes rib cuts so desirable.

          My thought, if I had such a treasure, would be to cut most of it into steaks -- nice 1.5 inch thick steaks -- which you'd have to roll and tie individually into round shapes both for aesthetics and for even cooking. Then just salt, pepper, sear, cook to preferred doneness, and feast. The tougher chuck end you could grind into the best (and yes, most expensive) burgers ever. Wow.

          I'm not ashamed to say that I went to sleep and woke up thinking about this. (!) Enjoy the meat.

          1. The best way to prepare this is to first clean off as much of the connective tissue as possible. Then roll it, tie it and slow roast to medium rare. Just before serving sear the outside of the roast and you are good to go.