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Meat experts, please!

rabaja Jan 28, 2007 10:05 AM

I was given a large piece of rib eye last month. It is an intact piece, about 3 lbs. worth.
Apparently it is the part of the rib eye that doesn't look as nice as the other end once sliced. (sinew? fat? silver skin? I do not know why).
Anyway, I'd like to make it into a ragu this week and I don't want to mess it up. I am thinking of browning it gently on all sides, then simmering it slowly in something, then adding additional ingredients to make a nice ragu for pasta, etc. It should break apart at some point right?
It was free, so if I ruin it it won't be the end of the world, but I really am hoping to make something delicious from it. Besides, it's Kobe so I'd hate myself if I DID ruin it.
Some guidance as to how to produce a tender, moist final product would be most appreciated. I have failed more often than not at my attempts at braising beef, and would love to get it right this time!

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    OldTimer RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 10:33 AM

    Frankly, making ragu by braising a Kobe beef rib eye could well be a culinary first. Why don't you just grind up the rib eye for hamburgers?

    1. Carmelizedbunions RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 10:42 AM

      Ribeye has lots of fat and flavor especially kobe. Rub it with a little bit of seasoning and the roast it till medium rare. you could cut it into 3 or4 nice steaks and grill it or pan sear and finish it in the oven. If you aren't worried about ruining it give this a try because you might find out you have a new favorite cut of beef. Is it bone on, even more flavor, ribeye is a steak lovers steak, kind of the other end of the spectrum from a tenderloin.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Carmelizedbunions
        rabaja RE: Carmelizedbunions Jan 28, 2007 10:57 AM

        I kind of thought the fat and flavor in the ribeye would translate well to a nice ragu, kind of the way pork does.
        I've had ribeye as a steak often, and yes agree better than tenderloin, however I am trying to feed more than 3 or 4 people with it, hence the ragu idea.
        It has been in the freezer since I got it, I prefer fresh meat for steaks.
        - am I really being sacrilege by using this cut for basically a stew?
        It was free! Also, the woman who gave it to me is an accomplished chef and the ragu was her suggestion.
        I'm sticking by my guns, anyone who cares to offer guidance, TIA.

        1. re: rabaja
          Carmelizedbunions RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 12:44 PM

          Hey i wasn't tryin to make you feel bad about raguing the ribeye, and i'm no ragu expert, im sure it will taste good. But if you reconsider even a previously frozen steak of that quality will be good unless its poorly wrapped and super freezer burnt. As for serving more than three or four if you roast the whole thing and slice it, you could serve little 3 or 4 oz.portions with say some lobster or other nice seafood as a surf and turf. But if your set on ragu, go for it, could be the best ragu ever.

          1. re: Carmelizedbunions
            rabaja RE: Carmelizedbunions Jan 28, 2007 03:05 PM

            Thanks for you input CB, I appreciate it!

          2. re: rabaja
            Josh RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 03:05 PM

            If I had a piece of Kobe beef rib-eye, I would do a roast and not a braise. Braising is meant for cuts that are tough and have a lot of connective tissue.

          3. re: Carmelizedbunions
            j
            Jesdamala RE: Carmelizedbunions Jan 28, 2007 01:29 PM

            How about defrosting it, trimming it, cutting it into cubes, and threading on bamboo skewers, grilling and serving individual skewers as appetizers? I had something like this recently in a Japanese restaurant, it was Kobe beef (US Kobe), and it was wonderful. You can alternate the meat with fois gras?

            1. re: Jesdamala
              Carmelizedbunions RE: Jesdamala Jan 28, 2007 01:46 PM

              Like the skewer idea, but Id only grill them for a cople mins jus to sear the outside. foie would probably melt right through the grill causing a huge foie fire but ive never tried.

              1. re: Carmelizedbunions
                j
                Jesdamala RE: Carmelizedbunions Jan 28, 2007 04:42 PM

                Skip the foie, and perhaps have a dipping sauce. Or two. If you trim, you can get rid of whatever you don't want, and have these fabulous morsels on skewers.
                I have one of those electric indoor grill things, so no big areas for foie to drip through...and while I no longer use it much, I often put it out, heat it up to the max, have pre made skewers of various things, and my family cooked their own dinner, and loved it! Or, do it outside! I am not sure how to keep the foie from dripping, so I probably wouldn't go into this territory.

                And at the Japanese restaurants that grill skewers, the Kobe or US Kobe beef is pretty rare, so only a few minutes to sear would be fine!

                Maybe if you have one of those indoor grill things, you can do other skewers of veggies, chicken, etc.

                What I would not do is what you want to do, as I am going to agree with those who post that any braising, long cooking, such as necessary to make a ragu, would not suit this cut of beef, regardless if it is Kobe or whatever.

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            emilief RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 11:30 AM

            Making ragu out of prime rib, especially kobe, is a crime. However, good luck and let us know how it turns out!! [if I were to do this, but I wouldn;t, I would cut it up into cubes and cook like beef stew].

            1. tuqueboy RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 12:52 PM

              i really wouldn't do the ragu with it, if i were you. yes, there's the whole sacrilege thing. but the main reason is that a ribeye is almost as tender as a tenderloin. by the time you finished the ragu, the ribeye would be complete mush. seriously, just make sure it's stored properly (like in some ziploc bags), and make it into steaks some other night. or send it to me ;)

              1. n
                normalheightsfoodie RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 12:59 PM

                How about thinly slicedsteak sandwiches on a crispy french roll or baget, lightly wipe garlic, horseradish and mustard on the bread and top with blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes could be a good addition too. This could feed a great deal of people and be a fun meal, add really good chips or make your own french fries and it would be a good meal.

                1. f
                  FlavoursGal RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 01:06 PM

                  The rib portion of the beef is, in my opinion, the best part of the cow, and the better the grade, the more marbling it has, which translates into juicy, flavourful flesh. Whether it's cooked as a standing rib roast, rib steaks (bone-in) or rib-eye roast or steaks (boneless), it's a cut of meat that is probably the most worthy of standing alone (no pun intended).

                  My suggestion is to cook it as a roast or cut it into steaks of at least 1 1/4-inches thick. Be respectful of the meat and don't go beyond medium-rare.

                  I grew up eating rib steaks in Montreal. It was my favourite cut of steak then, and it is still. I never buy or order anything else.

                  1. l
                    LizATL RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 01:14 PM

                    I'd think that Kobe would not be ideal to braise bc of the high fat content throughout it. Sounds counter intuitive, but I think that the fat in kobe might render out leaving the meat rather dry - like if you overcook a kobe steak. You could sous vide it successfully, though. Anyway, whatever you end up doing, if braising meat or cooking it in a sauce, low and slow is the way to go. Avoid high heat and your finished product will remain more succulent. Harold McGee has a good explaination of the physics of low and slow cooking in On Food and Cooking.

                    1. applehome RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 01:21 PM

                      This isn't a Prime rib - it sounds like the small end with not much of a cap. Nevertheless, if it's real Kobe, it's marbled beyond description. If it's real Kobe, almost any rib-eye cut has the kind of marbling that is best eaten raw or almost raw - it's like getting a piece of o-toro maguro. Cooking this to death isn't just a shame, it will ruin it. Overcooking takes all the tastiness and mouthfeel of the fat (which is what this meat is all about) and destroys it. OTOH if a chef gave me a piece of o-toro or kobe rib-eye and told me to cook it to death, I'd really, really wonder WTF? Stupid chef? Not really Kobe (probably more likely US Wagyu which is mistakenly called Kobe, even by chefs)? So perhaps it's not really that well marbled after all. For my tastes, even most US Wagyu - esp the 70-90% wagyu beef that's out there today, should never be served more than medium rare - it's just that much fattier than even USDA Prime. But you sound intent on making a sauce - probably with no discernable meat and a lot of fat, which you'll have to discard, out of a perfecty wonderful roast... have at it!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: applehome
                        Carmelizedbunions RE: applehome Jan 28, 2007 01:44 PM

                        Kobe beef is from Kobe, Japan, the breed of beef is wagyu which has been selectively bred for its marbleing. Also in Kobe these beef are massaged with sake and fed a diet high in beer. There are some american producers that follow the Kobe farming techniques. Its good enough stuff to eat raw or lghtly marinated.

                        1. re: applehome
                          rabaja RE: applehome Jan 28, 2007 03:10 PM

                          You think low, GENTLE cooking would make the fat leach out? The chain from the Kobe tenderloin yields good braising results, how is this so different?

                        2. p
                          Pampatz RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 01:38 PM

                          A couple of months ago I was making beef stew for 4 people that turned into 6. The only other beef in the freezer were two rib eye steaks. I cubed it and threw it in the the stew meat to braise. The finished product was good, not great. There was a definite difference between the stew meat and the rib eye. The stew meat was tender and flavorful. The rib eye was much too tender, but still flavorful.
                          I was save the Kobe for another occasion and braise some good chuck.

                          1. rabaja RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 03:03 PM

                            I really appreciate everyones opinions on this, and you are truly making me question my original intention.
                            The thing is, this was not the suggestion of a stupid chef, but from one whom I respect tremendously. Also, we are not talking about a side of ribeye here, it is the least desirable end, which does not cut like a ribeye, and is never used at the place where I received it.
                            But, I am taking heed of all the warnings not to cook Kobe past med-rare. I know this is a concern whenever this chef is cooking steaks with dry heat.
                            It is sold as Kobe beef here locally, I think the producer is Snake River, or something similar. I've been luck enough to eat a lot of it well prepared, and it is delicious.
                            I may do a small test run tomorrow with just the smallest amount of it, or maybe I'll just shell out a few $ for stew meat...
                            Thanks for the skewer suggestion, that sounds good and fast, which is one reason I was trying to make a ragu in the first place, easy to re-heat and serve on the weekend.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: rabaja
                              Quine RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 03:18 PM

                              Definately if you want to extend the beef for more servings, do try the skewers or try making a Pho, adding the paper thin slices of beef into the hot pho as you serve it in bowls this lets is just cook. All the flavor will go into the pho and you will have a tender product and showcase for the beef.

                              1. re: rabaja
                                Carmelizedbunions RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 03:27 PM

                                I dont call chefs stupid cause I dont like to get hit whith pans. I'm familiar with Snake River,in Idaho right. Good stuff. Sounds like what you have is not suited for steak or roast so maybe the skewers or a tartare for an ap or side to the main. Light seasonings are probably best so the flavor of the beef can shine. Even if you or your guests dont typically eat beef rarish, Kobe is recommended that way cause the high marbeling allows it to just melt in your mouth. I say to you good luck and enjoy.

                              2. steamer RE: rabaja Jan 28, 2007 03:56 PM

                                Don't do it (ragu) unless you want to have a story about your "biggest dinner party screw-up" to post next time that thread shows up.

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