When it comes to the Tomahawk steak, we refer to it as the “showstopper.” For those of us who grew up watching cartoons, it’s the steak that Fred Flintstone ate. Its massive presentation on the bone makes the steak look primal – which is all part of its appeal, and of course when prepared to perfection, it is delicious.
In the last two to three years, the Tomahawk cut has really taken off at the meat counter and in dine-in restaurants. Cut from the rib section, where we also cut the ribeye, rib steak, prime rib or standing rib roast, the Tomahawk is perfect for sharing with friends, or use the long bone handle to enjoy this luxury steak yourself… caveman style.
There are a few ways that the Tomahawk cut is offered. Some butchers will French the bone or take all the meat off the bone and leave just the ribeye on it. This resulting masterpiece resembles a ‘handle,’ and that resemblance is where its namesake originates – the Tomahawk axe.
Here at my shop, I prefer leaving the short rib meat on the bone as well. I like offering the Tomahawk cut in this style at my counter because it offers more meat with two different types of beef on the bone. However, cooking it can take some creativity in the kitchen or on the grill.
The short rib is best prepared braised low and slow, whereas the ribeye is something you can leave to a rare to medium rare based on your preference. Marinating the Tomahawk is ideal, as it will help break down the muscle fibres of the short rib side and then cook it low and slow with a quick finish on the grill to exploit that great steak flavour.
However prepared, perhaps the primal style trend of the cut is what is most enticing to our beef consumers. When my beef customers ask for something just a bit different but impressive at the dinner table, there is no doubt about it – the Tomahawk cut of beef fits the bill.
Corey Meyer joined ABP’s Debra Murphy for the inaugural episode of The Bovine. Hear that episode through the above player, or wherever you get your podcasts.