The Perfect Tomahawk Steak Recipe

  • By: Jack Mancuso

The Perfect Tomahawk Steak Recipe - Cuso Cuts

If your mantra reads, “steak, steak, and more STEAK,” you’ve come to the right article. Today, I’m celebrating the “king” of beef, the Tomahawk Steak.

Something about this particular cut brings out the cave person within. You want to grab a giant Chef Knife and dig right in. And it even looks like a Tomahawk!

This particular segment of beef regularly ranks in the Top Five every year, often being #1

What’s in a Name:

I have a secret. Truth be told, the Tomahawk Steak is just a Ribeye with the bone. Rather than cut off the rib section, the butcher leaves it attached, akin to an oversized lollipop measuring 10 to 20 inches! If it were solid, you’d have an impressive weapon at hand.

Ribeye steaks come from a long muscle that runs under the cow’s ribs. Unlike some muscles, this one doesn’t see a lot of action, keeping it tender. Combine that with fantastic marbling, and you have a steak making you drool even before you start cooking.

By the way, definitely come hungry. The average Tomahawk Steak is two inches thick, weighing about 2 pounds, sometimes more.

Tip: Cowboy cuts and bone-in Ribeyes are smaller with far less bone left in.

Shopping for the Perfect Tomahawk Steak

You’ll rarely find a Tomahawk Steak at your local supermarket. However, if you have a trusted butcher like mine, they may be able to accommodate your neanderthal craving. Up close and personal, you want to look for excellent marbling throughout the meat. These fat lines are like an ongoing marinade. They render down, providing flavor and keeping the meat tender. To save a buck or two, look for ones with shorter handles.

If you meet (meat?) a dead end, you can shop online. Look for companies who sell to high-quality restaurants and ALWAYS read both the best and the worst reviews. Bear in mind, shipping can be pricey as the steaks are frozen and must remain so during their trip.

Straight Talk on Pricing

Speaking of cost, you might wonder how much a good quality Tomahawk steak runs. You’ll pay twice to three times that cost compared to a normal bone-in Ribeye. Now, you can shake your head in wonder. After all, it really IS just a Ribeye at heart. But the difference in presentation is simply remarkable.

Whether or not you consider a Tomahawk steak too pricey is up to you. The bone really doesn’t add anything to the meat. You can, however, use them for some outstanding stock.

Watching the look on people’s eyes when they see a platter with a Tomahawk Steak I’ve served on it, they light up. The inner barbarian is ready to eat without utensils.

Cooking a Tomahawk Steak

This particular cut of meat can prove challenging because, well, it’s BIG. So, when you try to sear it using traditional methods, it’s unwieldy. To fix this issue, try reverse searing.

Many culinarians like myself like a charcoal grill for this type of steak. It gives the Tomahawk a bit of smokiness without actually having a smoker. Brushing a little olive oil on the steak before cooking avoids sticking. Sprinkle both sides with a healthy dose of fresh ground salt and cracked pepper.

You then sear over high heat, followed by moving it to indirect heat until it’s at the desired doneness. If you wish, add compound butter with chimichurri sauce, or a balsamic wine reduction brushed on while cooking.

Here are a couple of my instructional pieces using a regular Tomahawk, a Wagu Tomahawk, Tomahawk Wellington, and Tomahawk Bearnaise: The basics Wagu version Wellington Bearnaise

Serving a Tomahawk Steak

Since the Tomahawk is a handful and a half, you can bring a good knife and cutting board to the table and help people separate the meat from the bone.

The Tomahawk is a Samson-worthy bite. Get creative with your side dishes. Make:

  • Rustic vegetables in a lemon-herb sauce
  • Wedge salad
  • Grilled baby cabbage, Bok choi, or romaine with shallots
  • Roasted pepper medley with bacon
  • Slow-cooked beans

From the Bar

  • Hopped Lagar
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Syrah
  • Cabernet
  • Whisky
  • Martini
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