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Boeuf. It's What's For Dinner

Whether you take inspiration from Julia Child or from Peter Luger, it’s hard to deny the pleasure of a great steak. But buying a fresh cut of meat to take home to the kitchen, Julia-style, is a different experience from ordering the same bloody chop at an acclaimed steakhouse.

Don’t let a gorgeous steak daunt you at the stove. There is pleasure in wrestling a colossal cut and winning, or so I found with this bone-in rib steak.

At nearly two pounds of meat on the bone, this cut is called “côte de boeuf” in France, or “side of meat.” To counterbalance the richly marbled beef, I decided to prepare a simple red wine reduction, based on the principles of bordelaise sauce, a French recipe from the Bordeaux region. While more traditional recipes incorporate butter and bone marrow, I took a peasant-style approach adding meat stock, garlic and shallots to the wine. As the adage goes, “I cook with wine. Sometimes, I even put it in the food!”

Côte de boeuf à la bordelaise

IngredientsFor the meat

Rib chop, bone-in (approx. 28 ounces)

Sea salt

Olive oil

For the sauce

Red wine (approx. 2 cups)

Veal stock (approx 2 cups)

Shallots (3 small or 1 large, thinly sliced)

Garlic (4 cloves, crushed)

Herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage – ¼ cup of the mix, chopped)

Cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

For the meat

Rub the meat with a light layer of sea salt.

Heat a glug of oil in a deep skillet on medium-high heat until the oil is hot but not smoking. Place the meat on the skillet and let each side sear until golden brown, at least 5 minutes each.

Place the meat on a baking sheet in the oven. Let it continue to cook for about 15 – 20 minutes for rare meat, or longer for a pinker middle. More precise cooks would probably use a meat thermometer, but I was happy to err on the side of bloody.

For the sauce

Without cleaning the skillet, add the shallots, garlic and herbs to the pan over medium heat, with an additional glug of oil if they stick. Let them cook until the shallots are translucent, and then add the veal stock and red wine. Turn the heat up to medium-high, and let it reduce in the pan. As it begins to thicken, stir every couple minutes to avoid sticking.

Be sure to taste and adjust the sauce. Full confession, I used a particularly tannic red wine, and the sauce needed a little attention after it was mostly reduced. I added two tablespoons of crystallized honey that reduced the tannin and acidity while boosting flavor. Unorthodox, but delicious nonetheless!

When it takes on a bisque-like consistency, remove from heat and strain out and discard the vegetables. Add a crack of pepper to serve.

To serve

Once removing the meat from the oven, let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving so it can relax. I chose to serve it with some roasted sweet potato spears and a dash of the bordelaise sauce, but creamy sweet potatoes or celeriac mash would also complement the flavors well.

Share some of the steak-induced pleasure — a dog underfoot wouldn’t mind gnawing on the leftover bone!

Photos by Charlie Andersen