But lets start with the potatoes. First, reach for your peeler (a very important tool, indeed. I keep mine in my sleeve pocket, always!)
Our potatoes are prepared in the context of a potato puree, a recipe developed by Chef of the Century, Joel Robuchon. It is said that this is the recipe that earned Chef Robuchon his 3rd star Michelin, as well as propelling him to his status as the most important Chef of the last 100 years. These are a far cry from mashed potatoes, much more smooth and rich. It takes 2 tricks (on top of otherwise proper technique) to get the potatoes this way: A - The puree is double-refined by being pushed through a fine mesh screen after mixing. B - The butter/potato ratio is about 1/2 (don't worry, this kind of potato puree is meant to be eaten only a couple tablespoons at a time. Think of it as being low carb!)
1 pound Yukon Gold Potatoes or Large Fingerling Potatoes
1/2 pound Butter
1/2 cup Milk, or as needed
Sea Salt, to taste
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
|Peel the potatoes, dice them in large pieces and put the peel in hot milk to steep.|
Cook the Potatoes in water until very tender. Use very gentle heat, we want to break them up as little as possible.
When the potatoes are cooked, we will be passing them through a food mill. A hand-held ricer is also an acceptable tool, and takes up less space in the cupboard, but the food mill will always be faster. Speed is important, it must stay hot. Potatoes are a very unique vegetable. They have very starchy granules which, in the presence of fat, can have a very nice mouth-feel. However, if the potatoes are chilled and then re-warmed, the crystalline nature of these starch granules becomes mealy and unpleasant. Mashed potatoes can be held hot for quite a long time, but if they are chilled, they will lose most of their luxuriousness. At Palo Alto Grill, we make these potatoes from scratch every day.
|Season the potatoes to taste with sea salt, pour them into a fine-mesh strainer and pass them through with a ladle to remove any graininess.|
Though not part of the original Robuchon recipe, per se, we add chopped chives to our potatoes.
And now onto the steak...
This is the end of a Ribeye. We typically use bone-in ribeye at Palo Alto Grill, but for the first part of this demonstration, we will be showing a boneless ribeye. This is the process to break down a ribeye and remove the rib cap. You can see the slightly darker ")"-shaped section on the right side of the steak. This is the cap. It cooks more slowly than the eye (the round section on the upper left).
To isolate the rib cap, start by removing the excess fat cap at the top of the ribeye.
The rib cap can then be easily separated by cutting along the fat line between the eye and the cap.
Note: the purpose of this demonstration is to show how special the cap is, though it is highly unlikely that one might try this at home. Ask your local butcher to do this for you (though you may have to buy the whole loin!)
The loin now separates into two sections:
The eye, which after bone-sawing makes these bone-in ribeye cuts...
and the cap, which needs to be cleaned of fat...
|1/2 pound rib cap steaks|
Note the amount of fat that needs to be cut off of the ribeye loin:
The original block of meat is called a primal ribeye, which is where the term "Prime Rib" comes from because the whole loin is roasted whole before slicing. The reason that prime rib can be sold so cheaply is because it is roasted with all of this fat still left on it. Gross, right? At Palo Alto Grill, we never leave more than 1/4 inch-thick bands of fat on any steak.
Rib cap char-broils really well because it has so much fat marbled throughout and it cooks quite slowly, compared to other cuts.
One can use these attributes to create a nice crust on the outside of a very juicy, tender steak.
A steak this special should be presented as simply as possible, salt, pepper and a little butter.
Steak and potatoes - done right. Cool beans.