Tender, beefy, nicely charred, and perfectly medium-rare. I started with a 4-rib prime-grade prime-rib roast ("prime rib" is not necessarily "prime grade," you need to make sure it is both! – see here: http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/12/what-is-prime-rib-questions-how-to-cook-christmas-recipe-dry-aged-wet-aged.html) with the fat-cap fully intact (to protect the spinalis muscle). You cannot dry-age inpidual steaks at home, despite what some otherwise reputable sources may have told you. (See here: http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/01/the-food-lab-dry-age-beef-at-home.html).
I dry-aged it on a rack in a mini-fridge with a fan stuck in it for 61 days, flipping and rotating it every week or so. After 21 days it’ll be more tender and start to develop flavor. After 45 days, it’s super funky. After 60 days, it’s about as funky as you’ll find at any of the great NY steakhouses – more so than most. It’s aso as tender as butter. The outside gets super dry and tough, with an aroma almost like blue cheese. It must be trimmed before cooking.
Take of the fat cap
The large fat cap has already been removed once (when the butcher took out the flap meat) and placed back over the roast. It come off quite easily now. Throw it out, this is not the meat you are looking for.
All of the dried out meat and fat needs to be trimmed away. That constitutes about the outer centimeter of the meat. Use a very sharp knife. If you have trouble holding on to the meat, you should use some clean towels to get a grip (it can get greasy).
In all, you’ll trim off maybe 20% of the exterior. That’s part of what makes dry-aged meat so expensive – a lot of it goest to waste. Any excess fat and meat that isn’t rancid can be ground into your hamburgers, or you can render the fat and use it to, say, roast potatoes. Yum.
Good meat will have a ton of thin white swaths of fat that run through it like spiderwebs. This gives it flavor and moisture, as well as allowing it to cook more gently and evenly.
Once you’ve got all the exterior off, you can slice between the bones to cut inpidual steaks. Each one of these is about 30 to 36 ounces – enough to feed two normal people or one r/food Redditor.
Season those steaks generously on all sides with salt and pepper.
I cook my steaks sous-vide to 127°F (they’ll end up on the rare side of medium-rare) by sealing them in plastic bags (don’t add fat or butter to the bag, this just dilutes flavor, the steak will provide its own lubrication) and dropping them in my sous-vide supreme for about an hour and up to four. If you don’t have a sous-vide machine, you can cook them in a beer cooler using this method: http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/04/cook-your-meat-in-a-beer-cooler-the-worlds-best-sous-vide-hack.html
Butter and oil
After they’re done cooking sous-vide, take’em out, dry them carefully, then heat up some oil and butter in a cast iron pan over really high heat until the butter starts to brown.
Add the steaks
Add the steaks and let the bottoms cook until just barely starting to brown, about a 45 seconds. Flip them and…
Now we’re cooking with gas! It’s important to only torch after flipping them. You need that surface to be coated with fat so that the heat from the torch distributes relatively evenly. Otherwise you end up with super singed spots and completely uneven browning.
Flip and torch!
Keep cooking like this – flipping and torching every 45 seconds or so – until the meat is well browned on both sides. It should take no more than 3 minutes. If you don’t have a torch, you can just do it in the skillet the whole time, though it won’t char as well (you can also finish on a really hot outdoor grill – that’s barbecue for you UK and Aussie-types).
Check out the char!
It’s almost ready, just one thing before resting…
Make sure to get those edges to crisp up the fat!
Meat needs to rest before slicing so that the juices inside won’t leak all over your plate or cutting board. I rest’em on a rack for 10 to 15 minutes (don’t worry, the internal temp will only drop by a couple of degrees. They’ll still taste hot!
Finish with hot drippings
To give the exterior that extra sizzle just before serving, I reheat my pan drippings then pour them on top of the steak (I added a couple cloves of crushed garlic this time). It should froth and spit like a kerosene cat in hell with gasoline drawers on.
If you want to be all steak-house-y, you can carve the meat off the bone and slice it before giving it to your guests, or you can…
…serve it whole and have people dig right in. A super-aged steak like this needs no sauce, but some good dijon mustard wouldn’t hurt. Cooking sous-vide followed by a cast iron/torch sear gives you that awesome contrast between crackly, charred exterior and an edge-to-edge medium-rare center.