Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Crowd-Cow Rib-Eye

Long time admirer of Crowd-Cow but first time buyer. Let's be honest buying beef online sight unseen is unique and unusual. Anyhow besides showing you how I prepared this Rib-eye I wanted to you give a review too. This Rib-Eye came from Hutterian Farms Reardan Wa. I'll initially talk about how it arrived at my house followed up with a tutorial on my preparation, fancy pictures and finally a review. 
First let me address the Shipping and Handling. It's very inexpensive. At $12.99 it's a steal (regardless of weight). I've do a lot of ordering online and this is cheap. I've ordered Duck (some other things too) online and for weight and price ratio Crowd-Cow charges 1/5 of what others charge….A Big WOW. 

A heavy duty Styrofoam box packed inside a sturdy cardboard box. First impression was 5 Stars ✡️✡️✡️✡️✡️ (out of 5). Before I opened the top of the styrofoam box I could feel the cold emanating on the box. That's a good sign. 

Tightly packed and well insulted. All meat was flash-frozen which means this baby is cold. If you don't know what this means click the link. Also included was blocks of dry-ice.
I stuck all the meat that was nicely vac'd packed in my freezer. Out of curiosity I closed the box up with the dry-ice and placed on the floor in in my kitchen to see how long it would remain cold. It stayed ice cold for three days. This is very important with meat and a unique service that Crowd-Cow provides. Again 5 stars ✡️✡️✡️✡️✡️. 

This is the Rib-Eye I will be reviewing!!! Note: it  took 3 days to defrost in the refrigerator because it was extremely frozen…good sign. It weighed 2.2 lbs and was exactly 2.25 inches thick.

Ok lets address the 64 thousand dollar question. What are my thoughts on the Marbling aka quality? Let me stress one thing! I am no expert and what I am about to tell you is subjective. But that being said I am an expert at eating steak. I eat a lot of Red-meat and I buy a ton. So my first thoughts are… No visible gristle, veins, no connective tissue but a good balance of intramuscular fat and Intermuscular fat. So far we're looking at an outstanding steak and all the signs are in place so all we have to do is cook the dang thing.  

Anyone that has followed along in my food posts know that I am a huge fan of Sous-Vide cooking so with that here we go. In this particular post I won't go into a huge amount of detail as to why I chose certain temps or how I pre-treated the steaks but will provide you the reader with some links. 

So let's get down to the nitty gritty and set the stage for a great steak. First thing I did was treat (dry-brined) with 1% fish salt which will increase the flavor and denature protein strands. You can also use kosher salt at .60% too. For the fish salt you need 72 hours and for the salt you need between 12-24 hours. What is 1%? If you steak weighs 1000 grams use 10 grams. Don't rinse off.

 I am going to Warm-Age the steak at 113℉ for 3 hours will be finishing it at 133  for 4 hours and 30 minutes. If you look at the intermuscular fat this steak not only needs 133  but needs the 4.5 hours. If this Rib-Eye had less intermuscular fat and was thinner I could go a little lower in temp. If this baby was Wagyu we would be having a completely different conversation. And if it was thinner the time would change too and most likely be in the 3-4 hour range. 

People that love rare steak might be asking yourselves why such a high temp? Well there are several reasons. First let's address the time. It's very thick (2.25 in) steak and and as far as quality it appears to be way above average. If it was half this thick I might only go about 2-3 hours. If it was a poor quality steak I would go much longer. Proteins with higher fat percentages benefit from higher temps to melt the collagen and fat. So for me generally speaking I like my Rib-Eyes at 133 f, NY Steak at 128 f, Flat-Iron, Flank-Steak at 133 f, Shoulder and Chuck at 133 f (cooked for a long time), Fillets at 124 f, and Tri-Tips at 133 f, Briskets at 135 f..etc etc. 

Something to ponder about cooking steak….. it's not always about the color of the meat but how it feels between your teeth. What's the point of eating a rare steak if you can't enjoy because the fibrils won't tear between your teeth or there are globs of fat you cannot eat. If you were to do a blind taste with steak I am sure results would surprise you. 

Ok I'll address what I did and what you could do if you wanted to eat right away. Here's the Rib-eye fully SV'd (cooked) and sitting on a wired rack. After the cooking process I shocked in ice-water (still in vac bag) for about 90 min. After that elapsed time I refrigerated the steak for 3 days. What can I tell you I am a planner. Before the sear I needed to retherm a bit because it is so thick and the sear will not bring internal temp up to an appropriate serving temp. My refrigerator is set at 36 f so I knew I had to warm this baby up. You could retherm in the SV bath too. I'll leave that up to you. It's not rocket science you know…lol.  In the final preparations you do not want to exceed the your optimum SV temp during the sear so be careful. If you want to eat right away you still need to shock a bit to mitigate exceeding you optimum temp during sear. Just submerge in ice cold tap water for about 5 minutes. 

In order to get a great sear the surface needs to be dried. Sometimes paper towels aren't adequate. Most of the time and in this case too I place the proteins on a wired rack and set in front of a fan and give it a flip or two. 

How to treat the outside? Many many ways to do this…..My favorite way with steak? Since it was previously salted no more salt was needed but it sure needed pepper. I used a lot of cracked black pepper and a few additional spices. Now on to the coating which is an option which will enhance and hasten the searing. I used just a touch of mayo and a touch of BBQ sauce. The fat and sugars from both of these creates a great sear and crust. The amount of time needed on the grill to create a great sear gets cut in half which prevents exceeding your optimum SV temp. I know mayo sounds crazy but it works well with a grilled cheese sandwich so why not a protein. Anyhow I seared on a 750 f weber genesis. 



REVIEW- Just freaking incredible. Every morsel was edible and delicious. Even the fat was delectable. Tender, tasty and a way above average steak. This steak cost me $60.00 but easily could have been a $130.00 at a restaurant. Most large Rib-eyes cannot be eaten down to the bone because of the inedible fat, gristle and connective tissue. Initially you might ask yourself was it worth $30.00 a pound but if 100% is edible the answer has to be a big YES.