Friday, February 26, 2016


My torrid love affair with the Rib-Eye-Cap began at Costco. Up on till then I had very little experience with Rib-eye-caps. I think I had a couple over the years but never purchased one until now. In the NW they're not common. In my opinion the Rib-Eye-Caps are unequivocally the most tender most flavorful piece of meat on the animal. They encompass the tenderness of a fillet and the flavor of a rib-eye; the perfect package. An exquisite piece of meat. Dang my mouth is watering just talking about it... well typing anyway. 

This is the typical way Costco sells the Rib-Eye-Caps. They roll them up and make Pinwheels out of them. If you ask me the Pinwheel is a terrible way to prepare the caps. Yea, they look cool but that's about it. Cooking them shaped like this does not yield great results.

After a brief conversation with the meat manager at Costco he was willing to butcher me two of them. Here they are in all their glory. 

I love everything about the Rib-Eye-Cap and after eating them both rolled up and flat I decided to do something different. Since this meat; at least to me; is so amazing I thought how cool it would be to make a cured version similar to a pastrami. Anyhow that is what I am going to do. The recipe below is similar to my other whole muscle salumi's. The Cap will be cured and rolled tightly into a cylinder using Transglutminase. 


Combine the salt and Cure #1. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a separate bowl. If the coriander and white pepper are whole make sure to grind them using a spice mill. 

Sprinkle the salt and cure on the meat getting it into every nook and cranny. Now cover the meat with the remaining ingredients.

Vacuum seal in separate bags making sure to include all the spices that might have fallen off the meat. Turn every day for 12-14 days. 

It's been 13 days since I started this process and I believe the cap is cured. 

Cap was rinsed under cold water. The removal of the cure, herbs and spices is an important step. It's now ready for the next step. 

The Cap has a thick end and a thin end similar to a chicken breast. I inverted them on to each other creating an even thickness. Creating an even thickness makes it easier to roll into a cylinder. 

The trick here is to apply the Transglutaminase (meat gloo) in all the right places. You need apply the TG to every nook and cranny. And more specifically to all the places that will be glue together. Even the ends need to covered. I use a powdered sugar shaker to distribute the TG. 

All rolled up tight!!!! Get a good grip and use some wrist action. You need to get this very tight!!!

The secret of this TG project is the plastic wrap. I used 24 inch plastic wrap laid over a very large cutting board. I roll and roll until the cylinder is extremely tight. I never cut the plastic wrap until I have at least 12 revolutions. I twisted the ends extremely tight and tied off the ends with butchers twine. 
Double vacuumed sealed!!! The TG will take at least 24 hours for the protein to bond to each other. After the elapsed time I will Sous-Vide for 6 hours at 131 degrees. After the thermal bath the Cap will be Ice-Shocked and refrigerated until ready for the next step.

All SV and and ready for the next step. 

Pictures of ends. Notice how tight the ends are. Plastic wrap and strong hands is the only way to accomplish this. 
"Before cured foods are smoked, they should be allowed to air-dry long enough to form a tacky skin, known as a pellicle. The pellicle plays a key role in producing excellent smoked items. It acts as a kind of protective barrier for the food, and also plays an important role in capturing the smoke’s flavor and color."

Toss the Coriander, Pepper and Fennel in a spice grinder and give it a whirl. Combine all the ingredient in a bowl and set aside until ready to use. 

I sprayed a little oil spray on the Cap and coated it with the above rub. 

Cold Smoked with apple and cherry for about 3 hours and Hot smoked at about 200 degrees for about 2 hours. I wanted to set the bark. 
All done!!! A thing of beauty. The Cap will be refrigerated until I am ready to slice. 

All done. This was the bomb. The color, texture and taste were off the charts. I will not change a thing. I may use this recipe for a whole Rib-eye!!!