June, 2020. It seems like years ago to me now. Beef prices rose quickly in May and I nearly cut beef out of my diet entirely as a result. That is, until my self-imposed deprivation finally got the best of me and I splurged on a big ribeye roast!
I consider the economy of my food choices when I shop so, when I saw the price of the large roast I took a deep breath and began portioning it in my mind. I figured I could get 10 thick steaks from the cut of beef and the thought of having 10 delicious, grilled steaks at $7.50 each made me realize that this might be a wise choice.
As I hefted the 7 ½ pound roast from the butcher’s case I took a look at the label on the package. “WHOLE NO ROLL RIBEYE” was proudly displayed at the top of the label.
I wasn’t familiar with the term “WHOLE NO ROLL RIBEYE” and I didn’t know if it was a good or bad thing. As it turns out, the term “no roll” means that the meat had not been graded by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). Simply put, it might be a tremendous cut of beef or a not-so tremendous cut. It was, however, inspected by the USDA to ensure that it met the all of the safety requirements.
I can assure you that this was a perfectly fine cut of beef, good marbling and tender texture.
As I mentioned, this made ten 2” thick steaks, each weighing about ¾ pounds.
My intention was to make the classic American steak dinner, baked potatoes and a side of steamed vegetables or a garden salad but, my inclination to Tex-Mex cuisine overtook me and I turned this meal into a fiesta!
Ingredients for the salsa verde:
15 to 20 tomatillos (cut in half, radially)
3 serrano chiles
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs kosher salt
Ingredients for the pico de gallo:
2 ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
2 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded and chopped
2 tsp salt
1 tsp Mexican oregano
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
Ingredients for the grilled steaks:
1 beef ribeye roast, 7 to 8 lbs
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
1 ½ tsp cracked black pepper
1 tsp chili powder
Ingredients for the side items:
1 onion, sliced in half radially
3 serrano chiles
1 yellow bell pepper
4 medium russet potatoes
1 ½ cup prepared guacamole
2 cups fresh lettuce, rough chopped
1 ½ cups fresh cilantro leaves
16 oz prepared refried beans
Prepare the grill by heating some charcoal.
While the coals heat, slice the tomatillos and add them to a large mixing bowl. Add the serrano chiles and splash some olive oil over the tomatillos and chiles. Sprinkle the salt over everything and toss to coat everything with the oil and salt. Set aside.
Chop the tomatoes and chiles for the pico de gallo. Add to a mixing bowl. Add the spices and squirt lemon juice over the mixture. Toss briefly and reserve for later.
Peel the potatoes, slice into large wedges and air-dry in a colander. Set aside.
Remove the beef roast from the package, rinse under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Slice the roast into 2” thick steaks. Lay the steaks on a platter and dust each side with the spice rub. Set aside.
Heat some oil in large pan. Add the potatoes and fry until crisp. Remove and strain the oil. Return to the pan of hot oil and fry until crisp again. Stage the potatoes in an oven-proof serving dish in a 200°.
Add the hot coals to the grill and lay a sheet of aluminum foil on top of the grill. Spread the tomatillos and chiles across the foil. Cover the grill.
Start another batch of coals. These will be added to the dwindling coals and will be added to the grill prior to grilling the steaks.
Steam and grill the tomatillos and serrano chiles for about 20 minutes, turning occasionally. Once the tomatillos become very soft, and slightly charred, pull them off the grill. Remove the aluminum foil and discard.
Lay the half onion, yellow bell pepper and 3 serrano peppers on the grill. Turn every few minutes until each have charred. Pull the vegetables and reserve.
Reserve 2 of the chiles and the remaining tomatillos and chiles to a blender. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
Add the new batch of hot coals to the grill. Carefully lay the steaks on the grill. Sear and cook the steaks for 5 minutes. Turn the steaks and grill on the other side for another 4 or 5 minutes. Press the steaks with the side of your thumb for doneness. If the steaks spring back, they’re done. Remove the steaks and cover loosely with foil. Stage in a 200° oven.
Prepare the sides… guacamole, lettuce, cilantro and refried beans.
Pull the steaks and potatoes from the oven. Top the steaks with the charred onion, bell pepper and serrano chiles. I sliced the steaks into slightly smaller pieces before serving. Serve warm.