Pat LaFrieda. You’ve all probably seen the name before, and you’ll definitely see it again – especially because I’m about to publish a feature article on LaFrieda early next month for my “Meet Your Meat” series. But the man is a top notch, high quality beef purveyor with a rich family tradition of killing it in the meat biz. He provides the goods to the restaurants and chefs that make my favorite steaks.
He recently sent over two cuts of steak for me to enjoy at home; both dry-aged for 60 days, both prime, and both 2.5″ thick. One was a porterhouse, and the other a rib eye.
This stuff is not just set aside for restaurants and hotels! You can order it for home delivery right here.
So, what to do with all this beef? I mean, I would have loved to eat it all myself, but that’s just rude. Instead, I invited over a handful of foodie friends and cooked up a feast for them.
Here’s how it went down:
For starters, I sliced up some truffle salami and made a very basic wedge salad with iceberg, grape tomatoes, thick bacon and a crumbled blue cheese and black truffle oil dressing.
I decided to cook the porterhouse in the sous vide machine, and then finish it off with a hard Searzall blowtorch sear. I loaded the sous vide bag up with some truffle oil (I froze this ahead of time, that way the contents in the bag were dry when I sealed it), rosemary and thyme. I also seasoned the steak with salt and pepper before sealing it up.
After about four hours in a 128 degree bath, I pulled it out and dropped it into some ice water to stop the cooking process. After a few minutes, I removed it from the bag, dried it off and blasted it with the Searzall to get that nice outer crust.
Before serving, I sliced it up and plated it, then drizzled black truffle oil on top, and hit it with some finishing salt and fresh cracked black pepper.
I picked up an extra filet from the grocery store as well, which I cooked the same way. This was mainly as extra meat, in case we didn’t have enough, and also as a control group to compare the meat quality from a nice grocery store cut against Pat LaFrieda. The cut I picked from Morton Williams looked nicely marbled and it was reasonably thick for just under $12.
When comparing the filet side of the LaFrieda porterhouse to the grocery store filet, the LaFrieda steak was hands down WAY better. There is no question about it. That 60-day dry-aging process really infuses an incredible amount of flavor into the meat.
If you are a beef lover, then Pat LaFrieda cuts are the way to go. In fact, one of my friends cooks up Pat LaFrieda steaks every Friday, and he calls it “LaFrieda Fridays.” HA!
For the rib eye, I went with a traditional cast iron skillet sear with maple bacon fat and herbs, and then I finished it in the oven. I let it rest, and then sliced that up and served it on a salt block, also with a drizzle of truffle oil.
Unfortunately for me, the temperature jumped from 120 to 145 WAY faster than it was climbing while going from 68 to 120. I turned around to snap pics of the porterhouse and BOOM. The steak went beyond medium rare. Lesson learned. In any event, it was still incredibly delicious at medium. The fat cap was heavenly!
To go with these steaks, I roasted some bulbs of garlic for slathering onto the meat and grilled some lemons.
I put together a nice side of roasted mushrooms and onions, sauteed broccolini (got to have something green I guess), and made a big bowl of tater tots.
But no meal at Johnny Prime’s Food Research Lab would be complete without a dessert by The Cake Dealer!
The inside of the cupcakes were marbled vanilla and red velvet, which was perfect to represent the marbling of good prime beef!
Or it was just because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner…
Oh and by the way, here are the foodies that came by. Check out their profiles for pics of the feast, if you have a chance:
@thecakedealer (she’s always there, because she’s my lovely wife)