Food & Drink

Chef Bruce Ricketts teaches you how to work an unconventional steak

If you're sick of your rib eye, maybe you can try a rib cap.
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Evolution is a strange process. No matter what path you’ve set for yourself, the many instances of life can, at any given moment, send you on a whirlwind of tangents and unexpected destinations. These changes forge the characteristics that make us who we are, now, at this given moment, and that makes it more exciting to know who we might be tomorrow.

We’ve been around a year, we’ve grown, “matured” some could say, so what better way to celebrate than with a chef who understands that a “year” is a collection of memories, ingredients and inspiration—and that only the one with the knife can decide what the next step is. Enter Chef Bruce Ricketts:

We’ve been around a year, we’ve grown, “matured” some could say, so what better way to celebrate than with a chef who understands that a “year” is a collection of memories, ingredients and inspiration—and that only the one with the knife can decide what the next step is. Enter Chef Bruce Ricketts:

“You might be wondering what a rib cap is—well it’s the part of the meat that is just above the rib eye, right before hitting the fat. If you butcher your own meat or if you are going to buy a large slab for a party, you can actually cut this out yourself. In kitchens where a rib eye will be sold to a customer, we would stash away the rib cap for the cooks to have a snack after or during the shift. The best cuts of meat are most of the time overlooked by popular demand."

“To properly execute this dish, you need to know two crucial techniques. First, when searing a steak, always bring it to room temperature, don’t be afraid to set off the smoke alarms (no color, no flavor), season liberally and rest the meat (10 minutes at least). Second, pickling, you’ll thank me later. Pickles (in this case Vietnamese style pickles) are a welcome match with so many different dishes."

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“These two dimensions topped with a straight up herb sauce (remi-niscent of a South American chimichurri), some marinated chillies and a crispy fried egg with a runny yolk, which when cut into will form a sauce with all the other fl avours, served with crispy bread slathered with brown butter and fl ake salt, are enough to send you into a well-deserved culinary coma.”

Seared Rib Cap and Fried Eggs with Crisp Parsley and Garlic Puree, Vietnamese Pickles, and Marinated Chili

Ingredients

The Steak 

  • 1 rib cap steak, room temperature, about 150 to 200 g
  • Salt as needed
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping tbsp of butter
  • Neutral-flavored oil for searing meats
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 clove of garlic

The Pickles

  • Carrots, radishes, and cucumbers sliced about 1/8-inch thick, rounds enough to fill 1/2 a cup
  • Juice of a lime
  • 1 tbsp of lime zest
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 drops of sesame oil
  • Salt to taste

Crispy Parsley and Garlic Puree

  • (This recipe makes more than needed, but feel free to freeze the rest and use it for a different application like aioli, mayo, or finish it with sauces)
  • A handful of parsley
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil or any neutral oil, plus more as needed

Marinated Chilies

  • 1/2 cup of store-bought ponzu
  • 2 to 4 pieces of siling pang sigang or green chilies you find in your local markets
  • 2 whole eggs
  • Garnish
  • Cilantro
  • Watercress

Instructions

  • Season steak with salt and pepper. In a pan, get it really hot and add oil, you will know it’s ready when the oil starts to ripple and smoke. Add steak and brown nicely about 2 to 3 minutes. Turn over steaks and add garlic and herbs. Add butter and baste continuously, oil will splatter on you and probably burn your wrist. Another 2 to 3 minutes. Take steak off from the pan and pour residual juices over the steak. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
  • For the pickles. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and let marinate for 5 minutes. Keep chilled at all times.
  • To make the puree. Blend parsley and garlic with enough oil to make a puree consistency similar to pesto. Get a small pan and warm up the oil until the garlic starts to smell toasted—about 3 to 5 minutes medium high heat.
  • For the chili. Turn your stove up to high and scorch whole chilies until well charred on all sides. When ready, let cool and peel off the charred skin. Let marinate in ponzu sauce for about 5 minutes. Slice as needed and keep chilled.
  • Now the eggs. Heat pan. Enough oil to make about 1/16 of an inch deep. Bring oil to medium heat until almost smoking. Drop eggs and fry until the edges get crispy and golden brown. Keep the yolks runny and raw, season with flaky salt
  • To assemble. Slice steaks to about 1/4-inch pieces, the steak should be cooked to about mid-rare at this point. Drizzle a heaping tablespoon of the puree on top of the steaks. Top with fried eggs and pickles. Garnish with cilantro. And enjoy with crusty buttery grilled bread of your choice.

This article originally appeared in the October 2012 issue of Esquire Philippines. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Erwan Heussaff
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