Hey there, meat enthusiasts! Let's cut to the chase. Ever wondered what's the top chefs' best-kept secret to a truly unforgettable steak experience? Well, today is your lucky day as we unravel the mystery behind the decadently divine, Wagyu Cap of Ribeye! Let's embark on this delicious journey, shall we?
1 - What is so Special About Cap Of Ribeye?
Let's start with a simple question - what's so special about the Cap of Ribeye? This cut is found on the outer rim of the ribeye steak, and its alternative name, Spinalis Dorsi Steak, hints at its location on the cow - atop the ribeye section near the spine. Also known as the "ribeye cap," it's a jewel among steaks with its remarkable tenderness, succulent flavor, and beautiful marbling. When it comes to Wagyu, the Cap of Ribeye takes flavor and tenderness to the next level, offering a mouth texture that's just divine.
2 - Everything You Need to Know About Cap of Ribeye
- Cap of Ribeye Vs. Ribeye
While both Cap of Ribeye and Ribeye come from the same general area of a cow, their flavors and textures are worlds apart. The Ribeye steak is larger and contains the cap along with the eye of the steak (the center). But the Cap of Ribeye is just the outer muscle, offering a more concentrated, melt-in-your-mouth texture and rich flavor. If you're a DIY enthusiast, you can extract it from a prime ribeye roast with a careful hand and a sharp knife, though many prefer to leave it to the skilled hands at the butcher shop.
- Wagyu Vs. USDA Prime
Wagyu beef, especially the highly prized Japanese Wagyu A, boasts a high level of marbling, which imparts an extraordinary tenderness and a flavor profile that is rich, buttery, and umami-packed. In contrast, USDA Prime, though high quality, doesn't quite reach the same level of marbling or flavor complexity. Even so, it still guarantees a tasty steak experience, and for some, it may even be preferable for its slightly leaner nature.
- Snake River Farms
If you're seeking the crème de la crème of Wagyu Cap of Ribeye, Snake River Farms is your go-to source. They're the pioneers of American Wagyu, offering the highest quality beef with extensive choices. Their Black and Gold grade Cap of Ribeyes are like the Rolls-Royce of steaks, each offering different marbling scores and levels of decadence. For a more affordable option, their USDA Choice Cap of Ribeye still delivers a high-quality steak experience.
3 - Tools Needed
- Grill: A good old grill provides the high heat necessary to achieve that beautiful, crusty sear. Plus, it infuses the steak with a smoky flavor that is hard to beat.
- Cast Iron Skillet: Preferably a cast-iron skillet, because its ability to retain high heat makes it perfect for a quick sear on your steak, locking in the juicy flavors.
- Sous vide precision cooker: For a foolproof way to reach the perfect steak doneness, a sous vide is a godsend. It cooks the steak to the desired temperature evenly and without fail, leaving you with a perfectly cooked steak every time.
4 - Seasoning
- Using a Marinade
Marinating your Wagyu Cap of Ribeye can add an extra layer of flavor. The downside is that it could mask the natural taste of this premium cut. If you choose to marinate, try a simple mixture of olive oil, minced garlic, fresh rosemary, salt, and black pepper. Let your steak bathe in this marinade for a couple of hours before cooking.
- Using a Rub
A rub, typically a dry mixture of spices, can create a delicious crust on your steak when it hits the high heat. A simple rub with salt, black pepper, and a bit of smoked paprika could do wonders. The key is to apply it just before cooking.
- Other Seasoning Options
Alternatively, you could let the steak shine by seasoning it with just salt and pepper. Either way, make sure to season your steak in a timely manner - ideally, let it sit at room temperature after seasoning for about 40 minutes before cooking.
5 - Cooking Methods
- On the Grill
Grilling gives you a fantastic char and smoky flavor, which is great for special occasions or the holiday season. To grill your Wagyu Cap of Ribeye, heat your grill to high heat, then cook your steak for about 2 minutes each side for a medium-rare doneness. Remember, this cut is best enjoyed at medium-rare to medium to fully appreciate its full flavor.
- On the Skillet
Using a cast-iron pan, you can achieve a crusty, flavorful sear. Heat your skillet over medium heat, add a bit of oil, and when it starts to smoke, place your steak in. Cook for about 3 minutes each side.
- Sous vide
For a foolproof method and perfect doneness, sous vide is the way. Cook your steak at 130°F (54°C) for about 2 hours, then give it a quick sear on a hot skillet or grill. This method ensures even cooking and a juicy steak every time.
- Other Cooking Methods
You could also consider broiling your steak in the oven, or if you're feeling adventurous, try a reverse sear!
6 - Cooking Tips
- Dry Brining Your Steak
Dry brining your steak means applying salt and letting it sit uncovered in the fridge for a few hours or overnight. This allows the salt to penetrate deep into the steak, enhancing its natural flavors and improving its texture.
- How to Get the Perfect Doneness Using a Thermometer
Using a meat thermometer takes the guesswork out of cooking. For a medium-rare steak, aim for an internal temperature of 130-135°F (54-57°C).
- How to Rest Your Steak and Cook Against the Grain
After cooking, always let your steak rest for at least 10 minutes before cutting. This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicier steak. And remember, always slice against the grain for maximum tenderness.
7 - Storage Instructions
- In the Fridge
Store your cooked steak in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- In the Freezer
Wrap your cooked steak tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil or place it in a freezer-safe bag. It can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- The Best Way to Reheat This Recipe
To reheat your steak without drying it out, thaw it in the fridge overnight, then reheat it in the oven at a low temperature (around 250°F or 120°C) until it reaches an internal temperature of 110°F (43°C).
8 - Side Dishes
For a balanced meal, pair your Wagyu Cap of Ribeye with a crisp salad, roasted vegetables, and a hearty carb like mashed potatoes or a crusty baguette.
Final Take Away
While the Wagyu Cap of Ribeye is a rare cut, once you've had a taste, there's only one way to describe it - the perfect steak! It's a prime candidate for special occasions, offering an unforgettable taste that will leave your family members wanting more.
- 1 Grill For charcoal grill or gas grill cooking method
- 1 Cast iron skillet For cast iron skillet cooking method
- 1 Sous vide immersion circulator and water bath container For sous vide cooking method
- 1 Vacuum sea bag or ziplock bag For sous vide cooking method
- 1 Meat thermometer As needed
- 18 oz Snake River Farms Wagyu Cap of Ribeye
- 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Finishing salt or seasoning Optional
General Preparation and Seasoning:
- Remove the steak from the refrigerator about 20-30 minutes before cooking, letting it reach room temperature for an evenly cooked result.
- Using paper towels, pat dry the steak on all sides to ensure an excellent sear.
- Generously season the steak with salt and pepper. Add your preferred herbs or seasonings like thyme or rosemary for extra flavor.
Optional: Pre-Cook Sous Vide
- Set your sous vide immersion circulator to the desired temperature. For a medium-rare steak (which we highly recommend), the temperature should be 129°F (54°C).
- Place the steak in a vacuum-sealed bag or a freezer-friendly ziplock bag.
- Seal the bag using a vacuum sealer or apply the water displacement technique for a ziplock bag. It's essential to ensure that the steak is fully submerged with no air pockets.
- Submerge the bag in the preheated water bath and let it cook for a minimum of 6 hours and a maximum of 24 hours.
- After the cooking time has elapsed, take out the steak from the water bath. Discard any herbs and additional seasonings. Rinse your steak or pat dry with paper towels to remove residual seasoning.
- Lightly season the steak with salt and pepper again, if needed or to your taste.
- Proceed to sear your steak on a cast-iron skillet or a charcoal grill as outlined in the next steps.
Grilling or Searing
- Preheat your grill or cast-iron skillet on medium-high.
- When the grill or skillet is hot, add your seasoned or sous vide pre-cooked Wagyu cap of ribeye. Sear each side until a rich, golden-brown crust forms. This process will be quicker if your steak was pre-cooked sous vide (2-3 minutes per side). Keep a watchful eye on your steak to prevent overcooking. Flip often until the desired internal temperature is reached.
Resting and Serving:
- After cooking, let the steak rest. Cover it loosely with aluminum foil and let it rest for 5-10 minutes. This crucial step allows the juices to redistribute within the steak, guaranteeing a juicy bite every time.
- Slice the steak thinly against the grain using a sharp knife. For that final touch of flavor, consider sprinkling a bit of finishing salt or your favorite seasoning blend just before serving. Enjoy your mouth-watering Wagyu cap of ribeye!
- Blue rare steak: The internal temperature should be around 120°F.
- Rare steak: The internal temperature should be around 130°F.
- Medium-rare steak: The internal temperature should be around 135°F.
- Medium steak: The internal temperature should be around 145°F.
- Medium-well steak: The internal temperature should be around 150°F.
- Well-done steak: The internal temperature should be around 160
- Tenderizing: Thicker cuts of meat, like picanha roasts, often require longer sous vide cooking times to ensure that the internal temperature reaches a level that effectively breaks down the connective tissues and collagen within the meat. This extended cooking time allows the steak to become more tender, resulting in a more enjoyable eating experience.
- Fat rendering: Steaks with higher levels of marbling, such as wagyu beef, contain intramuscular fat that contributes to their rich flavor and tenderness. However, this fat needs sufficient time to render and become melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Longer sous vide cooking times allow the fat to slowly liquefy and distribute throughout the meat, resulting in a more succulent texture and enhanced flavor.
- Flavor development: Sous vide cooking at lower temperatures over longer periods allows the flavors to intensify and develop. The extended cooking time allows the meat to slowly absorb any marinades or seasonings, resulting in a more pronounced and well-rounded flavor profile. This is especially beneficial for steaks that may benefit from extra time to infuse with herbs, spices, or aromatics.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Cap of Ribeye, also known as the Ribeye Cap, is a premium cut of beef found on the outer rim of a ribeye steak. Known for its exceptional tenderness and flavor, it's considered a jewel among steak cuts.
The Cap on a Ribeye Steak refers to the outer muscle that wraps around the eye of the ribeye steak. It's known for its rich flavor, remarkable tenderness, and exquisite marbling. This part is highly prized by chefs and steak connoisseurs.
You can cook the Cap of Ribeye in several ways, each giving a different and delightful experience. You can grill it on high heat to get a smoky flavor and a beautiful char. Alternatively, use a cast-iron skillet for a quick sear that locks in the flavors. For a more precise cooking method, a sous vide is ideal, ensuring an evenly cooked steak. Whichever method you choose, remember to let the steak rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing to keep it juicy.
The Cap of a Ribeye is also called Spinalis Dorsi, which indicates its location on the cow near the spine. It's widely recognized as one of the most sought-after cuts due to its superior tenderness and flavor.