Dining at Delmonico's: The Story of America's Oldest Restaurant
Published by Stewart, Tabori & Chang
This is, to us at Delmonico’s, the one and only Delmonico Steak. We use a boneless, twenty-ounce, prime rib-eye steak that has been aged for at least six weeks. Extremely tender yet unbelievably flavorful, this steak is cut from the center of the rib section. To finish it, we top the sizzling steak with a bit of what we call “Meat Butter,” a herbaceous compound butter mix that is easy to make and simple to keep on hand. Because fires vary in degree of heat, it is difficult to estimate the length of time it will take a steak to cook. Since restaurant stoves are so much hotter than those in most homes, we have given instructions for grilling on a gas grill heated to medium-hot. At home you can grill a steak on the stovetop, using a heavy-duty grill pan. It makes a mess of the stovetop, because the grease splatters, but it cooks a pretty good steak. We recommend using an instant-read thermometer to check the doneness. Rare steak will have an internal temperature of 120° to 125°F; medium-rare to medium should read 130° to 150°F. This should take somewhere near twenty minutes, depending upon the thickness of the meat and the heat. Above 150°F, a steak is considered well-done, which is not a desirable temperature for a really good steak! A steak should sit for five minutes or so before cutting, so remember that it will continue to cook as it sits when you gauge the internal temperature.
Total Timeunder 1 hour
Make Ahead RecipeYes
One Pot MealYes
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cooking for a date
Recipe CourseMain Course
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Low Carb, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free
EquipmentGrill, Grill Pan
Five Ingredients or LessYes
Taste and TextureButtery, Herby, Juicy, Meaty
- Six 20-ounce prime ribeye steaks, at room temperature
- Sea salt and coarsely ground black pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons sea salt
- 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Meat Butter: Combine the bay leaves, thyme, and salt in a spice grinder and process until powdery.
Place the butter in a mixing bowl. Add the powdered mixture and, using a handheld electric mixer, blend well.
Scrape the butter mixture onto the center of a sheet of plastic film. Pull the film up and over the soft butter and, using your hands, form the butter into a roll about 1¼ inches in diameter. Wrap tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week, or wrap in freezer wrap, label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months.
When ready to serve, unwrap the flavored butter and, using a sharp knife, cut crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices, allowing one slice per steak.
Steak: Clean, oil, and preheat the grill.
Wipe excess moisture from the exterior of the steaks using a paper towel. Season one side with salt and pepper.
Place the steaks on the hot grill, seasoned side down. Grill for 3 minutes. Season the top side and, using tongs, turn the steaks and grill for 3 minutes to just sear the exterior.
Remove the steaks from the grill and, using a pastry brush, lightly coat both sides of each steak with olive oil.
Return the steaks to the grill and cook, turning occasionally, until the exterior is nicely charred and the interior has reached the desired degree of doneness on an instant-read thermometer.
Remove from the grill and let rest for 5 minutes before serving with a generous pat of Meat Butter.
In The Epicurean, Charles Ranhofer names a 2-inch thick sirloin “Bifteck de Contrefilet Delmonico au Beurre et aux Fines Herbes Cuites.” Chef Ranhofer flattened his steak to one and a half inches thick and required that it be twenty ounces in weight. He salted the raw meat, basted it with butter, and then broiled it over a moderate fire for fourteen minutes for very rare, eighteen minutes to be done “properly,” and twenty-two minutes for well-done. He served it with “a little clear gravy” or “maître d’hôtel butter.” This is, however, not what most people think of as a Delmonico Steak. Depending upon the butcher you speak to and the area of the country that you are from, a Delmonico Steak may be a bone-in top loin, boneless top sirloin, rib-eye, New York strip, or any number of other steaks. It is, however, generally described as a boneless steak cut from the short loin of a prime steer.