Cap of the Ribeye – The Butcher’s Secret

Cap of the rib (2 of 12) I had the particular pleasure of dining out at a fundraiser hosted by a friend of mine Aidan Sheeran, who is cycling from Paris to Nice (in France). He is doing this to raise funds for Pieta House, a very worthy cause and one dear to his heart. I would encourage you to hop over to his fundraising page and be generous. In a fit of selfishness and malevolence, I am putting the link at the bottom of this post in the vain hope that it might get you to read all the way through. 

The event was hosted by the affable and generous Chef Patron at the multi award winning L’ecrivain Restaurant, Derry Clark. Derry is a former Paris to Nice cyclist himself. I won’t make you seethe with jealousy by taking you through the menu or by telling you about the wines and the company and the craic. But, I will tell you about a little nugget Derry imparted to me. He gave me my first taste of the Butcher’s Secret – the Cap of the Ribeye. Imagine the concentrated flavour of a slow cooked Jacobs Ladder combined with the gentle chew of a prime rib. Well, you’re not even close. This is a divine cut of meat and I know I will be in trouble for revealing it. 

I had to pull every string there is to get my friend, James Lawlor (He too a former Paris to Nice cyclist and known to his friends as The Bicycling Butcher of Old Rathmines Town) to prepare me some of this beautiful cut. You have already feasted your eyes on it in the picture above. Here’s what I did to prepare Cap of the Ribeye with Spinach Cream and Red Wine Reduction. The spinach bit is taken almost directly from my friend Stefan over at Stefan Gourmet. It’s delicious too.

The beef took very little preparation. I cut it into serving sized pieces (4), seasoned and vacuum packed it before placing it in a sous vide at 55ºC for an hour.

Cap of the rib (3 of 12)

Not too much salt and pepper.

The Spinach Cream adds a lovely bit of flavour.

A few very flavoursome ingredients make for a fantastic sauce.

A few very flavoursome ingredients make for a fantastic sauce.

I washed the spinach and steamed it. Then I squeezed the water out of it in a tea towel. Next I blended it with a couple of tablespoons of yoghurt and a handful of parmesan and a grating of nutmeg. Then I put it into the saucepan to keep warm.

Spinach sauce

Hot green spinach sauce. Delicious flavour.

The beef needed a quick browning on a hot pan to add a nice colour and a little crust. Then I let it rest while I made a very flavoursome jus.

This is a glorious cut of meat. Believe me.

This is a glorious cut of meat. Believe me.

Side note on creating delicious sauces. I put a fair deal of time into making highly concentrated stocks. At the time of making, they seem to be a lot of trouble. However, when one wants to make a nice highly flavoured sauce together, the concentrated stocks come into their own. This time, I used some concentrated beef stock cubes from my stock (Geddit?) in the freezer.

I love having an excuse to show off a nice bottle of wine. This Arelius 2010 from St. Emilion is a hangover from a French holiday. I thought it would work well both as a basis for my sauce and as the wine to drink with the meal. Here’s a big picture of a big flavoured wine.Cap of the rib (5 of 12)

I added a glass of the wine and a few ice cubes of stock to a saucepan. These were reduced until thick. I added a knob of butter for a nice glaze.

Beef and red wine jus

It doesn’t look like much. But, it has huge flavour.

The beef could be cut with a butterknife.

This is a truly delicious cut of beef.

This is a truly delicious cut of beef.

All that is left to do is to “plate up” and enjoy the rarest of beef treats – the Butcher’s Secret, Cap of the Ribeye.

Beef gets no better than this.

Beef gets no better than this.

If you have read as far as this, get over to Aidan’s fundraising link and give a couple of quid to this extremely worthy cause.

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Latest comments
  • That beef looks delicious! I must torment my new butcher.
    I read that as Creamed Spinach first and shuddered thinking of that horrible side that I had in several places in the US. But that vibrant green sauce looks beautiful.

      • Apparently mine is occasionally showing an error message when people try to comment. Not sure I should have gone with self hosted!

  • I call it spinalis. In my now former life as a head chef for a couple of big steak restaurants, this one would come out for wine dinners to match with wine. Or if ever we could get a hold of some grass fed Tassie wagyu or the like. This cut eats like no other. Great flavour and texture. Requires just a little know how and you’ve got one of the best cuts you’ll find. Well played mate.

  • Looks absolutely delicious. The sauce, in particular, looks like a must try!!!

  • Oh wow Conor, I am VERY happy you shared this “secret” with us! And your plating is just gorgeous! But ahem, I do hope you had an additional bowl of brocollini for your guests. 😉 p.s. Soon, VERY soon, I will own a sous vide machine or immersion blender, haven’t decided which yet.

  • The red wine sauce looks amazing. My first thought when you mentioned having an excuse to have good wine was you don’t need an excuse but then I remembered you were cooking. 🙂 Shows you where my priorities are!

      • How did the self hosted go? I’d like to upgrade my blog but worry about having my followers carry to it.

          • Aside from your colleague, is the help on WordPress good? Is there a live person?

          • Oh that gives me hope!

  • I hate to take away from that gorgeous beef by commenting again on the scariness of self-hosting angle, but you’ve made me hungry on both fronts, and I suspect that only one of those hungers is ever going to be satisfied… or maybe it’s just because it’s Monday?

      • Again, not holding my breath! And in the event we find ourselves shopping for alternative entertainment come October, actually in any event, you might find yourself contending with needy questions about your self-hosting journey.

  • Now you’ve got me curious about the cap of the ribeye. A quick Google search confirms the near religious cult surrounding this cut I’ve never heard of! I love ribeye so I can only imagine I’d adore it. Now to actually find it in these parts, where butchers have nearly disappeared, replaced by supermarket meat counters…

    Love the new look, by the way!

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