Whenever I travel, I always seek out the best produce, meats, and food the local cuisine and agriculture has to offer. But when it comes to things like beef, I’ve realized that you don’t really have to travel far to enjoy melt-in-your-mouth, severely marbled, ethically raised beef. I’m convinced that if you look hard enough you’ll find amazing butchers that work with local farmers that take pride in raising their animals as much as farmers with prized cattle around the world do.
I found my meat heaven at Applestone Meat Co. in Stone Ridge, NY. Not only do they work with exemplary local farmers in the Hudson Valley, but they are also able to pass on savings to their customers by selling a lot of their organic, grass-fed meats through vending machines 24 hours a day. VENDING MACHINES. I know it sounds strange, and given that it’s in Stone Ridge, NY (and not in Japan) makes this high tech butcher shop even more bizarre. But it blew my mind. It was also the cleanest butcher shop I had ever been to. I was like a kid in a candy store.
I had originally wanted ribeye steaks (my all-time favourite) but they were sold out from their Thanksgiving rush. The girl behind the counter suggested chuck eye steaks, aka the poor man’s rib eye, she said. The price difference was significant, $8.99/lb for chuck eye vs. $17.99/lb for bone-in ribeye. The marbling was so beautiful so I decided to give them a try.
With a little research, I learned that chuck eye (not to be confused with chuck stew or chuck roast meat) is found between the 5th and 6th rib, whereas rib eye is found between the 6th and 12th rib. This means one cow will only yield 2 chuck eyes but will yield 12 rib eye steaks.
We cooked ours in a hot cast iron skillet but I’m sure it would be even tastier on a grill. While online many seem to recommend 5 minutes per side, we found 3.5 minutes on each side to be the sweet spot for medium to medium rare. I have to say that it was one of the best steaks I’ve ever had and if you hadn’t told me it wasn’t a ribeye I would have been none the wiser. At a fraction of a ribeye’s cost, I’m stocking up on this the next time I see it at a butcher shop!
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper liberally
With steaks as beautiful as these, you really don’t want to do much to them other than salt and pepper generously. Don’t be shy, you want to be able to see the salt crystals.
- Let the steaks come to room temperature before cooking Take them out of the fridge and let them sit on the counter for about 30 minutes before cooking.
- Heat up your cast iron pan before putting the steaks in
How to Cook Chuck Eye: The Poor Man’s Ribeye
What you need:
Chuck Eye Steaks
Hot cast iron pan
What to do:
1. Salt and pepper your steaks liberally. Be generous, you want a visible layer of seasoning all over the steak.
2. Drizzle the oil all over the steak. Let steaks marinate in seasoning for about an hour uncovered.
3. A half hour before you’re going to cook, take the steaks out of the fridge and let it sit on the counter for 30 minutes so that it can come to room temperature.
4. Heat up your cast iron pan and once it’s hot, add the steaks to the pan. Sear each side for 3.5 minutes over medium high heat.
5. Take the steaks out of the pan and let rest on a chopping board for about 10 minutes before slicing.