Tomahawk Steak - what's all the fuss?
By Sam Wass, Medium Well
What is a Tomahawk Steak you ask? You probably think a Tomahawk Steak is a steak you’ve heard of but haven’t actually eaten? There is no need to second guess yourself, few people have tried a Tomahawk, and if you had you certainly wouldn’t have forgotten, as it is the ultimate ‘wow-factor’ steak. Named because it allegedly resembles the Tomahawk axe, Tomahawk Steak is becoming more common here in the UK, and although it isn’t very common on restaurant menus, (mainly because of price) you can usually get one at an upmarket steakhouse these days. It is popping up in more places for the home cook and you meat fans to get hold of, with even Marks and Sparks jumping on the bandwagon.
The Tomahawk Steak is an on-the bone Rib Steak, cut from the Fore-rib with the entire rib bone left. The long bone is french-trimmed, leaving an amazing presentation, and dinner table discussion point. As it is bone-in Rib Steak, it has quite a large amount of inter-muscular fat, which gives it a load of flavour when cooked, as flavours are released from both the huge bone, and inter-muscular fat during roasting to give a sweet gelatinous flavour.
The Tomahawk is cut based on the thickness of the rib bone and is usually 5cm/2 inches thick, weighing approx 1.2kg. A Tomahawk makes an ideal sharing steak for a special occasion or romantic meal, as it can easily feed two people. If you like bone-in steaks such as T-bone or Porterhouse, you’ll love the Tomahawk Steak as the primary muscle is the longissimus dorsi (back muscle), which is also the main muscle on the T-bone and Porterhouse.
Although technically a steak, at 1.2kg the Tomahawk many people oven roast this, because it can be awkward for frying as it is so large. If choosing to oven roast, you’re best off searing it all over in a large frying pan first (you might not need any oil/fat just a pretty hot pan), before transferring to a hot oven (200ºC) for 15 minutes. Arguably the best method for a Tomahawk Steak is to grill on a barbecue, and using an internal meat thermometer cooking until the optimum temperature for Medium-rare is achieved (58ºC).
Because of it’s size it needs to be properly rested after cooking, for at least 10-15 minutes, to allow the heat from the bone to redistribute across the meat to give a lovely succulent juicy steak.
When cooked and rested, hold the bone in one hand and cut along the bone lengthways to separate the meat from the bone. Slice the meat across the grain into slices as thick as you need them and serve. It's certainly not an everyday steak, but then again it's not everyday you get to eat like The Flintstones.