I once knew a great man who always wore a cowboy hat and boots, never left home without his bolo tie and starched shirts, and was as much a cowboy as the wranglers I’ve met at the rodeo.
Funny thing was, he wasn’t even born in this country. He and his father immigrated to New York state from Sweden when he was just a boy, early in the 20th century. He grew up on Long Island but eventually joined, what was then, the Army Air Corps and was stationed in San Antonio.
That was all it took.
From that moment on, he was a Texan. He married a yellow rose of Texas, raised his children in Texas, and, eventually, died in the state he’d adopted and loved.
He subscribed to a magazine called “Cowboys and Indians.” He went on “shoots” where the “old-timers” (his words, not mine) would wear old cowboy clothes and compete in feats of accuracy. He handcrafted muzzleloaders, lovingly carving their stocks out of wood and fashioning their barrels. Silversmithing was his hobby, and he made the most gorgeous pieces of jewelry out of silver and often turquoise.
And when I think of him, I think of big, juicy, thick bone-in rib eye steaks. Father’s Day is coming up and this is what we always grilled. Fittingly, the bone-in rib eye is often called the “cowboy steak.”
There aren’t many “recipes” for a bone-in rib eye, per se, because you don’t want to take away from the flavor of the meat.
You DO want to let it sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes before grilling. You DO want to salt and pepper your steak. You DO want to slap it on the grill over a high flame to sear it and seal in the juices, then turn the temperature down or move to indirect heat to finish the cooking process. And you DO want to let it rest for about five minutes before cutting into it. Finally, you DO want to buy a bone-in-rib eye, on sale at Brookshire’s, this week.