You almost have to sell a kidney to buy a good steak these days. An aged cut of prime beef costs around $30/lb. At that price, someone else better be doing the cooking. For many home chefs, an alternative is to marinate and thinly slice tougher cuts, like the flank or London Broil, which work well to feed a group, especially in the summer. But when you want a big, juicy steak, those cuts just don’t cut it. Instead, try a Newport or a Bohemian. The intriguing names may be an obvious ploy to draw your attention, but their taste is addictive.
The Newport steak, said to be conceived by a butcher from Florence Meat Market in Greenwich Village, is from the tri-tip portion. It’s not always an easy cut to find. More readily available, however, is the Bohemian steak from the tail end of the sirloin. Both are well-marbled, buttery and packed with flavor. If you prefer a sirloin or ribeye, you won’t be disappointed. Best medium rare, cooking these much longer will result in a loss of flavor and tenderness.
Preparation is simple. A quick sear on both sides, followed by a few minutes in a hot oven. And they’re just as tender and tasty on the grill. Top them with a pat of butter, and you’ll be in heaven. With the margin on beef so low, I’m betting that these cuts will soon be appearing on restaurant menus all over. When that happens, the price will inevitably increase. For now, I’m lucky enough to find them at Citarella for $12.99/lb – the same price as the hangar, flank or skirt steaks. You don’t have to sacrifice flavor and tenderness for an affordable cut of beef. Now my biggest problem is deciding whether I prefer the Newport or the Bohemian. Guess I’ll keep tasting. Do the same and let EDA know which cut you prefer.
Newport or Bohemian Steaks
2 Newport or Bohemian steaks
Freshly ground pepper
Season the steaks with salt and pepper and let them sit to room temperature. If cooking indoors, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a grill pan (that can be placed into the oven) on top of the stove till hot. (I love my Le Creuset grill pan for this.) Sear the steaks about 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely marked. Then place the pan in the oven for 4-5 minutes (for medium-rare). Put a pat of butter on top if desired. Let rest for 5 minutes.
For a seasonal side dish, saute some chopped Tuscan kale, ribs removed, in olive oil with garlic, add lemon, salt, black pepper and red pepper to taste. And don’t forget to try some strawberry basil coulis with the steaks.
Instead of red wine, a vodka or gin martini with olives hand stuffed with blue cheese complements the steak perfectly or can be consumed while cooking/resting. I added a few drop of celery bitters to mine for a little kick.
Note: Wanting to go to the source and support a local butcher, I tried the Newport Steak from the Florence Meat Market. Sadly, it was not as flavorful and tender as Citarella, but it was only about $8/lb.