Steakcraft: Marc Forgione's American Cut Makes a Pastrami-Style Rib Steak
Steak Fact SheetCut: Rib Steak
Grade: USDA Prime
Breed: Black Angus
Dry Aged? 28 Days
Pre-Cooked Weight: 20 oz.
Average Price per Ounce: $2.20
When asked what inspired him to craft his smoked and pastrami-spiced New York Cut rib steak at the new American Cut, Marc Forgione is unequivocal: "I love New York and am very proud to be from here." The steak is his love letter to the city. It draws upon two of the Big Apple's most iconic dishes—the dry aged steak and the pastrami sandwich—and combines them to compliment each other.
The newly minted restaurant is the Tribeca flagship of what will presumably one day be a fleet of steakhouses. There is already an existing location in Atlantic City that opened last year, but the plan was always to have the New York location serve as the standard bearer.
The steak starts off as a 20 ounce USDA prime rib steak that's dry aged for 28 days by Pat LaFrieda. Forgione cures it for two hours in a pastrami rub of coriander, paprika, garlic, onion, salt, and black pepper before cold smoking it for 45 minutes over apple wood. It is then grilled in a hellacious Jade broiler before being rested and served over spicy brown mustard and topped with a brown butter redolent with caraway seeds and parsley to evoke the rye bread used for pastrami sandwiches.
Purists might scoff at the idea of smoking and spicing such a high quality cut of beef, but Forgione is quick to point out that the menu has plenty of other steaks without this treatment, and if a customer really wants, they can get the rib steak served plain. The rub does somewhat obscure the most obvious expression of dry aging—funky, nutty flavors, but the steak is also firmer, juicier, and smokier than it otherwise would be. It may not the best introduction to someone's first dry aged steak, but it's a worthy diversion for curious or prolific eaters.
Look through slideshow to see how Forgione brings the steak from rub to table.
About the author: Nick Solares is a NYC-based food writer and photographer. He has published Beef Aficionado since 2007, with the stated purpose of exploring American exceptionalism through the consumption of hamburgers and steak. He has written over 350 restaurant reviews for Serious Eats since 2008 and served as the creative director for the award-winning iPad app Pat LaFrieda's Big App for Meat. You can follow him on Instagram (@nicksolares) and Twitter (@beefaficionado).