Tomahawk Steak – Reverse Sear

I’ve seen tomahawk steaks on TV and I’ve seen them advertised for sale in supermarkets. Until recently, I’ve never been able to get my hands on one. As you’ve read herehere and here, I’m a big fan of meat so this was a great opportunity.

This amazing, huge, bone on rib steak, (known as a tomahawk because it looks like one of these) was purchased at our local Morrison’s as we were looking for a roast for Father’s Day. There were quite a few of them still left but one was more than enough for us. It was £15 and weigh in between 900g – 1.2Kg, I thought it was a great deal for the quality.

tomahawk - size

Due to the size of the tomahawk, I wasn’t going to be cooking it like a normal steak. At almost 3 inches thick, the steak would never cook before it was burned to a crisp on the outside. The recommendation from Morrison’s was to sear the outside and then finish it in the oven. I had a better idea; the reverse sear.

This is a technique which has been around for a long time. Due to the magic of social media it has recently started to become popular again. With the reverse sear you cook the steak slowly in the oven to bring the internal temperature up before finishing in a hot frying pan. Perfect steak every time (as long as you keep a good eye on the temperatures).

I started by covering the bone with a bit of foil. As the meat was going to be in the oven for a fair amount of time, I didn’t want it to burn. I set the oven at around 110 Celsius with the rack in the middle. When it was up to temperature, the tomahawk went in on a grill tray. The guide I found gave an indication of the temperature I should be looking for – I was trying for medium well (so that Lucy would be happy to eat it!) so I aimed for 60 Celsius internal temperature. This would obviously keep going up as it came out of the oven. The tomahawk was in the oven for around 2 hours before it got to the required temperature.

tomahawk - sear

Once it was cooked the way I needed it to in the oven, I got a heavy pan on the hob and got it nice and hot. I put some rapeseed oil in the pan, got it smoking and then put in the steak. I had it in the pan around 5 minutes each side until it was well seared and had a nice crust. When I flipped the steak, I threw some butter into the pan and basted the steak for a few minutes.

When the steak was the right colour, I removed it from the pan and rested it for about 10 minutes; not really necessary with a reverse sear but I like it to cool a little before I start carving. As you can see from the pictures the tomahawk actually came out a lot closer to medium rare but I wasn’t complaining! Lucy was happy to eat most parts of it too. There was so much that we had enough for the meal that evening and enough to freeze for another meal. We kept it and heated it up in some gravy, TV dinner style.

If you can get your hands on one of these tomahawks, and these days it doesn’t seem too difficult, I would thoroughly recommend you give it a go. And please, try the reverse sear method with your next big fat steak. You won’t regret it.

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