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The Frankensteak

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Real, honest-to-goodness dry-aged beef doesn’t grow on trees, and no one appreciates this better than Momofuku Ssäm Bar’s Tien Ho. Troubled by the fact that the fatty caps attached to the dry-aged rib-eye steaks the restaurant buys from Pennsylvania’s esteemed Four Story Hill Farm were being tossed out like so many potato peelings, Ho sought a solution. What if he were to apply a little transglutaminase (a.k.a. meat glue) to the problem? With the aid of his friend and meat-glue aficionado Wylie Dufresne, Ho literally pasted together two pieces of budget-friendly hanger steak, then wrapped them with a thin sheet of the meat-glue-moistened fat from the pricey dry-aged beef. The result: an unusually tender round of beef that resembles a filet, with more than a hint of dry- aged flavor. It’s now part of Ssäm Bar’s $75 seven-course tasting menu and an inspiration to cutting-edge frugal gourmets everywhere.


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