Fall 2011 / Winter 2012

Raising the Steaks

How Vegas Chefs Are Elevating Beef for an Unforgettable Meal
By Jen Karetnick

Raising the Steaks

Photo Courtesy of Caesars Entertainment Corp.

Finding a steak in Las Vegas is as simple as finding a blackjack table. But locating that perfect cut of meat—that great steak—is a bit more challenging. For chefs, the type and quality of the beef they buy, the cut, how long it’s aged and the kind of seasoning they use are all factors that go into creating an amazing signature steak.

The top grade of beef for most is Prime Black Angus. As for the cut? “The rib-eye is my personal favorite,” says Johnny Church, executive chef at P.J. Clarke’s inside The Forum Shops at Caesars. “It has the most marbling and the cap of the rib-eye is so tender and juicy.”

That juiciness quota increases when the cut contains the bone, is aged for a specific length of time and is simply seasoned, as Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab operating partner Dave Quillen notes when talking about Joe’s signature 24-ounce rib-eye.

“This melt-in-your-mouth steak is dry-aged for thirty-five days under the watchful eye of one of New York’s finest butchers. It’s then hand-cut to our specifications and directly shipped to us,” Quillen explains. “We then season it with salt, pepper and butter, and broil it to perfection in our 1,700-degree broiler.”

Chef Leonard Young at the Steakhouse at Bill’s agrees. His 16-ounce bone-in rib-eye steak is also “dry-aged and well marbled to enhance the flavor.” But he says it’s the “tenderness and low-fat content” of his filet mignon, with its consistency of flavor, that has diners raving about the steakhouse inside Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon.

Less marbled than the rib-eye, the 40-day dry-aged New York strip being served at BOA Steakhouse is prepared rather simply, according to Brent Berkowitz, the restaurant’s director of development. It’s liberally seasoned with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper, cooked in a broiler, and finished with fleur de sel (sea salt) from Normandy.

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