Upgrade Syndrome?

Mine are used for tumblers or desserts.

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My upgrade: new (deba) vs. old (butcher)

What types of prep will this new knife address?
I ask because I am in awe. It is obvious that one’s choice of knife reflects one’s knife skills. Your new bad boy is way too much knife for me. Am interesting in when you will reach for it.

Hi Pilgrim,

This deba once was only meant to fillet fish, but now it is used for other protein–even cheese.

I last used it to prepare a ribeye steak.

Ray

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Got it. What prepping does your rib eye require? Cut from a large rack?

Hi Pilgrim,

I had my butcher cut me one–and I trimmed it and shaped it with the deba.

It was the first steak I ever prepared at home (always at restaurants before)–used my Staub brazier–it was delicious!

Ray

Ray

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Kudos!

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You never prepared a steak at home before? And you trimmed it with that Deba? And you prepared it in a braiser? Did you braise it?

Do you have any boning/trimming knives?

You can pry this inexpensive, little bitty one from my cold, dead hands:

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Hi Meekah,

Since my days at the Cornell Hotel administration test kitchen, I’ve reserved my efforts to appreciation and enjoyment of prime steaks over preparation.

I did this prep/cooking as part of my efforts to evaluate the broader uses described in Japan on a home cook dealing with American suppliers–to potentially “retire” my Sir Lawrence butcher knife. I rarely cook big pieces of meat.

Except for this demo, I limit my beef preparation to cut up pieces–like in beef stroganoff–and even then, not very often.

I do have a small Chicago cutlery fillet knife that I’ve used to “clean” pan fish, but I haven’t used it for a long time.

Ray

Cool knife. Very cool.

There is no fat on any ribeye I have ever seen that I would want to trim. Even the thick fat cap gets seared in the pan juices and butter. As for cooking I imagine your approach is closer to mine than braising. Salted steak hits screaming hot cheap carbon steel skillet, gets a pat of butter on top, gets flipped onto the butter, gets flipped once more, and comes off at desired internal temp. I like 125F. If I am making a pan sauce I prefer not to waste a ribeye. My preference would be hanger, skirt, or sirloin, in that order. I slice it on the diagonal and with a top to bottom slant to maximize the size of each slice. 90% of the time it is a salted and peppered red wine reduction. “Fat is good.”

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I like 125 for ribeye, too. Because of the internal fat. Tenderloin I’ll do rarer. Can’t do a screaming hot skillet here because the smoke alarm would go off for my whole floor - I don’t have the ventilation. Heavy sigh. So I resort to reverse sear, and do the sear in a hot “enough” pan with Lots Of Butter.

That wee knife has been one of my most fortuitous kitchen finds. I think the blade is less than 3 inches. I’m always afraid I’m going to lose it …

I did a skirt steak a couple of weeks ago. Time for another one!

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Hi Vecchiouomo,

My deba demo is a great example of cultural fusion–the type I was already prepared for. I grew up making bacon and eggs breakfasts that started with bacon strips that covered the pan, and left so much grease when they were cooked, that we poured it into an empty Crisco container until it was full. It just looked disgusting.

So I’ve always been looking for ways to minimize grease.

On the other hand, I had a colleague at the Cornell University Hotel administration school that specialized in aging steaks, and a certain percentage of marbled fat did great things for prime. So, fat percentage is always a balancing act.

My evolved cooking approach has always only made limited excursions to higher temperatures, and I use induction–supplemented with infrared gun measurements–to monitor and control it. This fits in well with teppan cooking in Japan: both for preparation, and for cooking. They’ve gingerly moved toward cooking beef as I’ve moved away from too much fat. We’re almost on the same page. . .

Ray

Are you just messing around? A deba (a fish butcher knife) seems like a bad knife for cheese. That being said, maybe you got a new knife and you just want to try it on everything and see.

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No, Chem,

It wasn’t my idea. Suggested here:

I was just verifying with a 2 lb. hard cheddar I had. . .

Ray

I never figured out why I like ribeye at 125. Thanks for explaining it! Every other steak I like bleu.

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Bleu is my preferred - Q: how done do you want your steak? A: I want it to say ouch when I cut my first bite. :eyes:

Slicing for presentation - on an angle-this is where I’m happy I have a sharp knife. A Journeyman knife, but up to the task.

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Here’s Japanese teppan alternative approach to your braising style–including prep work removing fat and shaping:

This is similar to my approach in my demo–except I used my Staub braiser. If I had used my Staub Crepe pan and my globular lid, I could have made it even more similar.

Ray

This is a pretty standard method for grilling a steak. Like your man, I prefer to cook on a steel grill rather than non-stick like my Staub braiser. I also prefer a rib from farther up the cow so as to maximize the cap portion.

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How is this braising?

Hi Meekah,

What do you have in mind?

Ray

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