Grilled Tomahawk Steaks a la Marketman


A few people emailed me after my previous post asking for “more detailed” instructions on how to do the tomahawk steaks on the grill. So here they are. First, get into your car, a cab or walk to S&L Fine Foods or any other purveyor or butcher that have Australian Angus Tomahawk steaks. Purchase a couple of steaks (I bought 4 together, still in one big piece) and I cut them into individual steaks when I got home. These are chilled, not frozen. They aren’t cheap, and each steak ended up weighing about 1.25 kilos each on average, but they aren’t prohibitively expensive either when compared with other premium beef cuts.


Bring the steaks to room temperature for say 1 hour on the kitchen counter, covered with plastic wrap. Season the steaks VERY LIBERALLY with good kosher or uniodized sea salt on both sides and along the edge as well. Stick them in a fridge for say 3 hours and take them out about 30 minutes before grilling them. Get your fire ready. Next, season some freshly ground pepper, several cloves of smashed garlic, several sprigs of fresh rosemary, a bit more salt and some olive oil. Place on the grill and watch for flare-ups, covering the grill to smother the flames. Cook for say 5-6 minutes per side, depending on the heat of your grill, the distance from flame to meat, the thickness of your steak, and your desired level of doneness. Flip once and wait another 4-5 minutes and you may wish to flip back onto the cooked side for a few more minutes. I tend to tell the level of doneness by pressing the meat with my finger, but if you must have it just right, use a meat thermometer.


As soon as you take the steaks off the heat, you could put a big knob of butter on each one for a bit of extra richness, in case you needed that and your doctor has cleared you for low cholesterol levels. Let steaks rest for a few minutes before cutting into them at the dinner table. On this particular occasion, we grilled the steaks until almost rare, added the prawns to the grill, and in the back of the grill we had potatoes in foil with some dill butter. Each tomahawk steak could feed 2-3 people and with some sides and a good salad, you and your family or friends can dine for roughly PHP500-600 each, far, far less than if you eat out at a snazzy restaurant serving the same thing.


16 Responses

  1. US beef has become very expensive recently due to past droughts that have caused a massive reduction in herd sizes. It will take quite some time for the herd numbers to increase to its normal levels since cattle reproduce quite slowly compared to pigs, so prices will remain high in years to come. Out of necessity, our dinner parties have featured the cheaper yet still flavorful cuts such as the hanging tender and top blade steaks. There is a need though to take out the tough sinew from these, and it’s quite a chore to do so. When done right though it yields a buttery steak that compares well with the more expensive prime cuts.

  2. Just curious, why bring the chilled steaks to local room temperature and then chill them again? Can’t it be seasoned while still chilled then brought to room temperature when it’s time to cook?

  3. My hubby C and my sons M and M simply adores steak esp. now that it is barbecue season here…SALTING TECHNIQUE I learned from Alton Brown works every time for me and turns those tough cheap cuts of steak into tender ones.

    Give it a try, mga Mrs! I can guarantee you that you will be using it all the time plus you save a bundle if your family enjoys grilled steaks!

  4. They’re huge! Looks like you can whack someone on the head with one of those and cause serious injury. Time to retire the fishpan? ;-)

  5. Isa, absolutely good point. Hmmm. I guess I had the steaks out and had to slice them and pat them dry before seasoning, and thought maybe room temperature would be a better temp for them to start brining in. But I don’t know that for a fact. So maybe it would work if you salted them cold. I wonder if any professionals out there have an answer for this… I would appreciate it. If you see cold suet vs. room temperature suet, it just seems more likely it would absorb the salt better, but again, that may be scientifically false… will look it up now.

    Isa, more info. Seems I can’t find anything that says salt cold or room temp, so I would go ahead and salt cold for less hassle. But I did read THIS VERY INTERESTING article that may just have me going back to salt steaks at the last minute, as I did for years before the recent thing of salting beef several hours before… :)

  6. That was an eye opener of an article, seems like a personal quest you would be into as well :)

    When we think of North American techniques, we learn the horrors of holding food at room temperature, and the no no of fluctuating temperatures. Then I come back home and remember that wet markets hold hold food at room temperature all day! Wih only the ubiquitous bladeless fan with plastic attached to it to deter the flies. Which makes sense when you hear the constant anti-diarrhea ads on the radio….

  7. I only salt (rarely) and add blackpepper on my steak once on the grill (my burgers too), same thing 4-5 minutes each side depending on the size or thickness of my meat. If the meat is good no other seasoning is usually needed. That be a hard sell to the common pinoy as they like to dip most of what they eat in different sauces. A1 or worcestershire sauce would be an insult to a real gaucho or any dudes manninng the meat in a parilla

  8. No professional here, MM, but when brining meat, we are advised to put the meat with the brining solution in the fridge, so I guess it wouldn’t make much difference even in the cold. The salt gets absorbed pretty much the same.

  9. MM, Isa, ..please check out ….food lab serious eats….tips for perfect grilling steaks!

    Corrine…there I is YOU Tube segment of Alton Brown’s steaks…Part 1 and 2. Paki google na lang please!

    Ms. Cai Lacdan…without a BOCADITOS sample, I have no basis of comparison. However, if were to make it, I would roll out the dough to fit baby muffin tins…BLIND BAKE it first, then fill it so crust remains flaky, now enclose the filling by rolling out a small circle to cover the tops and smootheN the edges. Eggwash and continue baking till tops are golden brown.

    I am just too busy nowadays, keeping up with my vegetable garden that I do not have the time to do any experiments. Maybe in the fall when everything will be prepped for the winter, I will come up with my own version and let you know!

  10. I used to add oil to all my steak grills and that guarantees flair ups. I’ve since dispensed with the use of oil and instead relied on the natural marbling that comes with the beef and my steaks have turned out much better hence (no burns).

  11. Grilling steak is one task I have always shied away from. I simply submit myself to the catering of experts when craving charred meat. Like a harem eunuch, I have seen countless times at close range how it is done but don’t ask me to do it. These gauchos in Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil salt the cuts of beef five to eight minutes before and let them sit in an area adjacent to the grill before they finally array them on the grill.

    In North America, I have always suspected that established steakhouses get better grade of beef from their butchers; the steaks themselves being better aged and at their peak when grilled and grilled correctly. But they all have ritual gimmicks as part of the steak’s sizzle. At Ruth’s Chris they dunk them in butter right before serving. At Morton’s, they show you the cut meat and the accompaniments before cooking them which I find mildly insulting. I was not born yesterday, I’ve seen tomatoes and green beans before. No need to show me.



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