Skip to content

Tomahawk Steak

To Make Dad Smile

by Jane Worthington-Roth

Way back in 1872, Fanny Fern, American novelist, humorist and newspaper columnist, coined the familiar phrase, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.”

This adage is as true today as it was back then. So, it seems fitting to choose one of dad’s favorite meals, grilled steak, for Father’s Day to show him how much we love him. But don’t buy just any steak – make dad feel very special by preparing a Tomahawk Steak! This gargantuan steak, also known as a Cowboy Steak or Bone-in Ribeye, befits Fred Flintstone with its size: at least two inches thick and about 14”–18” total length. The long rib extending about 8 inches from the meat gives it its very descriptive name. One steak will easily feed 2 to 4 people.

Because of its size, we generally serve only a simple salad on the side and a pat of compound butter melting into the steak.

Grilling a steak this size to just the right doneness requires a bit of careful planning. For the best result, you’ll need an instant read thermometer. Heat your grill with two zones: one hot and one cold for indirect cooking. That is, only turn on the burners on one side of the grill, or if you are using a charcoal grill move the hot coals to one side. In essence, you will roast the meat until it’s almost done then finish with a good sear.

First, pat the steak dry with paper towels, then generously salt and pepper each side.

Place the steak on the cool side of the grill – away from the hot coals or flame. Close the cover and begin cooking, flipping the steak every five minutes, until an instant thermometer inserted into the center reads 100 degrees for a rare steak. This will take about 20 minutes. Be patient if it takes a bit longer – it’s easy to misjudge cooking a steak this size and remove it from the grill too early. (For medium rare, cook to 115 degrees; for medium, cook to 125 degrees.)

Move the Tomahawk Steak to the hot side of the grill and sear for one minute on each side, then turn the steak a bit to ensure perfect diamond-shaped grill marks, searing once again on each side.

Serve the steak on a large platter topped with a pat or two of compound butter and watch how dad’s smile matches the size of the Tomahawk Steak!

Compound Butter

The day before use soften 2 sticks of butter to room temperature. Mix in 1 tablespoon of chopped fresh chives (or minced shallots) and 1 tablespoon of dad’s favorite fresh herbs such as parsley, thyme, tarragon. If dad likes spicy food, add a teaspoon of minced jalapeño pepper. Using parchment paper or waxed paper, roll the butter into a log shape, then set in the fridge to chill overnight. Slice the butter into half-inch-thick pats to serve on top of the hot steak.