Friday, September 7, 2018

Irish Tomahawk Steak

I love food and cooking, but I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about different foods. Still, I sort of thought I had a handle on beef, until I was in my all-time favorite supermarket in Ireland—Fields in Skibbereen—and met a display of tomahawk steaks.

I was boggled, and a bit intimidated by them. They’re BIG, and they do look a bit like tomahawks, or at least like a weapon. Here’s Fields’ description of them (for others like me who have no idea what the thing is or what to do with it). Beware: there is a large chunk of rib bone attached, so if you’re squeamish, be prepared.

The ideal sharing steak for a romantic meal?
Since I have a new oven and stovetop at my cottage (whose instructions I am still wrestling with), I and my traveling companion Marcia Armstrong decided we should give it a try. (Note: she did the cooking, while I observed, and most of the pictures are hers.)

Irish Tomahawk Rib-Eye Steak


1 tomahawk rib-eye steak
Kosher salt and pepper
1 head garlic (we used local garlic from the farmers market)
2 Tblsp olive oil
4 Tblsp butter


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Pat the steak dry and let it come to room temperature. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Roast the garlic: slice off the top of a head, drizzle with olive oil, then wrap in foil. Roast for 30 minutes, until the cloves are soft. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Wrap a damp paper towel around the steak rib bone, then wrap the bone with foil (so it doesn’t burn in the oven).

In a heavy skillet, heat the olive oil over high, then lay the steak into it and sear for one minute (admittedly this could be a challenge, since the bone will stick out of the pan and you want to get the steak flat inside the pan, but do the best you can). Lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes (don’t move it around).

Turn the steak over and cook for another 3 minutes.

Put the seared steak on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.

It’s up to you how rare you want it. Most of us don’t go on vacation with a meat thermometer, so you’ll have to guess, or poke it to see how springy it is. Remember that it will continue to cook for another few minutes after you remove it from the pan.

While the steak is in the oven, melt the butter in the skillet you used for the steak and squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the butter, stirring.

When the steak is ready, take it out of the oven and put it back in the skillet and baste with the garlic butter. Turn and baste the other side. Put it on a cutting board, cover it with foil, and let it rest for a few minutes.

Slice and drizzle the garlic butter sauce over it and serve.

It was delicious! And though I bought the smallest steak in the selection at the market, it was still enough for two meals for hungry meat-eaters.

I wonder if I’ll ever find one again? Have you ever seen one in your market?

The Lost Traveller, the next County Cork Mystery, will be released in January 2019!


  1. I haven't seen a Tomahawk steak. I'll have to look out for it.

  2. I showed this to my hubby. He said he has seen these in Sam's Club. Sam's calls them 'Cowboy Rib-eye' [we are in Oklahoma after all :) ]. They run about 2 to 4 lbs. Hubby said he'd never bought one because he didn't know how to cook it. But he likes your recipe, so I've saved and printed it off. I won't be too surprised if we don't have one one of these days soon.
    Thank you.

  3. My husband and I have been trying to shift towards eating more healthily and more plant based meals. That said, we enjoy the occasional steak and this looks like an awesome dish for our rare indulgence.

  4. I have seen them advertised in specialty markets.
    That's a hunk of meat! Good for you for finding it on sale.
    The garlic sauce sounds perfect.

  5. Would make a good murder weapon! I have never heard of Tomahawk Steaks, but now I REALLY want one. Great post, Sheila.

    1. Like Roald Dahl's Lamb to the Slaughter where the wife kills her husband with a frozen leg of lamb and then cooks it and serves it to the investigating police!

  6. I've not seen tomahawk steaks before. I love seeing & hearing about your Ireland food adventures.