BY; CHEF BERNHARD KLOTZ
HOW IT STARTED
Not many people know how we actually started Prime 7.
Let me explain.
One day my boss, Franco Semeraro informed me that Frank Del Rio would like to have the best, classic American steakhouse at sea. I thought it would be a nice challenge, so I studied all the high end steakhouses in America and put a menu together. I was very proud of the menu, but I thought it would never be approved because of the high cost of the ingredients that I selected. Within five minutes of sending this email to my bosses, I was told that they loved the menu and I should check to see if we can get all the ingredients delivered consistently to all of our vessels around the globe. I quickly contacted my colleagues, and the corporate Chefs and I started putting the recipes together.
All the beef is USDA Prime and dry-aged for at least 28 days to ensure the ultimate tenderness. Our sole beef supplier for Prime 7 is Creekstone Farms. Creekstone is one of America’s top suppliers of high-end Angus beef. The cattle are all-American from the Midwest, raised without being given any antibiotics or hormones. The top steakhouses in the U.S. offer Creekstone Farms’ beef on their menus.
A perfectly prepared steak is not magic, but a culinary delight for gourmets. Aboard cruise ships we use electric grills, compared to most of the shoreside steakhouses that use gas grills. At home you might use your barbecue grill, and if not, I suggest you use a skillet (preferably cast iron) to prepare your steak.
The beef should be removed from the refrigerator at least thirty minutes before preparation so that it can adapt to room temperature. Make sure you pat the steak dry with a paper towel before seasoning. Some chefs do not season their steaks before cooking, while other chefs prefer to marinate them. On board Regent’ vessels, we season the steak just before cooking. (We have a special spice mixture that we use.)
The best way to cook perfect steaks is to use dry heat. Dry heat cooking causes the exterior of the steak to brown and caramelize (“Dry heat” cooking is precisely what you might expect it to be: cooking without adding additional moisture like water, broth or wine, and it’s typically associated with grilling, broiling, pan-frying and baking.) This is partly as a result of the sugars in the meat and partly due to our spice mix enhancing the process by having so little sugar in the mixture.
Grill or pan-fry the steak on both sides. The roasting time depends on how you like your meat prepared. The best thing to do is to use a meat thermometer. The temperature should be:
- 120˚F for Rare
- 130˚F for Medium Rare
- 140˚F for Medium
- 160˚F for Well Done
When the steaks are done to your liking, remove them from the grill or pan and let them sit for about 10 minutes before serving. This makes a big difference on the tenderness of the meat. If served immediately, the meat might be a bit tough. Therefore, it is very important to let the meat rest before serving.
There’s nothing more delicious than a perfectly cooked steak accompanied with a glass of your favorite wine. Each steak deserves a unique wine pairing to bring out the best flavors and textures. The classic wine choices to pair with grilled steaks are big, bold red wines, especially Cabernet Sauvignon and California Zinfandel.
Many experts recommend Cabernet Sauvignon because of the fruit flavors, tannins and acidity which provide a good contrast to the meat. Besides Cabernet Sauvignon, I love a spicy Red Zinfandel to pair with steaks that contain relatively good amounts of fat. Rib Eye, T-Bone and Porterhouse steaks are ideal partners for Californian Zinfandels. My favorite brands are the Hartford Old Vine Zinfandel from our Connoisseur wine list and the Beran Napa Valley Zinfandel, which is part of the complimentary beverage program. Both are incredible wines and we are proud to have them aboard our vessels.
Hartford Family Winery was founded in 1994 as a result of Don and Jennifer Hartford’s appreciation for the wines, the people, and the unique vineyards near their Russian River Valley home.
Joe Wagner formed Copper Cane Wine & Provisions in January 2014, with the goal of focusing on innovations that have always captured his interest, and to find new ways to offer the highest quality products that satisfy consumers’ appetites for genuine craftsmanship. Beran Napa Valley Zinfandel is a result of that vision.
BRINGING PRIME 7 HOME
PRIME 7 T-BONE OR BONE-IN RIB STEAK RECIPE
4 18-ounce T-Bone or Bone-in rib steaks
4 tablespoons spice mixture
4 tablespoons vegetable oil for grilling
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room
6 teaspoons kosher salt
¾ teaspoon ground black peppercorn
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
In a small bowl, combine all of your seasonings and set aside. 30 minutes prior to cooking, remove your steaks from refrigeration and place on a clean cooking sheet or plate. Preheat your oven to 400˚F. To get a nice sear and crust on your steak, pat dry your steaks with a paper towel. From there, go ahead and heat your skillet to a medium-high level. Season your steaks generously with the spices you set aside and place the steak into the skillet for 4 minutes on each side. Once seared, transfer the skillet to your oven and for an extra indulgence, add a tablespoon of unsalted butter on top of the steak. Continue cooking in the oven until you reach your desired temperature. Use a thermometer and remove 5 degrees prior to your preference because the meat will continue cooking when you take it out of the oven. The meat will need to rest in order to retain more juice and relax from the high heat. After 10 minutes of resting, you are ready to enjoy.
JACK DANIELS STEAK SAUCE RECIPE
yields 10 ounces
5 ½ ounces finely chopped onions
1 ½ cloves finely minced garlic
1 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
½ tablespoon brown sugar
½ tablespoon Coleman’s
dry mustard powder
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
4 tablespoons whiskey
2 ½ ounces kecap manis (sweet soy sauce)
2 ½ ounces ketchup
½ teaspoon Tabasco
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a skillet, sweat your garlic and onions over low heat until they are translucent. Add the brown sugar and mustard to the skillet and simmer for 2 minutes before deglazing the pan with the apple cider vinegar. Once the mixture is almost dry, spoon in the kecap manis and ketchup. After 2 minutes of simmering, add in the whiskey, fresh ground pepper, and Tabasco. Simmer the sauce for 1-2 minutes before removing it from the heat. Pour it into a sauce dish and serve at room temperature.
POTATO GRATIN RECIPE
This is a perfect and simple side dish to go with your steaks.
1 ½ pounds Yukon Gold potatoes
7 ounces heavy cream
8 ounces milk
1 ounce butter
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
4 ounces Gruyere cheese
Preheat the oven to 340˚F and prepare a shallow baking dish by coating the inside with a thin layer of butter and set it aside. In a large bowl, combine the milk and heavy cream. Using a mandoline slicer, thinly slice your potatoes and toss them into the milk and cream to prevent them from turning brown. Season them with the salt, pepper, and nutmeg (you can add garlic or a fresh sprig of thyme to the mixture if you like as well). Pour the potatoes and cream into the baking dish and top them off by sprinkling them with the Gruyere cheese. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake in the oven for 1 hour or until the potatoes are almost tender. Remove the foil and continue to bake until they are tender and the top is a beautiful golden brown.
GREEN ASPARAGUS WITH TRUFFLE RECIPE
Another favorite of mine is to cover the truffle green asparagus with Hollandaise sauce.
11 ounces green asparagus
1 ¾ ounces unsalted butter
½ tablespoon truffle paste
1 pinch finely ground black pepper
1 pinch kosher salt
Remove your asparagus from the fridge and wash them before setting them on a plate or cutting board. Remove the hard ends at the bottom with a sharp knife. Combine the butter and truffle paste in a small bowl and whip until it doubles in size and is fluffy. In a pot of boiling water, blanch your asparagus in lightly salted water for approximately 1 minute. Remove the pot from the heat and the asparagus from the boiling water. Heat the whipped truffle butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and sauté until they are well coated with the butter. Remove from the heat and serve.