The Magnum Opus of Grilling
The Dish: The Man Steak
Editor’s Note: We order meat online, snack on artisanal jerky and braise briskets the size of torsos. But if we’re meat freaks, Tom Mylan, owner of The Meat Hook butcher shop in Brooklyn, NY, is a like a beef cardinal. This recipe for a multi-person steak was excerpted from his meat-based primer, The Meat Hook Meat Book
The Man Steak is The Meat Hook’s reification of the grand pinbone steak of times of yore. It was once a common cut among butchers who aged whole drop loins in their cold boxes and cut the massive multiperson steaks for men who truly appreciated their beef. But the age of cryovaced box beef has seen the whole sirloin fall out of favor in deference to the now ubiquitous top sirloin, which is the boneless heart of the Man Steak.
Comprised of the sirloin with all of its various muscles intact (including the tenderloin), the Man Steak is a thing to behold. With a typical specimen weighing in at more than five pounds, it is not for the faint of heart. It takes steady nerves and an iron constitution to see it through the lengthy grilling process. Take heart, intrepid grillmaster! Because of its mass and thickness, the Man Steak suffers neglect better than any normal steak, allowing margins of error to be measured in minutes rather than seconds. And its sheer size invokes a sense of theater that will bowl over even the most snobbish of steak connoisseurs no matter how overcooked it may be.
We hope we inspire a new generation of butchers and home cooks to dust off this lost page of American beef history and enjoy the last bit of the drop loin in the way it should truly be experienced.
To cook a Man Steak, you must first find a butcher who can cut you a pinbone or flat-bone sirloin steak. This is harder than you might think, so call around before you go. Have the butcher cut the steak at least two inches thick, but three inches is better.
The Man Steak
Serves 6 to 10
One 2- to 3-inch-thick pinbone sirloin, 3 to 5 pounds
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. At least 2 hours before you plan to grill it, salt and pepper your monster of a steak aggressively, then let it sit out. Please don’t ignore this step or the steak will cook unevenly. 2. Now, fire up your grill so that you have nice, even, medium heat. 3. Lay the steak in the center of your grill and flip it every 2 to 3 minutes for about 15 minutes before you start checking it with a digital instant-read thermometer. You’re shooting for 125° to 135°F. The thicker the steak, the longer this will take; just be patient and bask in the aura of grilling the biggest steak in the world. Rest the steak for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. Ideally, the Man Steak is served with nothing else at all.