Chef Angie Mar’s bold, unapologetic cuisine is just what you need to shake up your holiday feast this season. Mar is the chef-owner of New York's historic Beatrice Inn, a contemporary chop house where she showcases big flavors and dramatic presentations on a menu built on whole-animal butchery. Meat is a central piece of Mar’s culinary identity, simply because it’s what she loves to eat. “I don’t believe that anybody should ever be cooking with things that they don’t want to cook or they’re not passionate about,” she says.
While she’s all about over-the-top nights out on the town, Mar also holds dear the importance of dinners at home with family, instilled in her at an early age. She was raised in Seattle in a large family of restaurateurs, most notably her aunt Ruby Chow, owner of a self-named restaurant and a well-known activist who helped bring Chinese-American dining into the mainstream. Mar often cooked with Chow and other family members, planting the seed for her meat-centric approach.
“There was never a time that there was not a steak on our table or a rib roast on Sunday or ducks on Thanksgiving,” she says.
Mar didn’t venture into a professional culinary career until about 10 years ago, after a decade of working in Los Angeles real estate, feeling an instinctive pull to the kitchen. “There’s something about hospitality,” Mar says. “You can learn hospitality, but when it’s in your blood, when it’s in your DNA, I just think it’s what you should be doing.”
Her recently released first cookbook, Butcher and Beast: Mastering the Art of Meat, unites those passions for extravagant restaurant dining and intimate family meals, making the recipes ideal for the holidays. Dive head-first into Mar’s wild, carnivorous world with her dry-aged côte de boeuf with blistered blackberries, garlic confit and charred prawn butter—a staple at Beatrice Inn.
Layering textures, flavors and techniques, this recipe draws inspiration from the surf-n-turf cuisine of classic steak houses and turns it into one cohesive dish. “You take those two ideas, you’ve got shellfish and you’ve got beef, and you turn it into something different,” says Mar.
The star of the show is dry-aged côte de boeuf, also known as bone-in rib eye. Seek out beef that’s been aged for at least 45 days, but if you can’t find that at your local butcher, Mar suggests ordering from premium online supplier Pat LaFrieda.
The cut gets seared in rendered bone marrow, then that flavor-coated pan is used to blister berries with garlic confit and fresh thyme. The garlic brings a sweetness that can only be achieved after hours of baking in oil, and if you’re hoping for a shortcut, you’re out of luck. “There are no shortcuts in life, or in cooking,” Mar says.
Spooned over the steak is a butter made from whole charred prawns pureed in a food processor—shells and all. “I always think that every bit of the animal should be used,” Mar says. “And the shells give it a little bit of a texture, it’ll give it a little bit of a crunch, and also flavor.”
The fruit and herbs, along with fresh vanilla bean seeds, accent the rich, hearty elements in a way Mar describes as masculine-meets-feminine. “It’s more nuanced, it’s more delicate, it makes you think a little bit,” she says.
Vanilla may seem like a surprising choice here, but to Mar, it’s natural. “In my head it just makes sense,” she says. “[Vanilla] can be quite savory when it’s used in the right applications.”
For home cooks, Mar says one of the most important things is tempering your beef before it’s cooked and letting it rest after. “Letting your meat come up to room temperature for a good two hours before you cook it really helps because you’re going to get an even cooking temperature all the way through,” she says. “And then also resting the meat. I always say a good rule of thumb is to rest our meat for 50 percent of the time that it took to cook it.”
For a wine pairing, Mar chose Domaine Peyre Rose Coteaux du Languedoc Marlene No. 3 2005 from France’s Languedoc-Roussillon region, because it embodies that masculine-meets-feminine theme through its exceptional balance. “It’s got enough earthiness to it that it really complements the dry-aged beef, yet the tannins are just kind of perfect in that it cleanses your palate and makes you want to eat more, and that’s what all great wine should do.”
Below, Wine Spectator offers additional French wine picks with similar profiles of dark fruit flavors and earthy notes, including some Châteauneuf-du-Pape. As Mar says, “No one’s ever gonna go wrong with Châteauneuf-du-Pape.”
Dry-Aged Côte de Boeuf with Blistered Blackberries, Garlic Confit and Charred Prawn Butter
Reprinted with permission from Butcher and Beast: Mastering the Art of Meat by Angie Mar with Jamie Feldmar, copyright © 2019. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House.
For the rendered bone marrow:
- 6 beef marrow bones, cut into 3 1/2-inch pieces
For the garlic confit:
- 8 heads garlic
- 4 cups extra-virgin olive oil
For the côte de boeuf:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 large head-on tiger prawns
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Seeds of 1/4 vanilla bean
- 6 tablespoons rendered bone marrow
- 1 26- to 28-ounce aged bone-in côte de boeuf or rib eye
- Kosher salt
- 1 pint blackberries
- 8 cloves garlic confit
- 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
- Freshly ground black pepper
1. Prepare the rendered bone marrow: Put the bones in a large bowl with enough cold water to cover and let them soak in the refrigerator. Drain and re-cover with cold water every hour for 3 hours to purge them of any blood. Preheat oven to 425° F. Arrange the marrow bones in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until deep brown in color and the marrow is no longer pink, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove the bones from the oven. Pour any of the marrow that has rendered into liquid form out of the pan into a bowl. When the bones are cool enough to handle, scoop out any solid pieces of marrow into a small saucepan. Place the saucepan over low heat and slowly melt the marrow solids in the pan until liquid, then add them to the bowl with the other rendered marrow. Pour the liquid marrow through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any solid particles or bone fragments. Reserve 6 tablespoons and transfer the remainder to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
2. Prepare the garlic confit: Preheat the oven to 210° F. Trim the garlic heads slightly at the top (opposite the root end), just enough to expose a little bit of the clove, then break apart all the cloves with your hands, discarding the root ends. Place the cloves in a roasting pan or an ovenproof saucepot large enough to fit the garlic in a single layer, but small enough that the oil will fully cover it. Add the oil, then cover with a cartouche (a sheet of parchment paper cut into a round to fit the size and shape of the saucepot) and cover the pan with foil. Transfer to the oven and bake until the garlic is very soft, sweet and fragrant, about 3 1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and allow garlic to cool. Reserve 8 cloves and pack the remainder into an airtight container, ensuring the garlic cloves are fully submerged in oil (add a bit more if necessary). Store the excess garlic covered in oil in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
3. Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a small sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the prawns and cook until deep brown and caramelized, turning once, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the heat and roughly chop the prawns (including the shell). Transfer to a food processor and add the butter and vanilla seeds. Pulse to combine until smooth. Set aside.
4. In a large ovenproof sauté pan, heat the rendered bone marrow over high heat. Season the steak liberally on both sides with salt. Add to the pan and sear, turning once, for about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast, turning 2 to 3 times, until medium-rare (a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the rib eye, away from the bone, should read 110° F), about 10 minutes. Transfer the steak to a rack or cutting board (set the sauté pan aside but don’t wash it yet) and let the steak rest for 10 to 12 minutes.
5. Set the reserved sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the berries and garlic confit and sauté until blistered and just warmed through, about 90 seconds. Add the thyme at the end to fry and finish with a few cracks of black pepper.
6. Cut the steak against the grain into 1/4-inch-thick slices and arrange on a platter. Spoon dollops of the prawn butter over the steak. Top with the berries, garlic confit and thyme. Serves 2.
8 French Reds
Note: The following list is a selection of outstanding and very good French red wines from recently rated releases. For the wines best from 2021 on, you can also seek out older vintages, or decant or pour the wines in advance of the meal to allow them some time to open up. More options can be found in our Wine Ratings Search.
DOMAINE JULIETTE AVRIL
Score: 92 | $35
WS review: Ripe and alluring, the soft edge though the core of gently mulled plum and blackberry fruit flavors is persistent here. Hints of ganache, alder and black tea weave in on the finish, where the fruit detail takes an encore. Best from 2021 through 2032. 3,333 cases made. From France.—James Molesworth
Score: 92 | $33
WS review: Juicy and ripe, featuring layers of plum, red currant and raspberry pâte de fruit flavors, lined liberally with sage, bay leaf and tobacco hints. Reveals a flash of brick dust on the finish, which shows good minerally cut. Very solid, with a pleasant old-school hint. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Best from 2020 through 2030. 5,000 cases made. From France.—J.M.
Chinon Les Picasses 2014
Score: 91 | $31
WS review: Dark and developed, this red features integrated tannins on a well-knit structure, while acidity underscores the ripe dark berry fruit and imparts good energy. Savory herbal notes emerge on the long finish. Drink now through 2025. 1,000 cases imported. From France.—Aleks Zecevic
DOMAINE DE MOURCHON
Côtes du Rhône-Villages Séguret Grande Réserve 2015
Score: 90 | $29
WS review: Polished, with a beam of cassis and cherry preserves gliding through, with light floral and vanilla accents along the way. Has some sneaky length and depth too, with a kick of graphite hanging on through the finish. Drink now through 2021. 2,500 cases made. From France.—J.M.
Malbec Cahors Château de Mercuès 2016
Score: 90 | $25
WS review: A minerally undertone gives depth to the raspberry reduction and red plum compote flavors of this concentrated, focused red, with infusions of floral, tea and herb on the plush finish. Drink now through 2024. 8,500 cases made. From France.—Gillian Sciaretta.
Languedoc Art de Vivre 2015
Score: 90 | $20
WS review: Polished, supple tannins support the black cherry, red plum and wild raspberry notes of this juicy red, with savory touches of mineral and herb on the clean finish. Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2022. 35,000 cases made. From France.—G.S.
JEAN-LOUIS CHAVE SÉLECTION
Côtes du Rhône Mon Coeur 2017
Score: 90 | $22
WS review: Bold dark cherry compote flavors are liberally laced with violet, savory and singed anise notes. Features a nice flash of warm earth through the finish. Syrah, Grenache and Mourvèdre. Drink now through 2021. 15,000 cases made. From France.—J.M.
Minervois La Livinière La Touge 2017
Score: 88 | $19
WS review: A dusty, earthy undertone accents the dried raspberry and currant flavors in this medium- to full-bodied red, with tea, olive and mineral notes chiming in on the moderately tannic finish. Syrah and Grenache. Drink now through 2022. 3,000 cases made. From France.—G.S.