One of the absolute best steaks at sea isn't even found inside of a steakhouse. It is found on Viking Ocean cruises' Italian restarant Manfredi's and it is a perfect combination of ambiance, meat, rub, and preparation ... as well as service of course too. While it might be beyond most people's budget to plan a cruise around a steak, I wouldn't fault any of you who might choose to do that. For the rest of us, don't worry ... here's the recipe so you can make the world famous Viking Cruises Porcini Dry-Rubbed Rib Eye at home.
Manfredi's on Viking Ocean cruises is one of two specialiaty restaurants that is available - other dining venues include the World Cafe buffet and the very aptly named The Restaurant, which is their version of the Main Dining Room. Along with Manfredi's is the Chef's Table restuarnat, which features a rotating selection of tasting menus based on the region of the world where you are exploring. For instance, on our California Coastal cruise, the menue included California Cuisine and two different Asian menus. Manfredi's however features a set menu throughout the cruise and is configured so if you want to try a bunch of different things you can actually do half portions.
Reservations are required but after 8:30 on our voyage they were able to accept walk-ins on an as-available basis. Guests booked in Deluxe Veranda and higher can pre-book at least one dinner before ariving on the ship but otherwise, we highly encourage you to visit Manfredi's as one of the first things you do after boarding a Viking Ocean vessel so you can make reservations.
On our cruise, we were able to make two reservations and do one as a walk-in. It was totally worth it!
One of the weird twists that frankly makes Viking Ocean that much more personal and interesting is that this venue is named after a compettor. In this case, it was named after Silversea Cruises chairman Manfredi Lefebvre d'Ovidio who in exchange named a spot on a Silversea's ship "Tor's Observation Library". The world of cruising is cuthroat but at the end of the day, it is a very close family too.
Porchini Dry-Rubbed Rib Eye Recipe
I am personally split on whether or not I love the rub. It is very distinctive and on some bites I felt a classic salt and pepper prepareation would have been prefered but after having the chef prepare it that way on my next visit ... I wished for it the way Tor intended (and so I ordered it that way next time!). At home though, you have the opportunity to tweak the recipe to your own preference.
Here is the official Viking Ocean recipe for how to make their famous porcini dry-rubbed ribeye steak.
This recipe is designed to create a table-sliced four pound bone-in ribeye to share. However, at Manfredi's the steaks are served individually and I found you can even request in advance to have a smaller or larger portion if that was your preference. They were extremely accomodating.
Porcini Dry Rub Ingredients:
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ C (6 g) dry porcini mushrooms
- 2 Tbsp (25 g) light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp (10 g) ground pepper
- 2 tsp (6 g) red chili flakes
- 1 Tbsp (15 g) kosher salt
- 2 tsp (5 g) garlic powder
- 2 lemons, quartered
- 2 C (40 g) loosely packed arugula
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt flakes
- Freshly ground pepper
Brush steaks with oil; set aside.
Grind porcini in a food processor until fine; transfer to bowl and add sugar, pepper, chili flakes, salt and garlic powder; combine. Generously sprinkle mix on steaks (save any extra for other use), and rub into meat. Place steaks in a resealable plastic bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, and refrigerate at least 8 hours or up to 2 days.
Preheat grill to medium.
Drain any liquid from steak; pat dry gently. Let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before grilling to your desired degree of doneness.
Let rest tented with foil 5 minutes before slicing. Meanwhile, grill lemons until well marked. Place arugula in a medium bowl and squeeze one of grilled lemon pieces over the top. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss.
Slice steak and fan out on a plate, sprinkling with a little sea salt. Garnish with grilled lemon quarter and serve salad alongside.
Prep time: 8 minutes.
Cook time: 15–20 minutes.
Makes 6 servings.
There you have it, while I can't wait to sail with Viking Ocean again, this recipe will help tide me over till our next cruise!