Tomahawk Chops with Sweet Potato Purée

“Tomahawk chops” is the name given to a bone-in rib eye steaks. It’s so called because once a beefy rib chop has been frenched—cleaned of excess tissue to uncover the bones—it resembles an American Indian tomahawk. This isn’t a common fixture on menus these days, although the mammoth, almost Flintstonian chops make occasional appearances at steakhouses and are priced at a premium.–Spike Mendelsohn

LC Wish Bone Note

We know that traditionally the wish bone is found on poultry, although we can’t help but think that the bone from a hefty rib eye of mammoth proportions is sort of a wish bone as well–though in this case it seems our wish has already come true.

Tomahawk Chops with Sweet Potato Purée

Tomahawk Beef Rib Chop
Spike Mendelsohn

Prep 10 mins
Cook 1 hr 20 mins
Total 1 hr 30 mins
6 to 8 servings
5 from 1 vote
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For the sweet potato puree

  • 8 medium sweet potatoes
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tomahawk chops

  • 3 about 2 lbs each tomahawk chops (that is to say, humongous bone-in rib eye steaks that have been frenched)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for brushing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Make the sweet potato purée

  • Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C).
  • Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork in several places and roast until tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
  • Slice open the potatoes, scoop out the cooked flesh, and place in a bowl. Add the butter, honey, and brown sugar and, using an electric mixer, beat until smooth. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

Prepare the tomahawk chops

  • Preheat grill to high for indirect-heat grilling or place a heavy grill pan or skillet over medium-high heat and preheat the oven to 350°F (176°C).
  • Just before cooking, brush both sides of the tomahawk chops with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

    If grilling: Arrange the steaks directly over the heat and grill for 2 minutes on each side. Transfer the steaks to the indirect heat side of the grill. Cover the grill and finish cooking the steaks until a meat thermometer registers the desired doneness, 120°F (49°C) for rare or 130°F (54°C) for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to a platter and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

    If cooking on the stove top: Sear the steaks for 2 minutes on each side, then transfer to the oven and cook to the desired doneness. Transfer the steaks to a platter and tent with aluminum foil. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  • To serve, slice the tomahawk chops, keeping the meat from each steak separate. Sort of recreate the steak by stacking the slices back against the bone. Pass the sweet potato purée separately.
Print RecipeBuy the How to Cook Like a Top Chef cookbook

Want it? Click it.

Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This recipe is fairly simple; almost foolproof, and the tomahawk chop itself makes for a very impressive display at the dinner table. To get the perfect steak, start here and then follow with the “Steak Grilling 101” video by David Leite and Jamie Purviance. I really like the sweet potato puree because it doesn’t have a lot of spices commonly added to preparations similar to this. Its rich smoothness is a great match to this and other grilled meats. The puree was a bit soft, so if you’re concerned about that, and the fat content, you could probably get away with one less stick of butter and improve the consistency at the same time.

Originally published October 25, 2010


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  1. I am putting my shoes on now for my insomniac’s trip to 24 hr King Sooper grocery store. I have got to have this tomahawk for my 4am breakfast, might add some blue cheese to the sweet potatoes and drop a couple of soft poached eggs on top?! This looks out of sight!

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