Only One Beef Sandwich Earns the Name “Optimus Prime” — and We Have the Recipe 

It comes courtesy of COTE Miami Executive Chef David Shim

May 13, 2022 8:30 am
COTE Miami Optimus Prime
COTE Miami Optimus Prime
Gary He

Miami has become home to its own outposts of several NYC restaurant stalwarts of late, from Whitmans to Pastis to Carbone — and COTE Miami celebrating its one-year anniversary back in February is the icing on the cake. But lest you think this Korean steakhouse is just a carbon copy of the Michelin-starred New York location, know this: Miami has transformed COTE in more ways than one. Case in point? A lunch menu that features this behemoth of a beef sambo, appropriately dubbed the Optimus Prime.

“Prime rib is such a staple in steakhouses and we wanted to bring the baddest, using the best ingredients that we can source,” explains Executive Chef David Shim. “We wanted this sandwich to be in your face and decadent.”

And it delivers on the promise. Each sandwich sees a garlic butter-based baguette heaped with a whopping eight ounces of sliced beef and cloaked in Swiss cheese for what Shim characterizes as a pleasant “slight funk.” Accompanied by a house-made horseradish cream, it’s a heroic approach to lunchtime that’s as consequential as the steakhouse’s evening offerings.

Beef is at the heart of this sandwich, and as such, it’s given loads of care. A day ahead of serving, a five-pound prime rib is rubbed in a combo of garlic, salt, and sugar. Left to chill overnight, the beef is slow-cooked in the oven. Crank the heat at the last minute for a reverse sear that basically guarantees tender, delicious, perfectly cooked beef.

COTE’s chefs slice the roasted beef ultra-thin on a slicer, but if your home kitchen lacks this staple piece of deli hardware, Chef Shim suggests either relying on a “super sharp” blade or breaking out an electric knife – you know, the one you keep in a closet from Black Friday til Thanksgiving. And don’t worry if you can’t get those paper-thin slices. 

“If cooked right,” says Shim, “the prime rib should be super tender, and you can slice it a bit thicker as well.”

The recipe below makes enough for ten sandwiches, and while Shim notes that if wrapped tight, any leftover cooked beef will keep three to four days in the fridge, he also stresses that your best bet is to make this recipe to feed a crowd.

“It’s really hard to recreate the magical moment of just-cooked prime rib,” he says. “I would make sure I have enough people over to eat it all!”

COTE Miami Optimus Prime 

For the prime rib

  • 5 pounds prime rib
  • 60 grams (about 20 cloves) garlic, finely minced
  • 120 grams (7 tablespoons) salt
  • 60 grams (5 tablespoons) sugar

For the horseradish cream

  • 170 grams (scant ¾ cup) crème fraiche
  • 170 grams (scant ¾ cup) heavy cream
  • 7 grams (1¼ teaspoon) salt
  • 26 grams (5 teaspoons) lemon juice
  • 3.5 grams (scant 2 teaspoons) lemon zest
  • 130 grams (heaping ½ cup) prepared horseradish
  • 30 grams (5 tablespoons) fresh horseradish, finely microplaned

For the garlic butter

  • 10 grams (about 3 cloves) garlic, chopped
  • 50 grams (3½ tablespoons) butter
  • 50 grams (3 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) olive oil
  • 2 grams (⅓ teaspoon) salt

For each sandwich

  • 8 ounces sliced prime rib roast
  • 1 6½-inch length baguette
  • 2 slices Swiss cheese

The day before, combine the salt rub ingredients, and rub into the meat. Chill overnight.

The next day, wrap the meat very tightly in several layers of plastic wrap, and temper the rib roast at room temperature for at least one hour. (The longer the better).

Preheat the oven to 140º F, and unwrap the beef. Roast for about 6 hours, or until the interior temperature reaches 118º F. At this point, remove the beef from the oven, and increase the oven temperature to 300º F. Once the oven reaches 300º F, return the beef to the oven, and continue cooking for about 5 minutes, or until the beef has a nice, golden crust.

Remove the beef from the oven, and cool to room temperature. Rest at least 1 hour before slicing and serving.

Meanwhile, make the horseradish cream. Fold the crème fraiche, heavy cream, salt, lemon juice, and lemon zest together in a bowl. Wring the liquid out of the prepared horseradish with a kitchen towel, and fold into the mixture. Finally, gently fold in the microplaned fresh horseradish. Season to taste and set aside.

Combine the ingredients for the garlic butter and set aside.

When ready to serve, slice the rib roast as thinly as you can. Halve the baguette without detaching the top from the bottom, and drizzle with a good amount of garlic butter. Toast on the grill or in a pan for about a minute, until toasted. 

Meanwhile, place the portions of prime rib on a sheet tray lined with parchment paper. Top with about a teaspoon of the garlic butter, and place in a low oven for a few minutes, just to bring to temperature.

Remove the prime rib from the oven, and set the oven to broil. Add the cheese to the toasted baguette, broil until just melted, and then add the beef. Top with an ounce of horseradish cream, and serve immediately.


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