Grab yourself a chunk of bife ancho. Have it? Good. Now slice off the spinalis dorsi, longissimus costarum, and multifidus dorsi. Please be careful with the spinalis dorsi, that’s special. Ask any beef aficionado and they’ll tell you that it is one of “the” most tender muscles off of our beloved beef providers. Now, if you did everything right, you should have on your cutting board a nice slab of ojo de bife, the Longissimus dorsi muscle. Well that’s the official ojo de bife cut according to SENASA [PDF Page 2]. For some, ojo de bife is hardly any different than bife ancho.
If you’ve read anything on this site then you probably know I’m a bit loose with the term favorite. Much to your displeasure, I’m going to drop the word again. Ojo de bife is one of my favorite cuts. In fact, I like it more than bife ancho. But wait, how can I like ojo de bife more when it’s missing all that dorsi-whatever that is actually prized by beef lovers? Bife ancho has its place deep in my heart, but ojo de bife is so much more versatile without all of that surrounding fat and membranes. Although rib eye does not shine much past medium rare, at well done it is much more palatable than say tenderloin. And, while I’m comparing tenderloin, rib eye has so much more flavor. For those reasons, I will more often than not, choose rib eye for any recipes calling for tenderloin.