For those who love steak but could do without such highbrow formalities as silverware, the beefsteak banquet is a dream come true. These private functions date back to late-19th-century New York City, when they were thrown by politicians or as fundraisers for fire departments and other civic organizations.\r\n\r\nThe format then was simple: Men (and only men) would pay a small entry fee, for which they\u2019d have access to all the beef and beer they could consume. Side dishes were minimal and table settings nonexistent. Steak was cut into bite-sized pieces that the men would eat with their hands, which they would wipe on aprons, rather than napkins.\r\n\r\nProhibition put a hold on beefsteak banquets. Without the promise of beer, gathering around to gorge on steak was less appealing. When they resumed after repeal, things were a little different: Women were more likely to attend, having been granted that right when they got the vote. In a 1939 essay for The New Yorker, writer Joseph Mitchell says their presence made the events tamer, the men less willing to engage in gluttony. Potentially, napkins were introduced, too.\r\n\r\nThe modern history of the beefsteak is one of people looking to reclaim tradition. In the same way that crab boils, fish fries and barbecues are traditional community affairs in the South and the Midwest, beefsteaks are quintessentially New York.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nWaldy Malouf, the senior director of food and beverage operations at The Culinary Institute of America, has been key in spotlighting the dinners. At the school\u2019s Hyde Park, New York, campus, he hosts an annual beefsteak with a few flourishes, like New York State Cheddar. He\u2019s also served as a resource for chefs looking to host their own.\r\n\r\nExecutive Chef Andrew Smith of Riverpark in New York City has been throwing a beefsteak each February since 2016. He says he wanted to do something both festive and warming for the winter months, so he talked to Malouf about hosting one of the banquets, and then developed a menu that combined the advice he received with his own approach.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s kind of in keeping with our rustic side,\u201d Smith says, noting that he was inspired by \u201cbig, whole, primal animals, sausages.\u201d\r\n\r\nThe Riverpark beefsteak starts off with peel-and-eat shrimp, Caesar salad and bread with whipped bone marrow and lardo. The main event is a leg of lamb, standing rib roast, carrots, radishes and potatoes. Smith sources beer locally and serves Bourbon, too.\r\n\r\n\u201cIt\u2019s one of those menus that I don\u2019t mess around with a lot,\u201d he says.\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s more than one way to throw a beefsteak, and we\u2019ve taken a wine-soaked approach. Read on to learn about more traditions, what to serve and why wine\u2014particularly Cabernet Sauvignon is the accompaniment beefsteak\u2019s been missing.\r\n\r\n\r\nPick Your Sides\r\nIf you can\u2019t live on steak and bread alone, try some of these ideas that are in keeping with the meal\u2019s traditional spirit.\r\n\r\n \tCaesar salad\r\n \tCarrot and celery sticks\r\n \tCrab, grapefruit and avocado salad\r\n \tGarlic bread\r\n \tLiver p\u00e2t\u00e9\r\n \tMelba toast\r\n \tRadishes with butter\r\n \tRoasted carrots and potatoes\r\n \tOlives and cornichons\r\n \tShrimp cocktail\r\n \tSharp Cheddar\r\n \tTomato and cucumber salad\r\n\r\nTable Talk\r\nGetting aprons for all your guests to wear (and mess up) is a fun idea and makes a great party favor, but we still recommend departing from tradition and providing napkins. Keep table settings simple with a fork and steak knife; cut all food to finger- or at least single-serving-sized portions and present it on platters with serving implements. You may want to put out steak or Worcestershire sauce, mustard or horseradish, plus salt and pepper, but skip any other condiments and table d\u00e9cor. This will be an animated meal with lots of talking and reaching over the table for more helpings, so make it easy on your guests by keeping clutter to a minimum.\r\n\r\n\r\nStyle Guide\r\nIn the world of beefsteak are three distinct schools, serving different accompaniments.\r\n\r\n \tNew Jersey: The simplest of all, this banquet is just French fries and beef served on slices of sandwich bread. There\u2019s a tradition of stacking the bread, rather than eating it, to keep track of how much steak one has eaten.\r\n \tEast Side: A true meatfest, this type of beefsteak is likely to have lamb chops, bacon-wrapped kidney and sliders in addition to the main steak event, plus French bread to soak it all up.\r\n \tWest Side: This slightly more refined version is the inspiration for many modern beefsteaks. It starts off with crab salad, crudit\u00e9 and maybe shrimp cocktail, and the steak course also includes liver, baked potatoes and toast.\r\n\r\nWhat to Drink\r\nBeer: This is the traditional option. A brown ale, like Samuel Smith\u2019s Nut Brown Ale, will have the malty richness to stand up to the meal, and its round caramel notes won\u2019t overwhelm the way a hop-forward IPA might. A lager, like Jack\u2019s Abby Craft Lagers\u2019 Post Shift Pilsner, with just a hint of spicy grain, also makes a palate-cleansing accompaniment.\r\n\r\nWhiskey: Bourbon, like a brown ale, will provide a smooth, round backdrop to all that meat. If you want to invoke a New York state of mind, try Prohibition Distillery\u2019s Bootlegger 21 New York Bourbon Whiskey or Droptine 12 Point Bourbon Whiskey, which is aged in brandy barrels.\r\n\r\nWine: Could there be anything but Cabernet? Go for a big-bodied Napa Cab whose body and structure will go toe-to-toe with all that meat. This spread has relatively straightforward flavors, so a top-shelf wine will really shine. Don\u2019t be afraid to dig into your cellar.\r\n\r\n\r\nRoasted Leg of Lamb\r\nCourtesy Andrew Smith, executive chef, Riverpark, New York City\r\n\r\nA yogurt marinade tenderizes and adds flavor. Be sure to use a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the leg to check doneness, rather than going by eye or feel. Save the bone for dog treats or soup stock.\r\n\r\n \t1 7\u00bd-pound bone-in leg of lamb\r\n \t8 ounces plain Greek yogurt\r\n \t\u00bc cup salt, plus more for seasoning\r\n \tZest of 2 lemons\r\n \t\u00bd cup chopped mint\r\n \t2 tablespoons ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning\r\n \t1 tablespoon garlic powder\r\n \t1 tablespoon onion powder\r\n \t6 medium red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces\r\n \t4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces\r\n\r\nHeat oven to 375\u02daF. Pat lamb dry with paper towels. In large mixing bowl, combine yogurt with all spices, and rub all over lamb meat. Place vegetables in bottom of roasting pan with lamb on top. Cook until meat reaches an internal temperature of 135\u02daF for medium, about 2 hours.\r\n\r\nRemove from oven and let sit 20 minutes before carving. Season vegetables with salt and pepper, to taste. To carve lamb, wrap kitchen towel around top part of bone, and hold it in non-dominant hand. With other hand, use sharp knife to slice downward, making slices as thin as possible.\u00a0 Arrange slices on serving platter. Serves 10\u201312.