Monday, August 26, 2013

How to Grill the Perfect Rib Eye with Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes

I found out I was being featured as Grill Master of the month for the American Grillmaster Experience. I was so excited I couldn't think of a better way to celebrate than creating a blog post on how to grill my favorite steak, Rib Eye.

This is one of my absolute favorites. It has wonderful marbling, an exquisite taste, and a really fast cook time. Steaks are great on their own but when you throw in my favorite side dish; Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes the only out come can be magnificent.

For this feature I wanted to grill up 4 different types of rib eyes. I went to my local butcher shop that supplies locally raised grass fed cattle. I bought one bone in and one boneless. I also grabbed the USDA approved Ranchers Reserve from my nearest Vons just so I could test the taste between the 4. Some say grilling with the bone in adds more flavor and is also more cost effective. I can't wait to find out for myself.

I also just got in my rubs from Big Poppa Smokers which I can't wait to use on both the potatoes and the steak, so let's get started.

For this experience I am using one bag of Kingsford original charcoal. I do not like the flavored kind but I am going to throw in 2 wood chunks. One Apple and one Hickory will give the meat and potatoes that extra smoky barbecue flavor.

I like to use my charcoal fire starter; this you can find at any Home Depot, Kohls, Walmart, or Target. I wet a paper towel with olive oil placing it in the middle of the layers of coal and lighting it. Don't put in too much or it won't light, it needs oxygen to get going. Once the paper is almost fully burned and the coals are white hot I'll throw them on top of the coals I have on the barbecue and then close the lid. Depending on the size of your grill you may need to do this more than once.

First I start with the potatoes. I like a bag of 12 to 15 baby golden potatoes. I will scrub them under running water, half them and then throw them into a pot of water. We will be putting the entire pot on the grill so make sure it does not have a handle that might melt or catch on fire.

Once they're all cut I smash and add in about 6 to 8 garlic cloves. I don't chop them up, I just smash them so they can be peeled and then throw them in the water.

Next grab 3 to 4 sprigs of fresh Rosemary, take your knife and lightly braise them before throwing them into the water this will help release some of the flavor. Lastly add in a palm full of salt and then let it sit.

Now the best part. The meat. I got 4 different cuts from 2 different sources because I wanted to compare the flavors and marbling between the Grass Fed and Rancher's Reserve. Also my guest like them cooked 4 different ways; rare, medium rare, medium, and medium well. So by getting 4 different thicknesses I can cook them all at the same time and have 4 different out comes.

Now as you can see, before we have even put on Big Poppa's Double Secret Steak Rub, the marbling between the Ranchers Reserve and the local Grass Fed beef is very different. It even smells different too. The Grass fed is way more gamey and stinky were as the Reserve is very pleasant with barely any scent at all.

Now for the rub. For this cook I am using Big Poppa's Double Secret Steak Rub, I have heard great reviews and I am very excited to use it. I took the meat out about and hour before I knew it was going to go on the grill. I generously shake the rub on both sides of the meat until the entire surface area is covered. Then you will just let it sit at room temperature and let it absorb the rub. You don't want to grill cold meat.

It's been about 30 to 40 minutes since I have lit the coals and the temp is showing just under 400 degrees. You can see the coals are beginning to turn pretty white and ready to have wood chunks placed on top as close to the air in-take as possible. This way the smoke travels across the food before it exits the smoker.

Now I added the pot of potatoes to the grill and closed the lid. I'll check every 5 minutes until it comes to a boil. Once it reaches a boil I will leave it closed for about 10 minutes. This will soften up the potatoes before we grill them. Make sure you use oven mittens if you touch it this mother fucker, it's hot and will burn you.

After 10 minutes take the pot off the grill and strain all of the water out of it. When it's dry you then want to drizzle the olive oil over the top of the potatoes and then shake on Big Poppas Jallelujah Seasoned Jalapeno Salt. Once it has an even coating use a wooden spoon to stir around the potatoes until they are evenly coated. At this point your temperature should be some where over 400 degrees.

Once coated add them back on to the grill with some tongs. Try to keep then in an area that isn't the hottest spot on the grill. This will prevent them from burning. Gather up all of your meat and throw them on the grill as close to the hottest spot as possible and close the lid for 6 minutes. Do not open it you want them to use all the heat. If the grill is open the heat is getting out and your meat is hating you. So just don't open it.

Now 5 minutes have gone by. Open the lid and start to turn the potatoes over, move them around a little bit and then leave them alone. By the time your done flipping the potatoes the 6 minute alarm will go off and it will be time to flip the meat. Flip each one over and then close the lid. Set your timer for 5 minutes and don't open it even for a peek because your letting your meat boner get the best of you.

Now your 5 minutes is up. Open that mother fucker and see the beautiful meat that this barbecue has given you. If you want that shit medium rare take it off now and put it on a plate. If you want it medium  to medium well. Take off the potatoes first and then take off the meat last. Now don't EVER press the meat against the grill and squeeze out the juices to see how done it is. I will personally beat the crap out of you if you do this. Feel your own palm; the center of your palm is what medium to medium well feels like. The outer portion of your palm at the base of your thumb is what rare to medium rare feels like. You TAP the meat with the tip of your tongs to be able to feel this.

Now make sure you always get your grill as hot as you can when cooking this. Flames should be hitting your meat when your juices fall into the fire. Don't be scared, this is meat there is supposed to be fire. As long as you use my formula you should be able to cook this in the black of night and not fuck it up.

Now you have taken the meat and potatoes off. Your pants are basically wet at this point (guy or girl) and you can't wait to take a bite, but you have to. It's not done yet. It has to REST for 5 minutes so that it finishes cooking and the flavors have a chance to settle. You can't taste anything if you burn the shit out of your tongue because you can't wait 5 minutes.

This is what heaven looks like. It taste amazing. Now I get a chance to try all 4 and see if there really is a difference in taste between the Grass Fed and the store bought Ranchers Reserve. The potatoes are extra crispy on the outside, super soft on the inside just like I want them. The Jallelujah Seasoned Jalapeño Salt gives it that little extra kick of spice to balance out the saltiness that you might encounter when eating with a seasoned steak.

The first thing I tried was the boneless Ranchers Reserve followed by the bone in. The difference was really subtle but the flavor is not as strong, it is very serious. A little tougher than I like but not bad. I mean for a steak accompanied by Big Poppa's Rub, it's fucking magical.

As for the local Grass Fed beef it was like a party in my mouth. Really loud flavors calling out to me after every bite. This meat was really tender and cut like butter. You can even see how much more juice there is than in the Ranchers Reserve. I am really convinced that Grass Fed is the way to go and when you have a nice compliment like Big Poppa's Double Secret Steak Rub to your mouth is left truly satisfied.

Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes:
1 bag of golden baby potatoes
6 cloves of Garlic peeled
3 sprigs of Rosemary
2 Table Spoons of Salt
1/4 of a cup of Olive Oil

Grilled Rib Eye:
1 bag of Kingsford Charcoal
4 1 to 1-1/2 inch thick Rib Eye Steaks (bone-in optional)

Good Luck and Happy Grilling,
Sean Rice

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Crab Boil: A Little Taste of the South

Hungry. It seems that's all I have been lately. These past few months I have been training everyday to run a half marathon in November.  After 5 to 7 miles of running everyday I can't stop to over whelming feeling of hunger. Hell, I can't remember the last time I blogged about what I was eating. With filming and retouching sucking up most of my time blogging has had to take a back seat. I know most of you were hoping for more MEAT Inc. episodes unfortunately this recipe will have to do for now.

I remember last year around this time I was in New Orleans chowing down on anything and everything I could get my hands on. These days anytime it's hot out my cravings instantly shift to Southern. Last night I decided to use my down time to cook up a Crab Boil. 

With a quick trip to the store I was able to pick up, (the full recipe is at the bottom) 1 sack of baby red potatoes, 1 pound of king crab legs, 1 onion, 1 head of garlic, 1/2 pound of shrimp (you can get a pound, my girlfriend isn't a fan), 4 dried chili peppers, 4 bay leaves, 3 sprigs of thyme, 2 lemons, some cajun style andouille sausage, and 2 ears of corn. 

This dish is a lot of fun. There are no rules you just throw in what you think will taste good. It's pretty hard to fuck up. In some cases you can swap the crab legs out for 12 whole fresh crabs. This particular dish was big enough for 2 to 3 people so you can easily double the ingredients to serve more. 

First you wanna grab the biggest stock pot you have. Start by washing and scrubbing the potatoes. Then separate the garlic cloves from the head. I like to use as many natural and/or organic products as possible. I figure the less chemicals in my food the better it will be for me. 

I used to spend hours peeling back the layers of skin on garlic, it would take forever. One day I slammed my knife on the counter in frustration only to find out that squashing the garlic was the best way to get the job done. I consulted some of my chef friends and it turns out I'm an idiot and everyone does it that way anyways. So you're welcome.

Now once the garlic is peeled and the onions are chopped in to 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces (these are just for flavor btw) go ahead and shuck the the corn and cut it into halves. Why? Cause giant pieces of corn in a pot look obnoxious when you have a food blog...

The third step is to clean the shrimp. Asian restaurants that serve shirmp tempura don't usually do this and it fucking grosses me out. You're eating shimp poop. It won't kill you, I just don't like the idea of eating another animals shit. In the cooking world they call this peeling and deveining.

Next you are going to pull out your 3 sprigs of fresh thyme and pour out a 1/4 cup of sea salt. Set this aside cause you will be throwing it all together in your pot.

Once everything is ready you will half your 2 lemons. Don't worry about the seeds, cause if you try to remove them you will probably loose extra lemon juice that would have been better off in your pot for more flavor. Now you will pour in 4 quarts of water. Turn your heat to high and throw in 2 TBLS of distilled white vinegar, your crab boil (I use Zatarain's cause it's easy and taste good), 4 bay leaves, 4 dried chile peppers, 3 sprigs of thyme, garlic cloves, 1/4 of a cup of sea salt, and lemons. You want to bring all of this to a rolling boil. 

Once you reach the rolling boil add in the crab, potatoes, corn, onions, sausage, and shrimp. Wait for that to get back to a rolling boil then time it for 5 minutes with the lid on. After your 5 minutes turn off the fire and let it rest with the lid on for 15 to 20 minutes. Then (this part I did not do because I was hungry) throw in a bowl of ice. This helps the crabs absorb the seasoning and prevents it from over cooking.

Then let the crab stand in water for at least 1 hour before serving. The crabs can be served warm or completely cooled. I like it warm or really hot so I did not let it sit for 1 hour, but you can cause you're awesome.

Last but not least I take out what I want to eat, put it in a giant bowl, and go to town. Some times I will sprinkle on Creole Seasoning just to give it a little texture. I also got some french bread and toasted it. In New Orleans it seemed every dish came with it so I felt it needed it.

Here is exactly what you need:
4 quarts of water
2 tablespoons of distilled white vinegar
1 Zatarain's Crab Boil
4 bay leaves
4 dried chile peppers
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 head garlic, cloves separated and peeled
1/4 cup of sea salt
2 lemons, halved
1 pound of crab legs (or 12 fresh crabs)
1 pound of shrimp peeled and deveined
4 cajun style andouille sausage (cooked and/or cured)
3 pounds of red potatoes scrubbed 
2 ears of corn shucked and cut into halves or thirds
1 onion (10 ounce)
1 bag of ice

Enjoy this, it is fun and easy and if it's for a special occasion you will almost always get lucky...

Happy Summer,
Sean Rice

Note* I will be at the Huntington Beach BBQ Competition this weekend so I hope to see you there.

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