Monday, April 15, 2019

Dry Aged Ribeye Steaks

[FTC Disclosure] I received the steak knives as a gift from Certified Angus Beef® Brand.  

I have been having some fun with dry-aged, ribeye steaks over the past month.

Dry-aged ribeye steak with crisp potato stack

I had the steaks because I had dry-aged a Certified Angus Beef® Brand whole ribeye to make this dry aged ribeye roast.  It was one of the final recipes that we shot earlier this year for my new book coming out in July 2019.  

Dry aged smoked ribeye roast from The Offset Smoker Cookbook

I like to use UMAi Dry bags for dry aging because I don't have a dedicated dry aging refrigerator.  These bags are semi-permeable and let air and moisture pass out through the bag but won't let aromas from other foods in the fridge get to the ribeye.

I placed the ribeye into the bag and then vacuum-seal the end with a special membrane (supplied in the kit) in place. One problem we ran into was our vacuum sealer.  After burning through sealer after sealer, we finally found a durable one that we like and has lasted a few years.  The problem is to seal these bags with a ribeye in it, we actually needed one that opens up like a clamshell, so we had to buy another cheap one, just for this.

Dry aging a Certified Angus Beef Brand ribeye using an UMAi Dry bag
Ribeye in the fridge. Notice that it is on a raised rack so air can circulate around the entire ribeye.  The sweet spot for dry aging is 33-36°f, so I kept a refrigerator thermometer near the ribeye to make sure that it was staying in that range.  I also kept an eye on relative humidity (65-70%) with a cheap hygrometer and put a small battery powered fan near the ribeye.
I dry aged this ribeye for 30 days.  During that time, a couple of things happen.  Moisture evaporates from the meat, which is going to concentrate the flavor much like reducing a stock.  Also, natural enzymes in the meat break down the meat, making it more tender and flavorful.


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Stockyard Spud - Prime Rib Stuffed Baked Potatoes

[FTC Disclosure]  I received no direct compensation for this post; however, I am attending an expenses-paid trip to Certified Angus Beef® Brand's BBQ Summit later this month.  Also, if you end up buying one of my books, obviously I get compensation there.

The Stockyard Spud is my latest creation from leftovers.  It is a mammoth-sized Idaho spud fire-roasted on a kamado grill and then stuffed with chopped, smoked prime rib, beef jus, cheddar cheeses, and caramelized onions.  

The Stockyard Spud - Fire roasted potato stuffed with smoked prime rib, beef jus, cheddar cheese, and caramelized onions featuring Certified Angus Beef Brand


If you don't have a slice of prime rib roast lying around, some chopped up leftover steak would be just as good in this.  Heck, this will let you split one steak between 3 or 4 people and still leave no one hungry.

I'm not going to write up the recipe, this is more of a "take the concept and run with it" kind of thing.  If you have any questions, just shoot me an email or reach out on social media.  I had to turn off comments because of the ridiculous amounts of spam comments per day made it too hard to manage.

I happened to have a slice of this dry-aged, smoked rib roast leftover from the last photo shoot for my second book -  The Offset Smoker Cookbook (releases in July 2019).

I dry aged an 18-pound Certified Angus Beef® Brand ribeye roast for 30 days using a Umai Dry bag. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Carolina ATW Burger

[FTC Disclosures]  I received a free sample package of Kingsford® Flavored Briquets.  I didn't sign up with Certified Angus Beef® Brand this year (logistical reasons only), but I am attending an expenses-paid BBQ seminar with them later this month.

Think about the best burger you have ever eaten.  The best burger that I have ever had is from Melvin's in Elizabethtown, North Carolina.

Photo Credit: BladenOnline

Elizabethtown is a small town, about 3,500 people today and even fewer people back in the 70's when I had my first Melvin's burger.  Melvin's was also known as the Pool Room because that's what it started out as.  Today the pool tables have been replaced with dining booths, but the burgers are still amazing.  The food is so good that at lunch, the line stretches out of the back door.  But the crew is lightning fast, and you never have to wait for long.

For me, the only way to get a burger at Melvin's is ATW (all the way) - topped with chili, creamy slaw, diced fresh onion, and yellow mustard.  You can get a similar burger at Cookout, there it is called "Cookout style."  I was craving a Melvin's burger the other day so made a homemade version. 

A Carolina-style ATW burger is absolutely a messy burger!



Melvin's used to have the local Red and White Store grind their beef, but now they do it in-house.  My grandmother once told me that they grind white bread in with their beef.  I heard another rumor that they put breakfast sausage into it, but that would make more sense for the chili. I will experiment with that this summer.  All of my ground beef blend (brisket and sirloin flap) was frozen, so I ran to Food City and picked up a package of Schweid and Son's The One Percenter, which are made from USDA Prime Certified Angus Beef® Brand chuck.  

For this cook, my weapon of choice was my PK Grill.  I just felt like grilling old-school, and this grill is about as basic as you get, in a good way.  I used a chimney full of Kingsford® pecan flavored briquettes

Melvin's burgers are cooked on flattop griddles, so I flipped a set of GrillGrates to create fire powered griddle.  Inverted GrillGrates are quite effective at transferring heat, so you have to cut your cook times by about 10-20%.  I did these about 3 minutes a side.  As soon as they were done, I seasoned them with finely ground NMT Beef Rub v.2

I used the chili recipe from our Chorizo Chili Cheeseburger recipe for this burger.  Melvin's uses a creamy mayonnaise-based chopped slaw.  I was out of mayo but I had a bottle of Lane's Sorta White BBQ sauce so I used that as my coleslaw dressing.  

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Skillet Porterhouse Steak Basted with Compound Butter and Tallow

[FTC Standard Disclaimer] This is not a sponsored post, as I have taken a break from sponsorships this year.  However, in the spirit of transparency, we still have a close working relationship with the folks at Certified Angus Beef® Brand.

Many of my friends scoff at the notion of "grilling season" because most of us grill and barbecue throughout the year.  But I still think that there is a "grilling season" that starts for me with Daylight Savings Time.  "Grilling season" to me means that it is the optimum conditions for grilling:
  • Lighting - The sun starts setting later in the evening, and for our deck, that means beautiful rays of golden sunlight boldly shine through the trees in our backyard.
  • Warmth - It feels good to be outside, with warm breezes and pleasant temperatures.  
  • Wildlife - Birds, frogs, rabbits, squirrels, and other critters are out and about, and their chorus of animal Tinder ads fill the air.
  • Greenery - Winter's fifty shades of grey is over.  The grass is vibrantly green, flowers are bursting open like fireworks, and trees have leaves, once again.
To celebrate the first day of Daylight Savings Time this year, I went to Food City and picked up the prettiest Certified Angus Beef® Brand porterhouse steak they had.  I cooked it in a skillet over hardwood coals and basted it with a mix of compound butter and beef tallow.



When I was posting about this while cooking, one of my followers asked a good question:

@nibblemethis , this may be a dumb question, but what’s the advantage of searing a steak in a cast iron skillet over coals vs. a hot gas or electric stove? Does the meat acquire extra smoke flavor? Gas seems so easy compared to coals. Thanks
The answer is that I did it solely to enjoy the experience.  With an open grill like this, you aren't going to get any smoke flavor.  If I used the skillet as the sear part of the reverse sear technique, then yes, I would get that smoky taste. 

Gear and Set Up

I decided to use a skillet for this cook.  I love uniform cross-hatch marks, but it is hard to beat a cast iron skillet seared steak.  But more importantly, I wanted to butter-baste our steak.  My weapon of choice was a PK Grill, a simple clam-shell type grill and I used Tennessee hardwood lump charcoal.  Notice two things.  
  • First, the skillet is empty.  Don't add food, oil, or anything until it is preheated - when you start to see slight wisps of smoke come off the surface.  
  • Second, notice the gap with no charcoals, that is my escape area if the skillet gets too hot.  

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Golden Pineapple Mango Glazed Chicken

[FTC standard disclaimer]  I received no compensation for this post.  Some of the links are Amazon affiliate links.  I do have a business relationship with Oklahoma Joe's, but none of that involves promoting them on my blog or social media.  

My first career was in the retail grocery industry, and I started in high school.  I loved working in the produce and meat departments because there was so much to learn as a teenager.  Back then, for a chicken to be considered a fryer, it had to be 3 1/2 pounds or less.  These days, most fryers start about 4 1/2 pounds and can run over 6 pounds.

I was happy to find a 3 1/2 pound Gerber Amish Farms Chicken at my Food City* this past weekend. I didn't know what I was going to do with it until I got home and rummaged through the refrigerator.  I found some Tropicana Pineapple Mango with Lime drink and thought it would make a good poultry glaze.  I was right.

Golden pineapple mango glazed chicken on the grill

The glaze is sweet with the citrus tang you would expect.  It is mouthwatering good on grilled chicken and tastes like Summer.  It also creates a beautiful golden color on the chicken.


Golden Pineapple Mango Glazed Chicken

Makes about 1 cup

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Phone post: Bone-In Ribeye Steak on the Big Green Egg

[FTC Disclaimer]  We received no compensation for this post.

My absolute favorite time of the year for sports is the college basketball tournament.  This year, three teams that we root for are top seeds which makes it even more enjoyable. Carolina had a late tip-off so I grilled this thick, bone-in ribeye for Alexis and I to split.

Bone-in Ribeye Steak grilled on a big green egg kamado


It was a straight-forward cook, but here are the details for my grilling-nerd friends. 

The bone-in ribeye steak weighed in at just under 1 1/2 pounds.  I patted it dry, lightly oiled it with some peanut oil, and then seasoned it with our finely ground NMT Umami Steak Seasoning recipe.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Sausage Garden Alfredo Sauce

[FTC Disclaimer]  We received no compensation for this post.  

We made a few white pizza sauces for a client project this weekend and had some leftover ingredients. Last night Alexis and I used them to make a creamy, mouthwatering Alfredo sauce for homemade pasta.


Here is what we had to work with:
Tomato and basil jack cheese
Cooked Italian sausage
Baby spinach
Albukirky green chile dried tomatoes

Baby spinach, tomato and basil jack cheese, cook Italian sausage, and our Albukirky green chile dried tomatoes.


First, we made pasta.  We were out of our usual pasta flour but we had Bob’s Red Mill semolina flour and used the recipe on their package. 

We roll the dough with our hand-cranked pasta machine.  We were out of our usual pasta flour, but we had Bob’s Red Mill semolina flour and used the recipe on their package. It turned out fine.