Sunday, November 19, 2017

VIP Grilling Demo at Pensacola Eggfest 2017

Third in a series of four posts about my food week in Orange Beach AL:
  1. World Food Championships 
  2. Thrilla in the Grilla 
  3. Grilling Demo for Pensacola Eggfest VIP party
  4. Pensacola Eggfest
Each year, we close out our BBQ and grilling adventures at one of the best Eggfests in the country - the Pensacola Eggfest.  This year, Big Green Craig, Big Moe Cason, and I did a grilling demonstration for the 200 guests at the VIP Party on Friday Night.  

Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef

We did two items for the demo.  First, we showed how to make a beef tenderloin roast the center of your holiday dinner.  Next, we showed some game day beef ribs that are quicker than a 2-minute offense.

The Pensacola Eggfest has a lot going for it.  
  • It is in a great venue - the Blue Wahoos' baseball stadium, right on the gorgeous water.
  • They have amazing organizers that awe me all year long with their dedication, talent, and heart.
  • The cooks are ridiculously skilled, as a food blogger their creativity and execution impresses me each year.
  • But the most important element of the Pensacola Eggfest is its purpose.  
Purpose is what drives this event and it shows.  This year, the purpose behind the smoke and Eggs is Rally Pensacola.  Rally Pensacola is a charitable organization that provides direct financial assistance to families of children battling cancer.  Here is the "why" behind this event that is bigger than just some great food.

So when the organizers asked us to do the cooking demo, the answer was an emphatic yes!  Here are some photos of the action.

Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef
My sister drove 360+ miles to come help out, we always have a great time cooking together.

Rhonda also brought me a nice Certified Angus Beef® beef tenderloin from Mike's Butcher Shop in Atlantic Beach. If you're in Jacksonville you should check this butcher out.  They're service is as great as their quality meats. When they found out Rhonda was travelling to Pensacola, not only did they trim and tie the roast, they vacuum sealed it!

Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef
This was our first time getting to cook on the Eggfest's new mobile kitchen trailer.  I love this shot of the smoke rising up in the air. 
Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef
Rhonda's beau, Sean flew up from Tampa to help us with the event.  He's always so serious ;)

Rhonda getting the last finishing touches done.

Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef
The crowd ate a nice low country boil as we were getting ready for the demos.

Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef
Searing the beef tenderloins on an XL Big Green Egg.  You can see my trust Thermapen on the table, I take it with me to every cooking event I do.

Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef
That's a whole lot of tenderloins! We actually had 4.  In addition to the one Rhonda brought, I had bought one to use and the organization brought 2 prime tenderloins.  Too many beef tenderloins is a great problem to have!

Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef
Since a lot of people don't have access to a good butcher and buy whole beef tenderloins untrimmed, we demonstrated how to break down a whole beef tenderloin in 4 steps.

To demonstrate here, I am using just the butt end of a whole beef tenderloin.

The roast part that you want is the part between the white lines - the psoas major.  Above that is the "chain" (psoas minor) and below the lines is the iliacus muscle, a small roast.
 The first step is to peel off the fatty membrane that is on the top of the roast.

Next, you remove the chain.  You should be able to do 90% of this just by pulling it off with your hands by following the seam.  

Here you see the chain pulled most of the way off.  Now I will use a sharp boning knife to cut through the rest of the way. (Note:  The link is an Amazon Affiliate link to my favorite boning knife.  It's less than $30 but I use it more than the $85 one I have.)  Save the chain to use for kebabs, tacos, etc.

The third step is to use the same technique to remove the iliacus side roast.  Use that side roast as a small roast, to cut a few petite filet, or cube it for more kebab meat.

For the final step, work the tip of your boning knife under the silver skin and carefully slice it off.  It helps to angle the sharp edge up towards the bottom of the silver skin.

This is what I broke out from this one butt end of a beef tenderloin.  Clockwise from the knife handle, 1) small tenderloin roast, 2) iliacus roast, 3) kebab meat, 4) a petite filet, and 5) beef fat for tallow.  The only waste was the silver skin scrap to the right of the knife.

Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef
Craig and I went through the recipe that we cooked but the fun part was talking about different options - rubs, sauces, cuts, preparation, and cooking techniques.

Full recipe for the Reverse Seared Beef Tenderloin with Gorgonzola Sauce.

Ready to start slicing and serving.

Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef
I think Craig sliced for about 20 minutes straight but the crowd enjoyed sampling the tender, flavorful beef.

Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef
I thought we would have leftovers but we went through every scrap of cooked beef tenderloin that we had.

Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef
Next I got to help Big Moe Cason serve up some flanken style beef short ribs that are ideal for when you have a crowd for tailgating.
Beef short ribs are amazing but when cooked whole, they take 6-8 hours to smoke.  Moe showed that if you have your butcher cross cut the ribs into 1/2" slices, you can grill them in no time.  His process was quick and easy -

  1. Season beef ribs.  Lightly brush cut ribs with olive oil and season liberally with Big Moe Cason Beef Rub.
  2. Grill the beef ribs.  Cook them directly over a medium-hot fire until crispy, about 4-5 minutes per side.
  3. Glaze the ribs.  Warm up a cup or so of one of Big Moe Cason's BBQ sauces.  Brush onto the ribs and put them back on the grill just long enough to set the sauce, just a minute or so.
Isn't that easy?  

Big Moe Cason's line of rubs and sauces will be available at Academy Sports + Outdoors starting this December.

Sean, Moe, and Rhonda 

Pensacola Eggfest VIP Grilling Demo #bestangusbeef
We only see each other a couple of times a year but we always have a great time cooking together when we do.

What happened to the one roast that we used for the trimming portion of the class?  We saved it and Craig cooked it for our friends Saturday night.