Monday, September 15, 2008

What I ate last night

In the tradition of Mr. Bingley I figured I'd throw a quick dinner snapshot out there. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take pictures, but here's the lowdown:

Beef country-style ribs
Getting ribs really tender on the grill is a problem. They like to cook way too fast out there. So, even though it goes against my feelings, I usually wind up cooking them in the oven for a couple of hours and then saucing them on the grill. Here's what I did last night and it works wonderfully:

> Rub the ribs down with your favorite spices. I suggest you use some kind of BBQ spice or perhaps smoked paprika. Since you'll be cooking them in the oven, you need to impart some kind of BBQ flavor here. I don't like using sauce because it messes with the texture of the meat in the oven.

> Place in large, shallow pan, cover with tinfoil and bake at 200-225 for two to two and a half hours.

> When done cooking, place the ribs on a hot grill and coat with your favorite sauce. This step is crucial in getting the grill flavor in the ribs. The temperature of the ribs and the heat of the grill should combine well to get the sauce to caramelize pretty quickly.

Those ribs are going to be very tender so be careful with them on the grill. Use oversize tongs and you probably want to oil your cooking surface very well.

Sirloin steaks

Last time I cooked steaks, I used cast iron and did them in the oven a la Alton Brown. They turned out great, but I can't give up my grill. It's still the best place to cook meat. So, I made sure I had a very hot grill, couldn't quite get it to the 500 degrees that Alton uses for oven cooking, but I was at about 450.

> Rub your steaks with your favorite spice. Alton used salt and pepper for his show. I used Cajun seasoning the first time. This time around I used a Pampered Chef (hey, J-mom is a Pampered Chef consultant if anyone's interested!) cracked peppercorn and garlic rub.

> Let the meat come to room temperature. Another crucial step. If you let the meat come to room temp, it will cook faster.

> If you can, raise the coals as high as they can go and heat your cooking surface really well.

> Put the steaks directly over the flame and let them sear for 30 seconds each side.

> Pull them from the direct heat over to the other side of the grill (oh yeah, make sure to build a fire only to one side) and (with a 450-500 degree grill) cook them about four minutes per side for medium (use a meat thermometer to be sure though).

Yields fantastic results.

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