This stuff was sent to me by a friend from down south.
I really loved the peppery flavor it had. Good salt levels as well. The jerky itself was cut into long skinny strips, which made it easy to handle and eat. The meat was just a little brittle and hard to chew. Not that it wasn’t tender – it was just very hard/dried. Over all I enjoyed it though.
Pepper Palace on Chartres Street in New Orleans sells a proprietary reaper pepper and habanero sauce called “The End.”
It’s probably the hottest sauce I’ve ever had, and I can fucking take the heat like a goddamn champ when it comes to spicy shit. I had to sign a waiver before trying it. Allow me to describe what happened:
I took a small plastic spoon of the shit, maybe a third of the size you get when you take a sample of ice cream at Baskin Robbins. Just a dot, really. I placed it on my tongue and my mouth lit up with heat. To my surprise it actually had a nice smoky flavor to it. I experienced a jolt of energy, as if I just slammed a shot of strong espresso. That vibrance lasted almost a half an hour. When I swallowed the stuff, it warmed the inside of my body, as if I could feel it making contact with every surface of my digestive system from my mouth down to my stomach. Heartburn, almost. Slightly painful.
Luckily I didn’t get any on my lips, and most of it stayed on my tongue before going down. I also didn’t develop any hiccoughs, to my surprise. But I can tell you that this sauce is pure insanity. If you’ve got the balls, give it a try. On our trip to New Orleans, we tried a lot of so called “crazy spicy” sauces, made with ghost peppers and reapers, but nothing came close to this shit. Crazy.
In case you’re wondering, New Orleans is famous for hot sauce. There are dozens of majorly famous brands that call the region home, such as Tabasco, Crystal and Louisiana Hot (obviously). When you walk the streets here, you are bombarded with all sorts of hot sauces for sale. I love it.
A few months ago I had this wild idea that I would like a steak with an aggressively spicy Chinese flavor profile of chili oil, Szechuan peppercorns, cumin and garlic. Then suddenly I saw a menu item pop up at the Lobster Club with a strikingly similar list of ingredients, and the steakhouse Blu on Park is closing, making way for an Asian steakhouse which, perhaps, will feature something similar. Without wanting to wait for the new restaurant, and without having to drop bank and fight for a table at Lobster Club, I struck out to make my own, to turn my dream into reality.
I started out with one of my Piedmontese strip steaks because (1) they’re not dry aged, so I’m not competing with any other flavors, and (2) they’re cheap enough so that if I fucked it up, I wouldn’t feel so bad about it.
So what the fuck did I do?
Marinate the shit with chili oil, garlic oil, minced garlic, Szechuan peppercorns, Szechuan pepper oil, cumin, Chinese five spice and sesame oil.
After a few hours (or a few days if you want the flavors to really penetrate the meat), and after allowing your meat to get up to room temperature, dry off your steak with paper towels and season it all over with kosher salt, cracked black pepper, garlic powder, a touch of Chinese five spice and cumin (those last two ingredient are potent, so a little goes a long way). If you have fresh chilies, cut up a few and toss those in as well.
Pour the marinate into a pan and start bringing the fucking heat. Once the pan is screaming hot (but not smoking up the joint), toss that steak in. Now throw in some duck fat (or butter if you don’t have duck fat, but tracking down some duck fat is 100% worth it to bring home all the flavors).
Once the steak sticks to the bottom of the pan, tip the pan and spoon the liquids over the top of the steak as the bottom side cooks up to a nice brown crust. After three minutes of this, flip and repeat. Once finished, remove the steak and let it rest before slicing. Here’s a video of the process:
Now throw a pint of leftover rice from your Chinese take out into the pan. You know – the box of shit that’s been in the back of your fridge all week. Mix all the oil and duck fat into the rice, and spread the rice out across the pan. LEAVE IT. Let it get crispy as fuck on the bottom without burning.
Once that’s done, plate the rice, slice up your steak, and top your rice with the steak. I did a fancy slicing technique for presentation, but you don’t have to get all crazy with it.
That’s about it. Enjoy, assholes! Oh and pro-tip: you can remove the peppercorns before frying up the rice. I didn’t do this because I like the numbing quality to them.