Tag Archives: recipe

Brooklyn Meat Retreat

The New York Beef Council recently hosted a “meat retreat” at Brooklyn FoodWorks, where 3rd generation butcher Kari Underly, of Range Partners, gave a tutorial on how to break down ribs and top butt or sirloin.

All the meat here was supplied by Strassburger Steaks, and was prime grade beef.

We basically broke the rib down into spinalis and eye filets.

For the butt, we broke that down into roasts and filets, as well as top sirloin cap filets. I left the fat on, and plan to grill it like picanha.

After trimming and cleaning up, we had lunch and discussed some information about the beef industry, the beef lifecycle, and beef nutrition. Then we cooked up some of what we just cut.

I made garlic and thyme rib eye filet steaks with portobello mushrooms and a blue cheese sun dried tomato sauce.

I have to say, it looked and tasted pretty amazing.

The other people at the retreat cooked up some awesome recipes as well, and all the recipes are available HERE.

The best part: we got to bring home everything we butchered!

I highly recommend getting involved with New York Beef Council activities if you’re like me and have a passion for beef. Even if you just have questions about beef safety, raising cattle, farming, or packing/slaughter. These guys and gals really know their stuff, and they’re awesome people.

The Steakhouse Sandwich

I hate wasting food, but I’m also not a fan of leftover steak. That’s why I will always try to finish every scrap of meat on my plate. But sometimes you just can’t pack it all in, and you have to bring some of that meat home. If you’re like me, you don’t like to re-heat quality meat. Something just changes and it’s not the same.

I’ve had some sliced cold in a salad before, but I also hate salads. I’ve also made a lot of beef stocks and broths with bones and meat scraps. But making the same thing can get tiring, and that’s a long process as well. So I came up with this recipe to satisfy my urges.

What you need:

  • Leftover steak
  • Leftover creamed spinach
  • Leftover potato element
  • Cheddar and/or American cheese
  • Sub sandwich bread

Okay so here’s how it goes down. First, slice up your leftover steak scraps as thin as you can get them.

Inevitably, you’re going to have some congealed beef fat mixed with butter in the bottom of your take-out container.

Don’t throw that away!

Grab your bread.

Slice it open and spread that buttery beef fat onto each side of your bread, like so, and then heat up a pan.

Toast this baby as if it were grilled cheese.

Then start layering your components. Creamed spinach:

Potatoes and cheese:

Those were crispy potatoes mixed with onions, so that was a bonus ingredient for me!

Meat:

More cheese, because why not?

Close it up and wrap it in tinfoil.

Bake this fucker for a quick stint at like 450. It doesn’t need too long in there. Once the cheese is completely melted down it should be good to go. Also, you don’t want to overheat the meat since it should already be a nice medium rare from the steakhouse.

Done.

Unwrap, slice and eat. Just try to do a better job slicing it than I did.

The “Banh Mia” Sandwich

Last night The Cake Dealer put together the most incredible sandwich I’ve ever eaten in my life. A successful combination of Vietnamese and Italian cuisines – a “Vietalian” banh mi sandwich that she called the “Banh Mia” sandwich.

Mortadella, prosciutto, pickled carrots, pickled daikon, fresh cucumbers, cilantro, mayo, maggi sauce, sri racha sauce, and nduja on a baguette. If this isn’t a thing, it will be soon – mark my words. She would have lines down the block if she opened up a sub shop with these.

I was pushing for Italian bread to make the circle complete, but the French baguette is a very important part of Vietnamese banh mi, so it had to stay.

We had actually seen something similar before, in Philly, but more along the sausage route.

Although we didn’t try that sausage and pepper banh mi, I think my wife’s is better and actually makes more sense as fusion cuisine for the following reasons: (1) the mortadella is similar to the bologna and head cheese; (2) the prosciutto is similar to the ham, and (3) the nduja is similar to the pate – which are all used in the classic, traditional Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches.

Pat LaFrieda Meats: A Steak Feast At Home

Pat LaFrieda. You’ve all probably seen the name before, and you’ll definitely see it again – especially because I’m about to publish a feature article on LaFrieda early next month for my “Meet Your Meat” series. But the man is a top notch, high quality beef purveyor with a rich family tradition of killing it in the meat biz. He provides the goods to the restaurants and chefs that make my favorite steaks.

He recently sent over two cuts of steak for me to enjoy at home; both dry-aged for 60 days, both prime, and both 2.5″ thick. One was a porterhouse, and the other a rib eye.

A video posted by Johnny Prime (@johnnyprimecc) on

This stuff is not just set aside for restaurants and hotels! You can order it for home delivery right here.

So, what to do with all this beef? I mean, I would have loved to eat it all myself, but that’s just rude. Instead, I invited over a handful of foodie friends and cooked up a feast for them.

Here’s how it went down:

Appetizers

For starters, I sliced up some truffle salami and made a very basic wedge salad with iceberg, grape tomatoes, thick bacon and a crumbled blue cheese and black truffle oil dressing.

Main Courses

I decided to cook the porterhouse in the sous vide machine, and then finish it off with a hard Searzall blowtorch sear. I loaded the sous vide bag up with some truffle oil (I froze this ahead of time, that way the contents in the bag were dry when I sealed it), rosemary and thyme. I also seasoned the steak with salt and pepper before sealing it up.

After about four hours in a 128 degree bath, I pulled it out and dropped it into some ice water to stop the cooking process. After a few minutes, I removed it from the bag, dried it off and blasted it with the Searzall to get that nice outer crust.

Before serving, I sliced it up and plated it, then drizzled black truffle oil on top, and hit it with some finishing salt and fresh cracked black pepper.

I picked up an extra filet from the grocery store as well, which I cooked the same way. This was mainly as extra meat, in case we didn’t have enough, and also as a control group to compare the meat quality from a nice grocery store cut against Pat LaFrieda. The cut I picked from Morton Williams looked nicely marbled and it was reasonably thick for just under $12.

When comparing the filet side of the LaFrieda porterhouse to the grocery store filet, the LaFrieda steak was hands down WAY better. There is no question about it. That 60-day dry-aging process really infuses an incredible amount of flavor into the meat.

If you are a beef lover, then Pat LaFrieda cuts are the way to go. In fact, one of my friends cooks up Pat LaFrieda steaks every Friday, and he calls it “LaFrieda Fridays.” HA!

For the rib eye, I went with a traditional cast iron skillet sear with maple bacon fat and herbs, and then I finished it in the oven. I let it rest, and then sliced that up and served it on a salt block, also with a drizzle of truffle oil.

Unfortunately for me, the temperature jumped from 120 to 145 WAY faster than it was climbing while going from 68 to 120. I turned around to snap pics of the porterhouse and BOOM. The steak went beyond medium rare. Lesson learned. In any event, it was still incredibly delicious at medium. The fat cap was heavenly!

To go with these steaks, I roasted some bulbs of garlic for slathering onto the meat and grilled some lemons.

Sides

I put together a nice side of roasted mushrooms and onions, sauteed broccolini (got to have something green I guess), and made a big bowl of tater tots.

Dessert

But no meal at Johnny Prime’s Food Research Lab would be complete without a dessert by The Cake Dealer!

The inside of the cupcakes were marbled vanilla and red velvet, which was perfect to represent the marbling of good prime beef!

Or it was just because Valentine’s Day is right around the corner…

Oh and by the way, here are the foodies that came by. Check out their profiles for pics of the feast, if you have a chance:

@thecakedealer (she’s always there, because she’s my lovely wife)
@thedishelinguide
@theninabobo
@rebecca_chews_nyc
@dequinix

Salt Block Tenderloin

I decided to go bonkers this year on Superbowl Sunday with some Omaha Steaks tenderloin cuts that my wife and I received as a gift from her father. It had been a while since I used my sous vide machine, so I knew I wanted to use that.

I also figured this would be a good time to bust out the Searzall again, since the cuts were only about an inch thick, and, fearing a blasphemous overcooking, I didn’t want to put them in a pan to get that coveted sear on the outside.

Nothing new there. I’ve given you recipes for that before. The ringer here, for this meal I envisioned, was the Bitterman Salt Co. Himalayan salt block that I had chilling in my freezer. I keep it cold for serving sliced sashimi and raw fish items, but I thought it might be nice for medium rare, seared, thin-sliced tenderloin as well.

Essentially, I cooked the steak to rare at 130 degrees in the sous vide machine, right from the sealed Omaha Steaks bags (no seasoning beforehand). Then I popped the steaks into an ice bath to cool them down quickly and halt the cooking process. I know that the Searzall can continue to cook the steak’s interior with prolonged exposure, so I wanted them rare when they came out of the sous vide machine.

After blasting them with the Searzall, I had a good crisp on the outside and a perfect medium rare pink on the inside. Then I sliced them on the salt block, using that as a serving platter. I finished them off with a drizzle of Trader Joe’s black truffle oil, a few cranks of fresh cracked black pepper, and some ground sea salt.

Check out the video demo that I posted on youtube:

And some photos of the finished product:

It was a great, cool-temperature, lean beef dish that really packed a delicious flavor profile. The truffle oil was a great way to bring out the earthy flavors from the steak. Simple but robust. Try it at home!

Asian Beef Lettuce Cups

This is a pretty simple and healthy recipe for getting your beef on. The first thing you need to do is procure some spices.

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground star anise
  • 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or ground Szechuan peppercorns

The above spices can be substituted with the same amount (2 & 1/2 teaspoons) of Chinese Five Spice, if you have it.

  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Brown a pound of ground beef in a pan, the same way you would for something like tacos, and strain off any excess liquids and fat. Add in the spices and continue browning until the beef is fully cooked and the spices are evenly distributed across the meat.

Scoop out portions of the beef into Bibb or Iceberg lettuce. Drizzle on some toasted sesame oil, sprinkle on some sesame seeds, and top with fresh cilantro, sliced fresh scallions and crispy fried shallots or onions. Then shove it into your mouth and eat it.

DSC08211 FINAL

If ground beef isn’t your thing, you can use this as a spice rub for grilling or searing steaks as well. Just make sure you coat the steaks generously with the spices first.

Salt Cured Egg Yolk Burger

Since I made an ass kicking video for this recipe, I don’t really have to do much typing here. Watch:

One word of caution: you do NOT have to season the burger with salt before cooking. The egg yolks retain a LOT of salt content, even if you are very efficient at dusting it all off after pulling them from the curing box. So be mindful.

  • Step 1: cure the eggs
  • Step 2: prep your other toppings
  • Step 3: cook the burger
  • Step 4: assemble and eat

Krave’s Smoke Apple Fusion & Giveaway

This is a genius recipe. The good people at Krave Jerky contacted me about this great cocktail recipe they formulated in conjunction with Angry Orchard hard cider. And read through to the end of this post because there’s a limited-time-offer free giveaway attached to this in celebration of National Jerky Day, which is Sunday, June 12th.

What You Need:

  • 1.5oz Krave Chili Lime Beef Jerky infused reposado tequila
  • 0.5oz cinnamon infused honey syrup
  • 0.5oz lime juice
  • 4oz Angry Orchard Crisp Apple
  • smoked salt

How to Make It:

Tear up a medium sized piece of the beef jerky and add it to the tequila. Let that soak for a while, like 20-30mins, before straining off the tequila. Boom. Just like that you have your jerky-infused tequila. The honey syrup is easier to put together: just add cinnamon to a honey simple syrup if you don’t have the time or patience to let a cinnamon stick soak in the syrup.

Add all ingredients into a shaker with ice and shake. Strain into a low ball glass with ice and a smoked salt rim. Garnish with a piece of Krave Chili Lime Beef Jerky.

wp-1465503827685.jpg

Giveaway Instructions

Okay so here’s how to enter the giveaway: Simply go to my Facebook page, Twitter feed or Instagram gallery, follow, and use the tag #jerkylove in a comment related to this post or the picture above. Do that so I know that you are actively entering this contest. Pretty simple. Tell your friends to enter, and use the tag on all three of my social media accounts to increase your odds of winning.

On Sunday, June 12th, which is National Jerky Day, I will select a winner at random and first I, and then Krave, will contact you regarding the prize. What’s the prize, you ask? An assortment of Krave jerky as seen below!

OPTIMIZED_GroupBagShot

Krave is giving away over 25,000 bags of its delicious, artisanal jerky across the US!

Let me tell you: their product is top notch. I’ve sampled pretty much every flavor they offer, and they are all fantastic. You can see my review of all their jerky flavors HERE.

Good luck, drink up, and eat up!!!

Be the BBQ Pitmaster Book Review

By now many of you have navigated to my guide to regional American BBQ styles. But there’s so much more to know about BBQ, even more than what I provided about the meats and an overview of the regional techniques.

For example, one could easily spend years just learning about and perfecting the various side items that go along with American BBQ – baked beans, pickles, corn bread, grits, collared greens and what have you. But those are just the basic ones. What about molasses cake, or ginger cake? Well, in my quest to dig deeper into the world of BBQ, I came across a really informative, useful and practical book.

be the pitmaster

Be The BBQ Pitmaster, by Will Budiaman, hit me with a thorough history of American BBQ, detailed discussions of the various regional techniques (well beyond what I covered in my guide), tips for wood selection, smoking instructions, analyses of various types of smokers, an exacting survey of the various ingredients and spices involved in BBQ, and even recipes from well known pitmasters in each region. I actually met one of those pitmasters last year at Meatopia (Tyson Ho, of Arrogant Swine), so I can personally vouch for the expertise that’s captured within the book.

It’s seriously a one-stop-shop for all your BBQ research and cooking application needs. The book obviously comes chock full of delicious-looking photos and recipes, but it’s also intuitively laid out and presented in such a manner that keeps the reader constantly engaged from cover to cover.

It starts with an overview of BBQ, and then dives deep into each regional style, with chapters neatly organized accordingly. Recipes are included that correspond to each region within these chapters. The book is an invaluable resource and recipe guide that will benefit both the novice and the seasoned smoker alike. And while I am unable to keep and maintain a smoker here in my microscopic NYC apartment, I will certainly be tackling some of the other recipes within the book.

This book is a seriously informative food guide. That’s why I felt compelled to write a review about it here for you meat mavens. I feel like, since you guys like this blog, then you’ll probably like this book.

Check it out. It’s available in both ebook and physical formats:

Be the BBQ Pitmaster: A Regional Smoker Cookbook Celebrating America’s Best Barbecue
By Will Budiaman
Sonoma Press, May 2, 2016
Paperback: $14.95 (250 pages)
Kindle: $6.99

Rusty Screwdriver

This is a quick and dirty mash-up of the classic screwdriver and rusty nail cocktails:

– Scotch & Orange Juice –

Essentially, it’s a poor-man’s Germain Scotsman. I love the combination of smokey scotch and orange juice with a hit of that elderflower flavor, but sometimes you just want to cut costs at a bar. And they may not have the right scotch or the elderflower liqueur, either. So this is a cheap substitute.