Tag Archives: recipe

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.

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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.

MexiCali Sunset

This refreshing cocktail is super easy to make. Here’s what you need to make it:

  • 1 freshly squeezed clementine (or substitute with orange)
  • 1 packet sugar in the raw
  • 1 bottle of spicy ginger beer
  • mezcal (or substitute with tequila, sotol)

Add all ingredients except the ginger beer into a shaker with ice, and shake it the fuck up. Put as much mezcal in as you want! Pour over ice in a low ball glass. Fill it up between half and three quarters full. Then add ginger beer and stir before serving. Garnish with clementine rind to add a pop of bitter into the otherwise sweet drink, and rub the rind around the rim of the glass to get those citrus oils popping with each sip.

White Mexican

You’ve all heard of the drink known as the “White Russian,” which was reincarnated by “The Dude” in The Big Lebowski. Essentially it is vodka, Kahlua and milk/cream.

My twist on the drink swaps out the vodka and Kahlua for Patron Cafe, a coffee and dark chocolate flavored tequila (hence the Mexican element). You can still use the milk or cream for the “white” element, but if you want to add a nutty flavor you can go with almond milk and then hit it with a dash of sweetened condensed milk for thickness.

Devil Tacos

Devil Tacos is a recipe I concocted for usage of Saint Lucifer Spice during my review of their product. If you can’t get your hands on their delicious shit, then substitute for some other pepper like cayenne powder. But I highly recommend their habanero garlic blend. It just works better. Or use some actual habanero peppers to season the meat (just be careful with those fuckers).

What do you need and how do you make them?

1) Coat some skirt or flank steak with Saint Lucifer Spice.
2) Grill for two to three minutes per side, depending on thickness. 
3) While the meat rests, warm up some soft tortillas.
4) Also while the meat rests, prep some cilantro, onions, sour cream and jack cheese for a cooling taco filling.
5) After resting, slice the steak into thin strips for taco filling (cut on the bias for tenderness). 
6) Slice up an orange (or any sweet citrus element, really).
7) Fill your tortillas, and squeeze some orange juice on before eating.DSC09884

 

Note: That sweet tartness from the orange will pair perfectly with the habanero of the Saint Lucifer spice and cut it ever so slightly. Trust me. Your taste buds will thank you. I swear that shit is fucking good. Orange + habanero is fucking amazing. I used to soak fresh habaneros in my cartons of orange juice to give the juice a nice kick.

If you have hairy balls, and you’re drinking a Bloody Mary with your Devil Tacos, you can even add a few shakes of Saint Lucifer into that shit as well.