Tag Archives: recipes

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!

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.

Steak Sauce Martini

I came across an amazing drink that Chef Admir from Ben & Jack’s Steakhouse whipped up for the holiday season. It’s called the Steak Sauce Martini.



  • 1oz Bourbon
  • 1oz Eggnog
  • 1oz White Chocolate Liqueur
  • 1oz Frangelico
  • 1/4 teaspoon Steak Sauce
  • 1 Strip of Bacon (for stirring)


  1. Smear the steak sauce on the inside of a chilled martini glass.
  2. In a shaker with ice, add bourbon, eggnog, white chocolate liqueur and Frangelico.
  3. Shake and pour into a martini glass. Garnish with strip of bacon.

If its too much work for you to make at home, then take a trip over to Ben & Jacks to try it out.

Winter is Coming

It’s really simple:

  • 1 part Amaretto
  • 1 part Jack Daniels Tennessee Honey Whiskey
  • 1 part Kahlua

Shake up with ice and pour over some rocks. It starts out looking cloudy and light brown, but then it darkens up as it settles. A riff on this if it is too strong is to mix in a little bit of milk, but then the whole dynamic changes.

These were a smash hit on Thanksgiving. I must’ve made a half dozen of them for family members that took a sip of mine and then wanted their own. To me, it tasted like liquid brown sugar. My sister said it tasted like chocolate covered black cherries. My wife said it was a very “Fall/Autumn” drink.

Sweet Cactus

Adding to my repertoire of cocktails made with aloe drink, I went a little deeper into that family of aloe/cactus plant lineage with this mezcal-based drink:

  • 1 part aged mezcal
  • 2 parts aloe drink
  • 1 teapoon agave syrup
  • 1 packet of sugar in the raw
  • a squirt of lime juice

Shake with ice, and serve on ice. Very refreshing.


Aloe Guvna

Over the last few weeks I’ve been trying to make a dent in some booze that I haven’t touched for a while in the liquor cabinet. I offered to make my wife a cocktail and she said “surprise me,” so I figured I would concoct something new and unique.

I have a LOT of scotch, so that was the first ingredient I picked. I took the lemon juice out, and grabbed a packet of sugar in the raw. But it needed something else. I opened the fridge and saw some aloe drinks. Perfect! It has a lychee-ish, grape-ish, elderflower-ish flavor to it, and a bit sweet but refreshing at the same time.


So I threw one part scotch, two or three parts aloe drink, lemon juice and sugar into the shaker with some ice and went to work shakin’ that shit. The result was a foggy yellow colored drink that was absolutely incredible!

Strong, sweet, refreshing and unique. You can swap the lemon for lime if you want, and you could add a dash of spicy ginger beer if you have it, or perhaps a splash of cherry juice. I garnished with a cherry.


Chicken Legs and Broccolini

This recipe is pretty easy to execute, and every time I make it, it delivers with amazing flavor and texture. Crispy skin lemon and herb chicken legs with sautéed chorizo broccolini.

What The Fuck Do You Need?

  • Two chicken legs (thigh and drum X 2)
  • One bundle of broccolini (aka baby broccoli)
  • Lemon juice
  • Oregano
  • Salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Butter
  • Dry, cured sausage (the hard kind, like a pepperoni or chorizo)

How The Fuck Do You Make It?

The first thing you need to do is make the lemon-herb paste. This is basically made “to taste,” so you can vary the proportions and amounts to your liking. Just keep the consistency to a paste and not too liquidy. Combine your salt, cracked black pepper, crushed red pepper, oregano, onion powder and garlic powder into a small dish or bowl and add lemon juice. Stir until mixed into a paste.


That shit is going to smell amazing: very Greek/Italian. Try not to shove it down your throat just yet, because you need it for the later steps.

pre-heat your oven to 350, rinse and prep your broccolini, and chop up your sausage as such:



Next, you’re going to shove some butter and your lemon-herb paste underneath the chicken skin, without completely removing the skin from the meat, of course. Spread it around evenly so you don’t get any blank spaces of flavor. Don’t worry either – you’d be surprised how much the butter helps to slosh the spices around once it gets cooking. Get down into those drumsticks too!



Get your vegetable oil in a pan and heat it up. You shouldn’t need more than two cups of oil. Just enough to get the majority of the chicken skin into the hot oil should do the trick. Then drop your chicken legs in, top-side down.


You’re going to flip these bitches once they get golden and crispy. Try to keep the skin covering the meat too on the bottom side when you flip it (that part of the skin doesn’t quite connect to the meat as well as it does in other areas).


Remove the chicken from the frying pan once the other side gets nice and crispy brown, and place the legs onto a baking sheet. Pop that shit into the oven for another 20-30 minutes, top-side up.


Clean your pan (or use a second one), and then begin to sautee your sausage/chorizo. When they start to release some grease, you can add your broccolini in there as well.



When the pan is nice and hot, and your broccolini is really cooking, I want you to hit the pan with a few ounces of water to deglaze the pan. Doing this releases all that nice brown sausagey goodness from the pan and puts that flavor directly into the broccolini.


Once the water is all evaporated from the pan again, your broccolini should be fully cooked and your chorizo should be slightly crisped and browned. Plate that shit.


Remove your chicken from the oven and plate that shit alongside your broccolini.



That’s it. Super simple, and this will feed two people, unless you’re a fat fuck like me and can eat it all by yourself.


I also like to add sliced onion and fresh garlic into the broccolini sautee as well sometimes. When I did this recipe, I didn’t have that stuff handy, but here’s a shot of the finished plate from a previous night when I made the dish with onions and fresh garlic. As you can see, the skin actually came out a little nicer that time, due to better butter coverage and frying technique.

chicken leg and broccolini