This has a generous rub of ground coriander seeds, coarse black pepper, kosher salt, and garlic powder. I made several slits all over the shoulder and inserted whole cloves of garlic – more than a dozen, you can see one there amid the pulled meat. It spent the night in the smoker, set at a low temp, I doubt it made it to 200. It sat on a rack over a pan of apple juice to help provide moisture, and I expect the reduced and defatted juices will make a delicious addition to the pork. It has turned windy and cool and made cooking to a finish in the smoker too long a process to contemplate so I brought it in to the oven. It hit 160 and I pulled it to cool. I did take a sample, because.. smoked pork! I used apple wood and cherry for the smoke.
A little background. When I began What’s 4 Dinner Solutions, it was a subscription menu service. Because of the experiences of the people around me, I targeted it to families and specifically those who were intimidated by cooking. I wanted them to have easy, fool-proof recipes that kept them away from fast foods. It grew and grew and then as my life went in another direction, it kind of morphed into this blog.
I want to explore some cooking basics, just because I think everyone can use a refresher now and then. And also, while I was watching a cooking show the other night I realized I could use to improve some of my basic skills, too. I’ve gotten a little sloppy over the years.
Since it’s Memorial Day Weekend, I thought grilling would be a great place to start.It’s a pretty basic skill. There are some tips to grill the perfect steak every time. Cut isn’t as important as cooking technique. My favorites are sirloin, t-bone, rib eye, occasionally I’ll do a NY strip steak. JeffreyW has had some luck with flat iron steaks. I haven’t played with that one enough to have a good feel for it. Pick your favorite and let’s start grilling:
Step 1 – Always have meat at room temperature before grilling. This means taking it out of the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before grilling. Season it, cover it and set it on the counter.
Step 2– Seasoning. Start with the basics while you perfect your technique. You’ll want to salt it, lightly if it’s a thinner steak, a little heavier for a thick steak. Use pepper and garlic liberally, With these you are creating a crust that will grill up nicely on your steak. Later on you can move to coffee rubs or seasoned rubs.
Step 3 – Grilling. You’ll want a very hot flame to sear both sides of the steak. Here’s the trick, put the steak on and do not turn it until you can easily move it when you give it a push with a utensil (usually about a minute or 2). Flip it and repeat. Then move it to a medium flame (or away from direct flame on a charcoal grill) and let grill. For rare your total grilling time is about 5 minutes a side, including searing. Use a meat thermometer until you get a feel for it. NEVER cut into it to test it, see step 4. Rare to medium-rare is going to give you the best grilling experience.
Step 4 – Rest. Steak (and roasts, too) need to rest for 10 minutes to let the juices redistribute. This keeps your steak from losing all its juice when you cut into it. If you cut into before that, you’ll be chewing a completely dried out piece of meat, no matter how rare.
That’s it. That is a perfect steak. I’ve heard some people put a pat of butter on it as it rests, I’ve never tried it, but watch enough cooking shows and you’ll see someone do it. Some people use steak sauce…I have no idea why. A good baked potato and salad are all I need with my steak.
Have a good holiday. And remember to thank a vet somewhere along the next three days.
I’ve made some tomato sauces this summer that qualify for the label. I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned this one before, and teased the recipe. It is pretty straightforward to make. Juice a bunch of tomatoes and start them boiling on the stove top. Now start adding stuff: The one I’m making today has a head of garlic in it, roughly minced. I brought in some fresh herbs from the patio garden, a good wad of basil, several sprigs of rosemary, and the same for thyme. We started some oregano but it died out early and we make do with store bought dried. There are two grated carrots in there, and a minced onion. A few ribs of celery diced finely. Salt and fresh ground back pepper, a few tablespoons of olive oil. I bet I’m forgetting something, but this will get you very close.
All that’s left to do is simmer the sauce down until it is thick enough to suit you. Today I started with about six quarts of juice. I’m not there yet, but I expect to jar one quart, or less. This stuff makes great pizza sauce. On pasta it is, well, awesome.
[Edit:] Made three pints.
I had some leftover sauteed tomatoes from the pasta last night, and some of the mozzarella. I sliced some bread and started fooling around.
I added the tomatoes to a slice, piled on the mozz, and stuck it into the toaster oven. While it was heating up I went to the basil bush and picked some leaves.
When the cheese was all melty and starting to toast, I pulled it and drizzled a fair amount of olive oil onto the thing, and topped that with some basil. I told myself that this was really wanting to be a sammich.
So, butter another slice and pop everything back into the toaster. Now were talking! The cheese started to ooze, and the oil was bubbling away. Now what? Well, cutting a sammich in two is always a popular way to present it: