The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks


Thu May 12, 2016

Venezuelan Steak Pepito

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Steak Pepito

A lack of ability to get my totally ideal arepa here in Durham led me to throw a Venezuelan Meatwave a few weeks ago. While areapas were the inspiration for that event, I felt like having arepas alone would not offer my guests the diversity they're accustomed to at my meat-filled feasts. So that got me into researching what other Venezuelan staples could be taken to the grill, and I was instantly taken by pepitos. These are sandwiches that seem to be pretty ubiquitous in Venezuela, but have no real hard and fast rule for fillings and toppings. This latitude made me feel comfortable making my own interpretation of this sandwich, and what came out of that was this delicious Venezuelan steak pepito.

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Tue Mar 15, 2016

Perfectly Grilled Ribeye Steaks

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Ribeye Steak

Last month I busted out my seldom used immersion circulator and sous-vided, then grilled some spectacular strip steaks. As much as those steaks were probably the most tender, perfectly cooked pieces of meat I've ever made, they were missing a deep, crusty sear and hint of smokiness that differentiates a great steak and spectacular one to me. So when an opportunity arose to cook a giant bone-in ribeye cut—also called a cowboy steak—I looked to the grill, and the grill alone.

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Tue Feb 16, 2016

Sous Vide and Grilled NY Strip Steaks

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Sous Vide Strip Steak

I'm not one to buy into kitchen gadgets—I try keep my collection of tools and cookware to the essentials. I always classified immersion circulators in that "gadget" category, thinking they were something I really didn't need to cook well and likely wouldn't even use if I did own one. Then a couple years ago, there was a Kickstarer for the Anova Precision Cooker, which brought along with it a pathway to own a quality circulator for a reasonable price and I bought in on impulse. Although I was initially excited when the device came in the mail in Nov of 2014, my instincts were right—I didn't see it as necessity to cook, and therefore it sat untouched for a long time. I decided it was time to change that and have recently starting to experiment with the circulator and the results are beginning to sway my opinion on sous vide being relegated to second string in my cooking arsenal, I mean just look at these gorgeous New York strips that I cooked in a water bath, then finished over the flames.

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Tue Aug 25, 2015

Grilled Short Ribs

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Grilled Short Ribs

A business trip is just another excuse for gluttony in my book—after getting out of a long day of conference sessions, what better thing is there to do except eat and drink in excess, packing in as much food into a short trip as possible. Luckily I've been blessed with colleagues with a similar mentality, and boy did my co-worker and I eat well on a three-day jaunt in Seattle last year. Overindulgence comes with the requirement of a reasonable price tag per organizational rules, but usually throw in one splurge meal, and during that trip it was at Miller's Guild—a restaurant I sought out primarily to experience their massive wood-fired grill.

After walking in, my co-worker and I cozied up in front of the warm burning embers of that grill and considered what piece of cow would serve us best that fine evening. I stayed with my tried and true hanger/flank-type steak, while my company opted for short ribs. In my mind, she had just made a critical error.

I've only known short ribs to be either braised or slow smoked, both of which are methods that break down the massive amount of fat and connective tissue and render the meat tender and delicious. Cooked over a hot fire, I thought the short ribs would be tough and chewy. Man, was I ever wrong. We both tried each others cuts and those grilled short ribs put my steak to shame in every way.

I was left feeling concerned that I had wasted so many years of my life not grilling short ribs, and vowed to make up for lost time as soon, and as often, as possible.

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Tue Jun 30, 2015

The Best Way to Grill a T-Bone Steak

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When it comes to steak, I'm an economy cuts man. Well, I say with a bit of grumble that I was an economy man before my choice cuts of skirt, hanger, or flank became so desirable that their market value shot up beyond "bargain" territory. Still, they're easier on the wallet than the high-end cuts like ribeyes and T-bones, which I certainly love, but can hardly justify buying, knowing that I'll be just as happy with a steak a quarter of the cost.

But I'm also a man who would never pass up a porterhouse under the right circumstances, so when Serious Eats asked me to develop a recipe for perfectly cooked T-bone steaks last year (courtesy of Pat LaFrieda Meat) I jumped at the opportunity. The well-marbled, dry-aged prime steaks that were delivered were so beautiful that I affectionately dubbed them "my babies," and promised myself that no harm would come to them.

I've grilled enough steaks to know how to treat them right, but I did pit a few winning T-bone techniques against each other to see if one would ultimately earn me the title of "#1 Steak Dad."