Holy crap, the Meatwave is ten years old! At the same time it feels so close and so far away from the time when I was still sustaining myself mainly on Hot Pockets and TGIFridays frozen appetizers and decided to buy a small cheap grill, invited my friends over, and almost instantly found a love for cooking and food that is continually evolving to this day. While my heart is still grounded in the primary Meatwave experience of friends hanging around the grill on warm summer days with cold beers, this humble site has now led me on a crazy adventure where I'm developing at least one new grilling recipe each week for the insanely awesome Serious Eat, has me travelling everywhere from Reno to Montana to Alabama to Texas for new barbecue journeys, all the while making great new friends along the way that inspire, teach, and support. I'm incredibly grateful for all that the Meatwave has brought over the past ten years, and I can think of no better way of celebrating this than with more meat!
New season, new ribs. These may have the glossy sheen I worked on developing for my competition ribs, but their flavor is boldly different. Reduced balsamic vinegar formed the base of the sauce on these ribs, giving them that distinctly sharp and robust balsamic tang, which was paired with a three pepper rub for slight, but complex, heat. I have to say, balsamic-glazed baby backs were a fine choice to kick off our tenth year.
The second offering was based on a recipe I picked up from pitmaster Chris Lilly of Big Bob Gibson. I'm not much of a fan of boneless chicken breasts on the grill, but the sweet glazed chicken sandwiches with smoky bacon Chris served up for lunch for us one day while I was in Decatur were phenomenal. I changed up the recipe a bit to increase the heat, adding another layer of flavor that only made these all the better in my opinion.
Next is another point of inspiration—char siu pork shoulder steaks, which I first had at Fletcher's, my buddies Bill and Matt's barbecue joint in Brooklyn. To make these, I cut a boneless pork butt into two-inch steaks, rubbed them down with a Chinese 5-spice rub, marinated them in Char Siu sauce, then slow smoked them over cherry wood. Six hours later we were rewarded with tender, juicy, and sweet pork with a bit of Asian flare.
I've been slowly pushing my wife to become the master drink maker of the family (my Valentines gift to her was a bar set, which I promptly made her use to fix me a special Valentines cocktail). Luckily she's taken to this and has been churning out tasty beverages like this week's bee's knees—that's lemon, gin, and honey cocktails.
I also got back into the ice cream game with pecan pie ice cream. A fantastic recipe from Serious Eats friend (and fellow Astorian) Max, this ice cream had a great pecan flavor and a sticky, sugary pecan swirl that fully delivered on its "pie" promise.
Further deteriorating my neglected teeth were these homemade Oreos, courtesy of my sister Rachel and her man, Chuck. I'm not sure how many I had at the actual Meatwave, but it must have left a great impression on me because when I woke up the next morning hung over and still overstuffed, I couldn't help but finishing them off for "breakfast."
Little Mia, who had her first rib at the Meatwave, isn't so little anymore—turning three in only a few weeks. I'm sure her parents were over joyed as she ate through one sweet after the next during the day. Hopefully that sugar rush ended in a crash and sound sleep once home.
I can almost always count on Rachel and Chuck not to just to bring food and drinks, but another furry friend on each visit. This week our special guest was the Scottish terrier Winston, who was not allowed to partake in the meat feast, but came along with his own liver treats to make him feel part of the celebration.
Boozy boys Matt and Joe made the trek out to Astoria on the cold and rainy day. I can always count on Joe to find that stray piece of meat and just going for it late in the evening, and on Matt to tell everyone that everything is terrible—a failing strategy to save more delicious meat for him.
I'll leave you with me and
stinkface Kristin. See how happy ten years of the Meatwave has made me! It's been a truly amazing journey into the all encompassing world of barbecue and grilling, one that rewards me with so much more than just clogged arteries. While it's nice to take a peek back, it's the future that's most exciting for the Meatwave, because that's still unwritten and I'm positive the best is yet to come (I know that sounds cliche, but it's also totally true).
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Mike I've used many recipes from this site and they have always been spot on. Along the way, I've learned much.
Josh @Mike Warms my heart to hear that :) Happy Grilling!
Mike Josh, congratulations!! You have reached a well deserved milestone. I can't wait to see what the next 10 years will bring you.
Your writing, photographs, and grill work is always the best. I am proud to call you a friend. Grill on!
Chris 10 years well done, Josh. Keep up the great work for another 10, you always inspire my grill.
Diana Reynolds I went to my first Meatstravaganza on Memorial Day myself. Holy meaty meats! There were over 80 people there and more than 20 different types of meat for everyone to share. It was killer. Kudos to you all on your party as well. Celebrate with the ones you love and the meats you love!