*This recipe is from Adam Perry Lang’s BBQ 25; I used it as a test for my review.
As I said in my review, Adam Perry Lang (APL hereafter) has a very distinctive style of grilling. His recipes are all about building layer after layer of flavor. These steaks are marinated, seasoned, coated with oil, squashed flat under a brick on the grill, basted with butter using a herb brush, and, finally, chopped on a cutting board covered with oil and more herbs.
*I have to confess – I skipped a few of those steps. Like the bricks.
Looking at this recipe, my first thought was “This will be a lot of work!” But, as I made the recipe, the ingredients came together quickly. Adam has obviously put a lot of thought into his basic techniques, and has good tips on how to use them quickly. The marinade, in particular, is almost all pantry ingredients; toss them into a zip top bag, smash together, and the marinade is ready.
The results? My wife loved the steaks; I thought they were very good, with a strong taste of the tangy marinade topped off by the sweet, garlic-herb taste of the butter baste. This recipe is great for leaner cuts of steak, the kind of cuts that take well to marinades.
*In other words, chuck, skirt, flank and rump steaks. Don’t use it on a steak that can stand on its own; it would overwhelm the flavor of good beef. In other words…if you do this to a prime porterhouse, I will find you and steal your grill tongs to make sure you don’t do it again.
If you are the kind of person who thinks “more is more”, who thinks steak isn’t complete without some sort of sauce on it*, or who wants to put on a show for guests, this recipe is for you.
*Like my mom. Hi, mom!
- Grill (I used a Weber kettle, here)
- Herb brush (tie 4-5 sprigs of thyme around a sprig of rosemary), or a basting brush
- Grill safe pot (optional, for the butter baste)
- 4 top sirloin steaks, 3/4″ thick (or flank, skirt, or chuck steaks)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp grated sweet onion (1/4 of a vidalia, ososweet, or use a red onion)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbsp ancho chile powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt (a 2 finger pinch)
- 1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or use some of the other herbs from the brush)
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt (again, a 2 finger pinch)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
|Ready for the grill – steaks, herb brush,|
butter baste, board dressing
1. Marinate the steaks: Put the marinade ingredients in a zip top bag, and mix, crushing the ingredients through the bag. (Watch out for any sharp ends on the thyme; don’t poke a hole in the bag). Add the steaks, zip the bag closed, and let rest at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours.
2. Make the butter baste and board dressing:Put the butter baste ingredients in a grill-safe pot. (If you have a grill safe pot, you can melt the butter on the grill; if you don’t, put them in a microwave safe bowl and microwave until the butter is melted and the garlic is starting to sizzle.) Put the board dressing ingredients in a bowl, and mix until well combined. Pour the board dressing out on the middle of your carving board, spreading it out so it will cover the steaks.
3. Prepare the grill: Prepare the grill so half of it can be used for cooking on direct medium-high heat. For my Weber kettle, I light a chimney starter* 3/4 full of charcoal, and wait for it to be covered with ash, about 20 minutes. Then I pour it in an even layer over half of the charcoal grate. Next, I put the grill grate in the grill, let it heat up for a minute, then brush it clean with my grill brush.
*I highly recommend the Weber Chimney Starter, because it is larger than most chimney starters. It holds 5 quarts of charcoal, which exactly the right size for cooking this recipe.
4. Grill the steaks: Remove the steaks from the marinade, and pat them dry with paper towels. Put the pot with the butter baste on the grill, over the direct heat, and melt the butter. Once the garlic starts to sizzle, move the pot to a part of the grill that isn’t over direct heat. Put the steaks on the grill, over the direct heat. Grill for 6 minutes, rotating the steaks 90 degrees halfway through, until the steaks have a nice, caramelized crust on the bottom. Flip the steaks, and grill the second side for 3 minutes. brush the steaks with the butter baste, using the herb brush. (Expect flareups when you do this). Check the donenes of the steaks at this point; I recommend measuring with an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part. For rare, they should have an 115F internal temperature; 120F for medium-rare, and 130*F for medium. Continue to cook the steaks until they reach the desired doneness, probably another 3 minutes for medium-rare. Flip the steaks one more time, baste them with the butter again, and remove them to your carving board with its board dressing. Give the steaks one final baste of butter.
5. Rest, then serve: Let the steaks rest for 10 minutes, then serve.
*APL Bricks: Adam Perry Lang likes to press his steaks with a aluminum-foil covered brick while they’re cooking to help them caramelize. I haven’t noticed a difference when I use this technique, but it sure looks impressive, so if you want to show off for guests, give it a try. Just move the brick from steak to steak as they sear. (Use tongs, please, the brick will be hot!)
*APL Basting Brush/Board Dressing: If you used the herb brush and the board dressing, just before you put the steaks on the board, chop the tender ends of the herbs off the brush and onto the board dressing for an extra layer of herbs.
*I’m definitely keeping the marinade part of this recipe handy. It was easy to put together, and quite tasty. I’m going to skip the grated onion next time, though; that step seemed like more trouble than it was worth.
*Marinating Time: Adam says you can marinate for up to 24 hours. I wouldn’t go past two hours; beyond that and I think you will completely overwhelm the flavor of the meat.
What do you think? Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Adapted from BBQ 25 by Adam Perry Lang copyright 2010 with permission of William Morrow/An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
Adam Perry Lang: BBQ 25
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