Category Archives: Meat

Easy Pastrami Recipe

I’m making an attempt at purging my freezer in the basement so that we can get it cleaned out and thawed. On my way to doing that, I came across some corned beef that I wanted to use up. My initial thoughts are always to make corned beef hash, as I really do like corned beef hash, but then I decided to make an easy pastrami. I love a good pastrami sandwich, so I figured why not take my spin on an easy pastrami recipe. To say the least, it was dynamite!

Easy Pastrami Recipe

Now you can go a bunch of different direction with this and make your own spice blends, and brine it if you want to, but the brisket was already brined, so I went with just a lot of cracked black pepper. Again, super simple, and extremely delicious.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 pound corned beef brisket
  • Black pepper, enough to generously coat the corned beef
  • Smoker

Start by rinsing the corned beef with cold water. Pat dry.

Cover the corned beef with black pepper. I used some great pepper I purchased from the Milwaukee Spice House. Once the corned beef is rubbed, cover and place in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Homemade Pastrami Recipe

Next is the smoke. Prepare your smoker, and get it going to about 225 degrees. You can probably go with your favorite wood, and in this case I used apple wood chunks. Smoke the brisket, fat side up, for about 4 hours, then continue cooking for about another 4 hours. You want the internal temperature to be about 180 degrees.

How to make pastrami

Remove it from the smoker, and place it into a large pot to let rest, and cool. Once cooled place it in the refrigerator overnight. The following day, place the corned beef onto a steamer rack, adding water to the bottom of the pan, and cover. I used my Chinese steamer for this. If you do not have one, just add it to a wire rack on a large baking sheet and cover with aluminum foil, and steam for about 2 more hours, adding additional water when needed. Just make sure the water does not come in contact with the corned beef.

Remove, and slice.

I cannot tell you how awesome this was, and trust me, it did not last long. My boys loved it, and I was already in heaven. I served it onto a sandwich, slathering a bit of Dijon mustard on it.  I wish I would have made about twice as much!

It is a process, but it is well worth the time and effort. Hope you enjoy!

Grilled New York Strip with Blue Cheese Butter

Finally. Yes, finally we are back to a few good months of weather in Wisconsin. Let’s face it, this past winter was brutally long, and finally everything is blooming. The smell of late spring and summer is here, and well, it’s just plain awesome. It’s funny how something so simple that mother nature provides makes us all cheer up a bit.  With that said, it is also that time of year where grilling becomes part of the everyday ritual. Whether it is lunch during the weekend, or by default the dinner cooking method during the work week, my little grill is getting it’s workout week, especially during this long holiday weekend.

As I got the ‘house’ ready for the long weekend, meaning, cut the grass, plant the vegetable garden, etc, I was really hungry and I knew I was going to want to fill up on a good meal. So with that said, about 80% through my cutting of the grass, I lit some coals in my charcoal chimney starter, and took a small break to season a New York strip, generously with salt on both sides, and cracked black pepper on the other. Then I thought, after having a recent conversation with a friend regarding morel mushrooms, that I would throw together a bit of blue cheese butter. Yes, blue cheese, and butter are amazing with steak if you have never had it, now then, please try.

New York Strip with Blue Cheese Butter

After I cut the grass, the coals were finally heated, and so I placed the grate onto the grill, cleaned it, heated it, and got pretty darn excited for lunch. Steak for lunch? Hell yes. It wasn’t that I was so excited as the steak, as it was for the blue cheese butter. Trust me.

Let’s get started.

  • 1 New York Strip, to your liking
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tbsp softened, unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp blue cheese crumbles
  • 1 tsp chopped chives

That’s it. And TRUST me, the combination is out of this world.

Start by seasoning both sides of your steak with salt. Pat it into the steak. Season one side with the cracked black pepper. Let this sit on the counter, at room temperature for about 30 minutes. During this time, heat you grill. I always prefer charcoal, but do what you want on this step.

Take the butter and add it to a small bowl. Add the blue cheese, and chives. Mix well and set inside the refrigerator to cool.

How to make New York Strip with Blue Cheese Butter

Once the grill is preheated, clean your grates, then take the steak, and place onto direct heat, cracked pepper side down. Sear the steak for about 4 minutes.

Turn, and cook until your desired tenderness. I go medium, to medium-rare nowadays.

Remove from the grill, and place onto your serving dish. Top with the blue cheese butter, and gently spread onto the top before slicing into it.

Yes, this is what I had for  lunch, and after 3 hours of working outdoors, it was well deserved.

The result is a perfect flavor combination. My brother-n-law turned me onto the blue cheese and steak combination years ago, and to this day, it’s one of my favorites. As much as I love cooked mushrooms with my steak, this one tops it. The grilled New York Strip with blue cheese butter has this creaminess, along with that great kick from the blue cheese that will just blow your mind. Trust me, it’s a good one. Hope you enjoy!

Lao Tomato Salsa – Jeaw Mak Len

My family is a pretty big fan of Thai style sticky rice. Personally, I could probably eat it every day, just a little bit, for dinner. If you have never experienced sticky rice, let’s just say that it is unlike any rice that you have probably ever had. It is not a fork or spoon kind of rice, rather a rice you eat with a few of your fingers. It’s fun to say the least, and a few of my favorite things to eat with sticky rice is larb gai, nuoc cham, and this lao tomato salsa, known as jeaw mak len.  Do not, I repeat, do not even get me started on my wicked Asian slang. Basically what ‘Jeaw Mak Len’ translates to is a bad ass tomato dipping sauce, or what I consider another Asian style salsa that will rock your world.

Jeaw Mak Len Recipe

I created a spin on a Thai salsa in the past using lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves, but the jeaw mak len is a bit chunkier, and smokier in flavor, and trust me, it goes great with pretty much everything.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 2 whole, large Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 15 cloves garlic, peeled (I love garlic, reduce in half if you are the opposite)
  • 5 whole Thai chili peppers *reduce for less heat
  • 1 whole white onion, halved
  • 1 tbsp good quality fish sauce *I like Red Boat
  • generous pinch of salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, stems and all
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Now you have a couple of options here. You can figure out how to do all of this on a grill, over charcoal, or you can get a nice hot cast iron skillet in the oven, super hot, and roast the vegetables. Me? In the oven, on high.

Begin by preparing all of your ingredients. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees with a large cast iron skillet inside.

To a mixing bowl, add everything but the salt, fish sauce, and cilantro. Give a good toss to make sure everything is lubricated with the oil.

How to make Lao tomato dipping sauce

Once the oven is heated, remove the cast iron skillet, obviously with a kitchen mit, and toss in the mixture from the bowl. The sound is like sizzling fajitas. Love it.

Return the skillet back to the oven and let this cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until things are slightly charred. Once charred, remove from the oven, and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Now you have another couple of options. Food processor, or mortar and pestle. I go with the food processor as it is less labor intensive, and heck, I can train myself on being a pulse master. Not sure if that is a good thing or what, but whatever. Toss in the salt, fish sauce, and cilantro. Pulse or mortar the vegetable mixture until you have a nice, chunky consistency.

Pour into a bowl and you are ready to roll.

This is smoky, sweet, tart, and spicy, so who could go wrong with that, right? This is perfect with sticky rice, but let me tell you, it goes perfect with regular rice, heck, even tortilla chips. Don’t even start me on things like fresh cucumbers, or other raw vegetables. Let’s leave it at that, and you let me know what you decide.

*Again, use caution with the garlic an chili peppers. That’s how I roll, you decide on how garlicky and spicy you like it. Hope you enjoy!

Lao Tomato Salsa - Jeaw Mak Len
Author: 
Recipe type: Sauces
Cuisine: Lao, Thai
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Ingredients
  • 2 whole, large Roma tomatoes, halved
  • 15 cloves garlic, peeled (I love garlic, reduce in half if you are the opposite)
  • 5 whole Thai chili peppers *reduce for less heat
  • 1 whole white onion, halved
  • 1 tbsp good quality fish sauce *I like Red Boat
  • generous pinch of salt, to taste
  • ½ cup of fresh cilantro, stems and all
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Instructions
  1. Now you have a couple of options here. You can figure out how to do all of this on a grill, over charcoal, or you can get a nice hot cast iron skillet in the oven, super hot, and roast the vegetables. Me? In the oven, on high.
  2. Begin by preparing all of your ingredients. Preheat your oven to 475 degrees with a large cast iron skillet inside.
  3. To a mixing bowl, add everything but the salt, fish sauce, and cilantro. Give a good toss to make sure everything is lubricated with the oil.
  4. Once the oven is heated, remove the cast iron skillet, obviously with a kitchen mit, and toss in the mixture from the bowl. The sound is like sizzling fajitas. Love it.
  5. Return the skillet back to the oven and let this cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until things are slightly charred. Once charred, remove from the oven, and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  6. Now you have another couple of options. Food processor, or mortar and pestle. I go with the food processor as it is less labor intensive, and heck, I can train myself on being a pulse master. Not sure if that is a good thing or what, but whatever. Toss in the salt, fish sauce, and cilantro. Pulse or mortar the vegetable mixture until you have a nice, chunky consistency.
  7. Pour into a bowl and you are ready to roll.
  8. This is smoky, sweet, tart, and spicy, so who could go wrong with that, right? This is perfect with sticky rice, but let me tell you, it goes perfect with regular rice, heck, even tortilla chips. Don’t even start me on things like fresh cucumbers, or other raw vegetables. Let’s leave it at that, and you let me know what you decide.
  9. *Again, use caution with the garlic an chili peppers. That’s how I roll, you decide on how garlicky and spicy you like it. Hope you enjoy!

 

Steakhouse Mushrooms

Last week we had my in-laws over for a nice Fourth of July feast. It’s been awhile since they have been over for a nice meal, and it was our treat to enjoy a long, lazy, afternoon together. It was also that time of year that every grill on the street was probably getting preheated, ready for an arsenal of vegetables and meat. For me, it was my treat to go straight up classic grilled steaks. I splurged, I’ll admit that, and got some quality cuts of beef from Ray’s Butcher Shoppe in a nearby neighborhood. I’ll admit, I was pretty darn excited to offer up some quality meat to the entire family. I went with filets for my wife and mother-n-law, a great boneless strip for the kids, and some awesome porterhouse steaks for myself and my father-in-law.

Steakhouse Mushrooms Recipe

As I was going to offer up a classic summertime grilled steak affaire, including grilled corn on the cob and a baked potato, I decided twist it up a bit, and offer up the rosemary and garlic smashed potatoes, classic grilled corn, a Vietnamese summer roll for an appetizer, and the famous steakhouse mushrooms to be spooned over the grilled beef.

I don’t know about you, but the times we dine at a classic supper club, there are these amazing roasted mushrooms in a great butter sauce that are to die for. So with that said, I wanted to create my own version, and own that I think we all fell in love with. These steakhouse mushrooms go perfect with steak, but hold their own as any side dish to serve. As a matter of fact, I could eat them alone, they are just that good.

Let’s get started.

Ingredients:

  • 16 oz button mushrooms, medium size, cleaned
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped in half, smashed
  • 2 tbsp shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 splash of Worchestershire sauce
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • pinch of salt

Add the mushrooms to a large mixing bowl. Add in the oil, garlic, shallots, capers, soy sauce, worchestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Give a good mix. Toss in the cubed butter. Set aside.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Add the mixture to a medium sized casserole dish, and cover with aluminum foil. Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 40 minutes. About 20 minutes in, remove, and give a good stir. Cover, and finish cooking.

How to make steakhouse style mushrooms

When these are done cooking, you will notice they shrink is size a bit, and are residing in a pool of deliciousness. Serve over grilled steaks, or heck, place them in a bowl, get a toothpick or two, and dig in. These are also awesome if you have any leftovers to be used in an omelet, or served with a bit of rustic bread.

Steakhouse Mushrooms
Author: 
Recipe type: Sides
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 16 oz button mushrooms, medium size, cleaned
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped in half, smashed
  • 2 tbsp shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 splash of Worchestershire sauce
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper
  • pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Add the mushrooms to a large mixing bowl. Add in the oil, garlic, shallots, capers, soy sauce, worchestershire sauce, salt, and pepper. Give a good mix. Toss in the cubed butter. Set aside.
  2. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Add the mixture to a medium sized casserole dish, and cover with aluminum foil. Place in the preheated oven and cook for about 40 minutes. About 20 minutes in, remove, and give a good stir. Cover, and finish cooking.
  3. When these are done cooking, you will notice they shrink is size a bit, and are residing in a pool of deliciousness. Serve over grilled steaks, or heck, place them in a bowl, get a toothpick or two, and dig in. These are also awesome if you have any leftovers to be used in an omelet, or served with a bit of rustic bread.