July 3, 2015

Eisenhower "rubs the steak with oil and garlic and then, as the horrified guests look on, casually flings the steak into the midst of the red and glowing coals."

From a NYT article that recommends: "For a Better Steak, Cook Directly on Charcoal."

I see that Instapundit has: "CAVEAT: THESE ARE THE SAME PEOPLE WHO SAY YOU SHOULD PUT PEAS IN YOUR GUACAMOLE. For a Better Steak, Cook Directly on Charcoal. On the other hand, if it was good enough for Ike...."

I'd just like to say:

1. The NYT cooking section has figured out how to get action in social media.

2. Both the peas-in-the-guacamole and the steak-on-the-charcoal ideas trigger our instinctive aversion to putting things where they don't belong.

3. People want to cry out NO! and immediately tweet/blog/yell NO! without pausing to make the recipe. I once judged a recipe contest by just reading the recipes and imagining the results, so I'm not saying that's wrong. It's really just another way to put points ##1 and 2. But you can actually test the recipe.

4. Last night, Ike-like, Meade flung the steak directly onto the glowing charcoal. It came out just great! 

5. No peas in the guacamole yet. I generally prefer fewer ingredients. But if you have extra fresh peas and that tub of guacamole you picked up at Whole Foods has started to feel like an obligation, why not? I've seen guacamole thrown into burritos at Chipotle. It's kind of stick-em, isn't it? And don't your peas need something to keep them from rolling around? When we were kids, we mixed them into the mashed potatoes. That kept them in place.

6. Sexual reference in point #2 intended.

35 comments:

Michael K said...

I knew a guy in college who cooked a whole beef loin by packing it with rock salt and putting right on the coals. It was excellent and I would try it but I can't remember the rest of the details and beef loins are too expensive to experiment with these days.

Original Mike said...

I don't understand how the steak doesn't end up gritty. Did Meade use chunk charcoal rather than briquettes?

Ann Althouse said...

As the NYT article says: "It should be noted that only natural chunk charcoal (not briquettes) ignited in a chimney is recommended, so that wood is the only ingredient touching the meat."

Peglegged Picador said...

I really like how you used multiple pound signs as a stand in for the the plural, "numbers." Curious as to whether that's original material or something you've seen before?

Meade said...

I used hickory and oak charcoal, 4" ribeye, 2 1/2 minutes X 4 sides. The dry rub: I/4 cup coffee, 1/4 cup ground chipotle, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 2 T paprika, 1T cumin, garlic, garam masala, salt

Original Mike said...

4"! And only 10 minutes?

rhhardin said...

Things where they don't belong is the interest of my trash tag, things put out for the garbage man.

MadisonMan said...

Bon Appetit suggested this last summer, or the summer before. I haven't tried it yet.

rehajm said...

Yah, real charcoal- don't try it with commercial briquets. This is a great technique. One of my favorite dining spots uses this method for it's 'dirty steak'. It is not dirty.

Coupe said...
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Coupe said...
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Temujin said...

For the 4th we're flinging our peas directly onto the coals, and our steaks directly into our mouths. Happy 4th everyone! Even those of you in the People's Republic of Madison (who probably view Independence Day as another good reason to protest).

MadisonMan said...

I agree with Althouse, that the NY Times Foodies have discovered clickbaitworthy titles. (More likely, they hired someone to do it) I resist.

Peas in guac: Ugh.

Jake said...

"2. Both the peas-in-the-guacamole and the steak-on-the-charcoal ideas trigger our instinctive aversion to putting things where they don't belong."

But you're AGAINST peas in guacamole?

CWJ said...

"...our instinctive aversion to putting things where they don't belong."

Unintentionally amusing after Obergefell.

Laslo Spatula said...

"6. Sexual reference in point #2 intended."

Preemptive Laslo maneuver.

I see.

I am Laslo.

David said...

Ike put garlic and oil on his steaks? Once again, and contrary to image, Ike was quietly ahead of his time.

Coupe said...
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Coupe said...

Ike put garlic and oil on his steaks?

He had a British mistress. Putting his meat right into the red and glowing coals...

rhhardin said...

There was in the 70s a bread marketed made of wood, New Horizon or something, if that's not a feminine hygiene product I'm confusing it with.

The Drill SGT said...

Michael K said...
I knew a guy in college who cooked a whole beef loin by packing it with rock salt and putting right on the coals.


The salt trick is spectacular for fish, though not on the coals.

Take a chunk of Salmon for example, skin on. Take a few pounds of kosher salt, moisten with beaten egg whites and a bit of water. make a very thick paste.

create a bed of the paste, if you wish, lay a bit of foil down, put the fish in, skin side up, add herbs if you wish, cover with the rest of the paste. if needed, brush on more egg/water to get a good seal. Bake in the oven at 400. 15-20 min, till crust is golden.

an example:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/salt-crusted-whole-fish-recipe.html

http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/search-results.html?searchTerm=Fish+Baked+in+Salt+Crust&form=global&_charset_=UTF-8

Adrift Transient said...

I thought that #4 was also a sexual reference.

Darrell said...

He had a British mistress.

Bullshit. No reasonable historian believes that. Ike was constantly under three sets of eyes (two Brit intelligence units and one American) that say it never happened.

Coupe said...
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Darrell said...

While in the other articles in the NYT, they are telling you that it is the higher temperatures that create the carcinogenic compounds when you cook meat.

MadisonMan said...

The problem with that recipe, DrillSgt, is all the extraneous nonsense in it: Tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts. Ugh.

I want to taste animal flesh, not vegetables :)

The Drill SGT said...

MM,

note, I proposed the simple but workable version. I only used the professional complex one to illustrate the workability of the concept :)

What you get is beautiful, moist steamed fish with all the flavor still in the fish, not 'steamed' out...

Tibore said...

Alton Brown had this method on his show Good Eats back in 2003. Use natural chunk charcoal instead of briquettes, cook directly on the coal, then blow-dry what little ash remains on the steak right off. If you've properly prepared the coals, they won't be all ashy, they'll just be glowing chunks of wood, so very little will stick to the steak.

St. George said...

Eisenhower also never used ashtrays, believed ashes were good for carpets, flicked his butts in fireplaces, and smoked up to four packs a day. He basically always had a cigarette happenin'.

This is all true.

What a man.

Now what do we have? Obama. Who sneaks cigarettes like a 7th grader. We can only imagine what brand.

We need an unfiltered rug-wreckin' butt-flingin' human stovepipe like Ike.

Joe Shropshire said...

Coffee, salt and brown sugar for the dry rub. Heat a cast iron skillet on top of the gas burner from a turkey fryer until it starts to smoke, dump in a shot glass of oil and the meat, then two minutes on each side. Will have to try adding some smoked paprika.

Henry said...

I've done this too. You have to not be an idiot and actually cook your fire down to hardwood coals, but it makes a great steak. Knock the steak once or twice when you take it off the coals and no grit at all.

Unknown said...

♫ Summertime, the Livin's easy

Jeff Teal said...

I don't use sugar in the dry rub as this leads to excessive burning-uh-caramelization.Actually learned the technique during Boy Scout survival training.Also cooking beef stew in aluminum foil and pescado en papillote the Boy Scout way.Fresh caught from the stream was fantastic.Remember an episode of "Daniel Boone" where a French dandy remarked that he had trout prepared in the finest restaurants and that none compared with the fresh fish breakfast he had just eaten.There is something awesomely atavistic about cooking with fire.

james conrad said...

Yeah, this might be great for steak but i have long ago abandoned building fires to grill meat, to much trouble and if you want to do a roast that method will not work. Sticks with my stainless steel natural gas fired grill, i'll be eating my steak before you get the fire built on that rig.

ken in tx said...

Roman Meal, Marita Lite, and many others used wood fiber to reduce calories and increase fiber in their bread in the 70s. I think Ralph Nader had something to do with outing them. During the depression, sawdust was a common addition to hamburger meat in local dinners, throughout the country.