Sunday, January 21, 2018

Fried Rib Roast

Right around Thanksgiving this YouTube video showed up on my Facebook feed.

How to Deep Fry a Ribeye with Alabama Boss

It really did open my eyes. The thought of frying a big piece of meat like that had never occurred to me. And the look on the guy's face at the end led me to believe he was having a near-religious experience.

On a recent Saturday, I rounded up some enterprising carnivores and we decided to try it for ourselves. Providence (at least Harris Teeter) was smiling upon us. We got a 9 pound rib roast on special. Normally $12.99/lb, we got it on special for $8.99/lb.

Using a long knife we created a slit in the roast so we could slide the stand through the center. The knife actually only went about 2/3 of the way through but it was enough to create the necessary channel. We then rubbed the roast with a mixture of salt, pepper and garlic powder. The guys in the video injected the roast. We decided to skip that step.

According to the video the goal was to get the peanut oil to 350f and cook the roast 3 minutes for every pound to get to medium rare. Nine pound roast? We did a 27-minute cook.

It was 14 degrees outside, so we mostly huddled in the kitchen. Mike was good about monitoring our progress.

Time's up! We pulled out the roast and wrapped it in foil. We brought it indoors to keep it from becoming a beefsicle.

It looked mighty tasty
In addition to this being a science experiment, it was also a social affair. So we weren't totally locking down all of our variables. For example the oil got way too hot on us and we had to let it cool in order to start. We also figured that one container of peanut oil would suffice. You can see that the very top of the roast is a different color. That's because the end was just above the oil line. Well. These things happen. 

Perhaps most importantly, we took it as gospel that 3 minutes per pound would get us to medium rare. We never backed that up with a meat thermometer. We just rolled with it.

And what we wound up with was quite rare, as you can see. So we all gobbled up healthy portions red meat like savages and then threw it back in for a scientifically, estimated period of time. In this case, 10 minutes.

That seemed to deliver medium rare, which led to more eating.

Speaking of eating more. When you have that quantity of hot peanut oil going, you have to take advantage. And advantage we took. On standby we had a variety of foods to fry.



Green beans:

And Corn:

Looks like a fun day, doesn't it? It really was. I think everyone really had a good time. But what about frying 9 lbs of beef in peanut oil? I would say that the novelty made it worth while. We all really had fun, as I said. And the outside fried, salty beef crust was indeed something special. But will it change how I prepare meat? Nah. The meat didn't cook uniformly and it just wasn't as good as a grilled steak, in my opinion. 

What I will say is that I don't really like green beans all that much. But these were really tasty. We used the same salt, pepper and garlic powder combo on them after they came out of the beefy peanut oil and they may have been gobbled up fastest of any of our foods.

And cleaning up a bunch of peanut oil isn't really all that much fun. So let me be clear that it was some primo male bonding. And some really good eating. But it isn't going to replace how I cook any of these foods on a regular basis. But it does make for a good story. Thanks for the inspiration, Alabama Boss.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Slow Cooker Venison Chili

Been thinking I need to tell the story of the buck I killed back on October 13th.

Meanwhile I made some chili yesterday that was pretty tasty and I wanted to put down the recipe and process before I forget.

An internet search brought me to this recipe at, which I modified into this:

  • 1 pound ground venison.
  • 1 pound ground spicy venison sausage.
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 small green peppers, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 (15.5 oz.) can cannellini beans
  • 1 (15.5 oz.) can black beans
  • 2 (10 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • Olive oil
In a pan with hot olive oil brown venison and venison sausage. Add onion and garlic until onions are partially cooked. Put it all in a slow cooker on low with the rest of the ingredients and cook for six hours or longer. 

Serve with shredded cheddar and some hot corn bread (simply used a box mixture).

This was too spicy for my kids. I specifically left off any cayenne pepper or anything that might cause them to object. But something about the flavor of the chili powder or the spicy venison sausage itself made them balk. I liked it however, and am very happy to have a go-to that can help me with the freezer full that I have at the moment.

Meanwhile, here's to leftovers!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Rib Roast

We had 15 come to Christmas dinner at our house. In the lead up my wife asked, "If we bought a rib roast, is that something you could cook on the Big Green Egg?" Of course having never done such a thing before I immediately replied, "Absolutely!" 

The next thing I know, we have a 17.8 lb, seven rib, standing rib roast. It reminded me of the thing that toppled Fred Flintstone's car at the drive-in. The first place I went was the Somebody there linked to which walked me through the logic and science of the reverse sear--which I'd heard of many times, but never tried.

The idea is simply that you get a more uniform doneness by first cooking your meat at a lower temperature and finally searing the outside. The idea that you first sear all the juices in apparently doesn't actually work and you end up with a band of gray meat before you get to the coveted medium rare bits. Made sense to me.

From I followed the instructions of rubbing the night before and cooking low and slow. I didn't really go in for all the other steps in the recipe--primarily because across 15 people I knew that a fancy rub and a fancy sauce wouldn't please everyone in our entourage. 

I ground up a boat load of peppercorns and mixed it with good, old fashioned sea salt. I rubbed the whole thing down the night before and by 8:30 Christmas morning I had the roast on at 200f--measured at the grate. It cooked right about that temp (ribs down) indirect over a dry drip pan until 2:00 when I decided it was done.

 How did I decide it was done, you ask? Well I was really sweating this. I craved medium rare. Some of our guests did too. Others politely requested something more medium. In the picture above you can kind of appreciate how this problem resolved itself. The left end is fatter. The right end: skinnier. So I failed to notice this at the beginning. But as I took readings with my Thermapen I realized that this was going to work out well. The roast came off with one end reading 130f and the other at 120f. There were some spots in the very middle that were reading 117f, but I told myself that was ok.

Next: The Reverse Sear
How We Almost Visited the Burn Unit for Christmas

Is it wrong that I love cranking my Egg all the way up for a sear? I know you can achieve a sear at lower temps, but somehow I can't resist the urge to let 'er rip. And let 'er rip, I did. The roast does its resting while the grill goes from 200f to THERMONUCLEAR. The recipe suggested a 8-10 min sear. By 8 minutes, my uncle, my dad and I had spent all 8 minutes consternating about how to get this roast beast back out of the grill.

Three men, four oven mitts, two sets of tongs and two spatulas. This wasn't the optimal setup for removing the roast. What would I do next time? I'm not really sure, but this was mildly frightening. I guess a 550f sear would've done the job more safely. There's probably some kind of beef gloves or rib wench or roast pulley out there I don't yet know about. But we scooped it out without anyone getting hurt--or even singed. Yay!

But putting this on the table? This was a thrill and a joy to have successfully served this to my family for Christmas dinner.

There were nice medium pieces on one end and good medium rare slices at the other. As I served it up to everyone I felt like I needed one of those big white, stovetop chef hats like you see at the Sunday buffet.

How did it taste? It's awfully hard to beat a salt and pepper rub. This really was a knockout crust with great flavor. My uncle (who may have been influenced by the death-defying experience before the meal) declared over and over that it was "the best beef I've ever put in my mouth!" With a touch of horseradish, this was really delicious. 

Bottom line: this was some of the most fun I've had cooking. I guess it's just impressive to set this down in front of guests. It's also exciting to pull it from the flames. The anticipation as you slice into it thinking, "Oh man, I hope this came out ok," and to see that it's a gorgeous medium rare, is so gratifying. Even though most folks had seconds and thirds, I wound up eating leftovers for days. Frying slices on a thin layer of olive oil in a nearly-smoking hot pan made for tasty holiday lunch. 
Thanks for reading.