The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

4:56 AM

Memorial Day Weekend - Barbecue, Part One

Posted by Food Pear-ings

Memorial Day Barbecue, Part One - Steak

This weekend, we are having a couple of nice barbecue meals to share with you guys.  Our first one incorporated the beautiful steaks we bought at the butcher shop the other day (see: Shopping).  Be sure to keep an eye out for the next upcoming post as well, which will feature our fish feast!
At the butcher shop, there was a large selection of steaks, including grass-fed beef, dry aged steaks, and even Kobe beef.  With all of the available options, it took some careful consideration (meaning we were standing at the counter ogling the meat for a good ten minutes before we picked anything!).

For our barbecue, we picked up two gorgeous rib eyes.  One was a USDA Prime Delmonico rib eye, which was beautifully marbled.  The other was a boneless grass-fed rib eye that was super tender and juicy. Not quite as tender as a filet mignon, but much more tasty and rich than many other types of cuts, this cut is a great balance of flavor, size, and texture.  Both steaks came out wonderfully!
Before cooking, I coated each in a little bit of extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled them generously with freshly-ground black pepper and fleur de sel, and patted the salt and pepper in so it wouldn't fall off.  A great steak doesn't need anything more... No steak sauce here!

The steaks were cooked on a gas grill which had been pre-heated to about 600 degrees.  This allowed us to achieve a nice crust, but still have a steak that is juicy, tender, and flavorful, without overcooking.  The steaks were cooked to a rare/medium-rare consistency.  While the flames jumped up to meet these beauties (especially the heavily-marbled Delmonico steak), the high quality of the meat allowed them to dance and laugh in the face of such heat, and the result was a perfect steak!

There is nothing quite like a well-cooked, high-quality steak, and these definitely did not let down.  The knife slid right through them like a fish through water, and they melted in the mouth like butter.  The high heat allowed for a nice crispy crust, but the inside was soft and tender.  Delicious through and through!
To go with these lovely steaks, we also put together a couple of sides.  First of all, we made two types of potatoes, purple and white, and mashed each with garlic.  These were served on top of one another, for a delicious and colorful addition to the plate.
We also threw some vegetables on the grill, and let them cook until they were just starting to become charred.  We had mini portobello mushrooms and red and yellow peppers, in a champagne marinade that included champagne, vinegar, olive oil, a French herbes de Provence blend, garlic, freshly-squeezed lemon juice, and some other spices (including salt and pepper, as well as some chipotle chili powder).  These came out juicy and tender, and the mushrooms were especially delicious!  If you have never grilled a portobello before, it's time to give it a try!  You won't be let down.

What a wonderful early summer meal!  A nice cool, sunny day, some drinks, and a beautiful barbecue feast... What could be better?  

Later on today, round two of our barbecue weekend will include a great tuna steak, and some grilled artichokes.  Don't miss it!

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