The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Beef

Tue Apr 29, 2014

Mole-Crusted Fajitas with Ancho Raisin Sauce

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Mole-Crusted Fajitas with Ancho Raisin Sauce

If I ever say I'm not in the mood for fajitas, you'll know I've been abducted and replaced by some evil doppelganger. I really, really love skirt steak, and really, really love eating it wrapped in a flour tortillas with sautéed peppers, onions, and a bit of sour cream. Even though skirt is my favorite of steaks, it's actually been the one I've experimented with the least thanks to the wonderful skirt steak recipe Alton Brown unleashed on Good Eats over ten years ago. I believe that recipe is close to perfection, so why mess with it? Well, I found at least one good reason, these mole-crusted fajitas.

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Tue Oct 29, 2013

Meatball Parmesan Hero

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Meatball Parm

My day job has me commuting up to the Bronx Monday through Friday, where my office's close proximity to Arthur Ave finds me awash in great Italian cured meat sandwiches, pastas, and pizza to stuff me silly at lunch. For those not familiar with the area, Arthur Ave is boastingly known as "The Real Little Italy," and pretty rightfully so. While the few blocks that comprise Little Italy in Manhattan are a bona fide tourist trap, up in the Bronx, "The Ave" is lined with shops where you can find homemade sopressata hanging from the ceiling, fresh mozzarella that you can watch being pulled as you order, and cannolis only filled on demand—all done with a sense of tradition and without a drop of pretension. So it's kind of dumbfounding why so many chicken, eggplant, or meatball parmesan heroes up there fail miserably.

Too often these shops fry up the main ingredient and let it sit in a sea of tomato sauce, topped with mozzarella, nestled in a steam table all day. By the time its piled into a roll and served, any trace of crunch from the breadcrumb coating has vanished and the entire thing is a mushy, unappealing mess. There's one place that gets it right though.

Tucked into the back corner of the Arthur Avenue market is Cafe al Mercato, where each ingredient is kept separate, only assemble on order, combined in the right balance between sauce, cheese, meat, and bread. Then the entire thing is heated in the oven. This creates a sandwich with awesome flavor and texture—a parm hero that, while not the best in the world, is incredibly satisfying. Knowing that right procedure to a successful parm, I took to the task of making a great one at home—on the grill (of course).

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Tue Oct 8, 2013

Sunday Gravy

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Sunday Gravy

The Indian Summer we had going on here in New York seems to have come to a close today, and with the cool fall weather starting to settle in, nesting will surely become commonplace. As we all start to cozy into our indoor lives, I find myself with more time to take on larger grilling projects, and this Sunday Gravy may be one of the most ambitious I've ever done. In terms of time from start to finish, it surely doesn't touch a slow smoked brisket or pork butt, but it does demand much more activity. In total you'll be working nearly four hours to develop this rich and hearty red sauce, but that is time well spent.

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Tue Mar 12, 2013

Montreal Smoked Meat

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Montreal Smoked Meat

When making pastrami for the first time, I pretty much hit the nail on the head on flavor—the meat was smoky and salty, with a highly seasoned peppercorn, coriander, and garlic crust that screams "pastrami." Still, that cured and smoked brisket flat didn't sit right with me, mainly because of one glaring omission, it was never steamed! Wanting to correct that and improve my pastrami texture and tenderness, I set off to try again, but once I had a brisket home, decided to do things a little differently and turn this chunk of beef into Montreal smoked meat.

More and recipe after the jump >>

Tue Jan 29, 2013

Barbecue Meatballs

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Happy Meatday to Me!

So we've come to SuperBowl weekend. Usually I care about this mainly for the excuse to cook as much bad-for-you party food as possible, although last year I found myself oddly engaged with football through the postseason. I'm back to my old ways though, with food more top of mind than the game, which has given me time to consider how to make a good thing even better—barbecue meatballs. Sure a package of frozen meatballs thrown in a CrockPot with a bottle of barbecue sauce is satisfying, but how much better can it get if done from scratch and on the grill?

More and recipe after the jump >>