After nearly 14 years of constant use, my trusty gas grill was old and no longer trusty. It was time for a new grill.
My new best friend would have to do high heat searing, low and slow, and everything in between. I'm not the sort of guy who can just buy something. I need to look at various options, compare specs, evaluate price and performance, and generally spend way too much time obsessing over minor details.
At the same time this was going on, the summer grilling and BBQ books began arriving at Project Foodie. One of my favorite pair of co-authors, Andrew Schloss and David Joachim, sent us a copy of their new book, "Fire It Up: 400 Recipes for Grilling Everything". This is great book that covers technique while providing a huge flavor profile. I particularly like that the first part of the book provides basic rubs, brines, and marinades that are used throughout for grilling, as the title says, just about everything. As coincidence would have it, while I searched for the perfect grill and envied the grilling I couldn't do from "Fire it Up," Foodie Pam happened to meet Andrew and David at a conference. Of course she mentioned that I was deep into my grill-obsessing stage. Their immediate response was to buy a Lynx grill.
As it was, the Lynx grill kept coming out at the top of my list, but I wasn't quite sure if that was the way to go. Andrew and David's word confirmed it for me. I purchased the 36" Lynx ProSear IR Grill with the help of a professional discount from Lynx. And when the 300+ pound crate arrived I knew I had made the right decision. The build quality is incredible, only to be exceeded by the performance. There's a modern "sear station" for extra hot (really hot!) searing, but it also adjusts down to nice low temperatures. The burners are cast brass, which means they won't need to be replaced every few years, like the previous grill I owned. And everything--from BBQ ribs to rotisserie chicken and thick, juicy steaks--has come out perfectly with, of course, the help of Andrew Schloss and David Joachim's "Fire it Up," and their earlier grill book, "Mastering the Grill".
Argentine Stuffed Flank Steak
Recipe from Fire It Up by Andrew Schloss, David Joachim (Chronicle Books, 2011)In Argentina, this stuffed and rolled beef dish is known as matambre, or "hunger killer." Made with eggs, bacon, and beef, it's certainly not for the fainthearted. But sliced crosswise, it makes an impressive presentation. Spinach and carrots are traditional vegetables for the stuffing, and we've used them here. If you prefer, use almost any vegetable combination you like. Grill cooks at parillas (traditional Argentine grills) sometimes wrap the meat roll in foil and cook it indirectly to mimic a roasting method. But foil prevents the flavor of the fire from getting on the meat, so we like to brown the roll over direct heat first, and then move it away from the heat to continue grill-roasting the beef to tender doneness. Garlicky, colorful chimichurri sauce keeps the meat moist as it cooks and then serves as a sauce on the plate.
Makes 6 main-course or 10 to 12 appetizer servings
- 4 small carrots, trimmed and peeled
- 4 slices bacon
- 1 thick flank steak (about 2 1/2 pounds), butterflied (see Know-How)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 2 cups Chimichurri Sauce (see recipe below)
- 4 ounces baby spinach leaves
- 1 small onion, thinly sliced
- 2 Smoked Eggs (please see separate recipe) or hard-cooked eggs, peeled and halved lengthwise
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut lengthwise into thin strips
Bring a wide saucepan of salted water to a boil. Add the carrots and cook until beginning to get tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels and reserve the drippings.
Light a grill for indirect medium-high heat, about 400ºF.
Stand facing your work surface and position the butterflied steak with the grain running horizontally. Gently pound the steak to an even thickness of 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Mix together the salt, pepper, cumin, and oregano, and then season both sides of the steak with the spice mixture. Reposition so that the cut side is up and the grain is running horizontally.
Spoon 3/4 cup of the chimichurri sauce into a bowl and stir in 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon drippings. Reserve the remaining chimichurri. Brush about half of the chimichurri-drippings mixture over the top of the steak. Arrange half the spinach in a narrow horizontal row close to the edge of the steak nearest you. Crumble half the bacon and half the onion over the spinach. Make three more rows above the spinach: a row of carrots, then eggs, then bell pepper. Position the pieces end to end as necessary to create long, horizontal rows. Repeat the rows of spinach/onions/bacon, carrots, eggs, and bell pepper, leaving a 1-inch border of uncovered meat at the top. Drizzle some of the chimichurri-drippings mixture over the stuffing, and then roll the steak from bottom to top into a compact roast. Using kitchen string, tie the roast crosswise at 2-inch intervals. Brush all over with the chimichurri-drippings mixture.
Brush the grill grate and coat with oil. Grill the roast directly over the heat until browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes total. Use tongs and a spatula to move the roast to the unheated area of the grill, and close the lid. Cook until the internal temperature of the meat registers 130ºF, 20 to 25 minutes total. During cooking, turn the roast once and baste once or twice with the chimichurri-drippings mixture.
Remove to a cutting board and let stand for 20 minutes. Cut crosswise across the grain into slices about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick, removing the string as you go. Serve with the reserved chimichurri. The roast can also be chilled and sliced cold.
Know-How: Butterflying Flank Steak
Stand facing your work surface and position the steak with the roughest side up. The goal is to cut the steak through the side and open it up like a book, so that you end up with a larger, thinner square of meat. Using a sharp, thin knife like a boning knife, make small slashing cuts to slice through one of the longest sides of the steak. Lift the top of the steak as you cut and begin opening it up, taking care to keep the knife level with the cutting surface to make an even horizontal cut all the way across the steak. Stop cutting just before you reach the other end of the meat and open up the butterflied steak so that it lies flat.
Recipe from Fire It Up by Andrew Schloss, David Joachim (Chronicle Books, 2011)Best with veal, pork, chicken, turkey
Makes about 2 cups
- 4 cups fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves and small stems
- 2 cups fresh cilantro leaves and small stems
- 5 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped onion
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup sherry vinegar
- 1/3 cup water
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Combine the parsley, cilantro, garlic, bell pepper, and onion in a food processor. Pulse several times until coarsely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until coarsely chopped. Scrape into a bowl and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to blend the flavors. Store in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container for up to 1 week.
Disclosure: Review copies of books discussed in this post may have been provided to Project Foodie by publicists and/or publishers.