K-PAUL’S CAJUN MEAT LOAF ttt

Ironically, we got news of Chef Paul Prudhomme’s death at age 75 as I was writing this. RIP

I’ve been cooking this dish since we received K-Paul’s Cookbook as a gift in 1984. It was written to be mixed by hand and baked in the oven. I have cooked it hand mixed, using the Kitchen Aid stand mixer and on every kind of grill, including — most recently — the Big Green Egg.

 

 

 

K-PAUL’S CAJUN MEAT LOAF
FULL RECIPE Rewritten *Marc’s way* 8.09
Note: I’ve substituted sour cream, yogurt, or condensed milk, of necessity, but evaporated milk is best.

Recipe for 1 1/2# ground beef, 1/2# ground pork, 2 eggs, 1 C breadcrumbs

Spice mix
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp ground red pepper (cayenne)
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Combine in a small bowl and set aside.

Vegetables
3/4 C finely chopped onion
1/2 C finely chopped celery
1/2 C finely chopped green pepper
1/4 C finely chopped scallions
2 tsp minced garlic
Combine in a small bowl and set aside.

Preparation
Melt 4 Tbsp butter in the Le Creuset red pot over medium heat. Add the vegetables and spice mix. Stir to mix thoroughly until mixture begins to bubble. Add 1 Tbsp Tabasco, 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Saute till mixture starts sticking excessively, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally and scraping the pan bottom well. Stir in 1/2 C evaporated milk (see note), 1/2 C ketchup. Continue cooking for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool to room temperature. Remove the bay leaves.

formed and waiting for fire to peak…

Mix by hand = Break 2 large eggs into a big bowl and lightly beat. Toss in the ground beef and pork a big pinch at a time. Add the cooled cooked vegetable mixture and 1 C breadcrumbs. Mix by hand until thoroughly combined. Do not overhandle.

Mix with KitchenAid = Break 2 large eggs into the mixer bowl and lightly beat. Toss in the ground beef and pork a big pinch at a time. Add the cooked vegetable mixture and 1 C breadcrumbs. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to SPEED 2 and mix for one minute.
Transfer to the small glass (6”x 10”) ungreased baking dish and shape the mixture into a loaf that is clear of the sides of the dish.

loaf on the Big Green Egg

COOK
For the Oven:
Fan bake uncovered at 350° for 25 minutes, then raise heat to 400° and continue cooking until done, about 35 minutes longer to an internal temperature of 150°F.
For the Big Green Egg:
Set up the EGG for indirect grilling with platesetter – legs up – and porcelain grid.
Preheat to 350°F. Place baking dish on the grid and close lid. Bake uncovered at 350° for 25 minutes, then raise heat to 400° and continue cooking until done, about 35 minutes longer to an internal temperature of 150°F.
For a Charcoal or Gas Grill:
Cook over an indirect fire on a covered grille for about 50 minutes.

loaf on kitchen counter with scalloped potatoes

It’s better to overcook than undercook this dish, if you’re not sure. Serves 6.

Some Cooks Notes

Cooked 10.2015 — DIS is Good. Always. For Brian and Natasza, stand mixer and Big Green Egg. As ever, predictably good, though C thinks its too spicy. (I think its an age thing — she’s also way more sensitive to onion vapors — back in the day, she would beg for me to cook it..)

Cooked 8.2013 — Substituted a shallot for scallions. Used stand mixer. Cooked on Big Green Egg. Used same temps as for oven baking; platesetter legs up, grate on that, baking dish on grate. Just as good as always.

Cooked 8.2010 – Using Mariquita Dexter ground beef, and stand mixer… Wrapped meatloaf with caul fat. Seemed more dense than usual, and darker colored.

what we have here is a bare-ass meatloaf with ketchup sandwich on English muffin

Jerusalem 1989 –K-PAUL’S CAJUN MEAT LOAF
This is oh so wonderful, from the making to the cooking smells to the eating of the last meatloaf sandwich on white bread with ketchup, days later. In Jerusalem, I always made a half-recipe, because that’s what fit in the oven.

THE PERFECT STEAK ttt

Cooked on my Big Green Egg. A Weber kettle grill will probably work, don’t know about a gas grill, but it ain’t the same. That’s my Big Green Egg (EGG) in its environment to the left.

For openers, buy a really good steak, at least one inch thick, two inches is better. I prefer Porterhouse, but Rib Eye will do. Bone-in NewYork will do, as well. You’ll know it when you spot it in the meat case and can’t walk on by. This one is a Raley’s two inch Choice Ribeye.

Build a great fire, to burn HOT for 20 minutes or more once it reaches full strength.

Marinate your steak while the charcoal lights, about 45 minutes to an hour — some marinade recipes follow.

Open bottom vent fully and leave the top vent off.

marinating with rum, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic

When the fire is ready, put in the grate — use the cast iron grate if you have one — and close the lid. When temps reach 500°F, put on the steak and close the lid. Don’t worry about grill temperature any more.

steak cooks

Sear 2 minutes and turn, 2 more minutes and turn, 1 minute and turn, 1 minute and turn, close all vents, cook 2 minutes and turn and check internal temps of steak; you’re looking for 115°F, keep cooking and turning at 2 minute intervals until you reach that. Remove to a cutting board and let rest for at least 10 minutes.

off the grill and ready to rest

Here is a picture of my notes:

Slice across the grain and serve.

steak is sliced about half inch thick

Served with 2012 Bonny Doon Le Cigar Volant Reserve, sun dried tomato risotto and a small green salad.

steak onna plate with rissotohappy carnivours at table

we enjoy the steak with risotto

 

One of my guests gave up red meat several years ago. She swooned over this steak.

• • • • •

All of my TTT Recipes — I’ll explain TTT in a subsequent post — have a backstory. Here’s the backstory for THE PERFECT STEAK; and some Marinade recipes. (Note, a flank steak is different. I’ll write about that, too.)

B A C K S T O R Y
I’m still into trying new stuff — new ways of grilling on the Big Green Egg. When I took inventory of the garage freezer I found a Porterhouse steak on the bottom wrapped in white butcher paper. Not sure where or when I got it… probably from Blue Ribbon Meat, they use that kind of paper. Anyway, it was lovely, about 1 1/2 inches thick and with a nice size tenderloin.

I went to the Big Green Egg website in search of a cooking technique, and found this:

Basic Recipe from
BIG GREEN EGG COOKBOOK
Hot and Juicy
The Perfect Steaks.

The Perfect Steaks

Ingredients:
2 steaks, 1-1/2 to 2-inches thick, preferably rib-eyes
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Trim the steaks of any excess fat. Mix all of the dry ingredients together and apply to both sides of the steaks. Allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before grilling.
Set the EGG® up for direct cooking. To increase sear marks use a cast iron cooking grid; for extra flavor add wood chips.
When the EGG is heated to 650°F, place the steaks on the grill and sear for two minutes.
Open the lid and flip the steaks onto a new section of the grid. After two more minutes, flip the steaks once more.
Completely shut down the EGG by closing the damper top and draft door. Let the steaks continue cooking for 3 to 4 minutes, until they reach the desired internal temperature (check with a meat thermometer).
Remove the steaks and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.

• • •

I planned to steam green beans and grill them, along with a peach for dessert, as the steak rested. I had only one steak, but that’s enough for we two.

Cooks notes:
Cooked 7.13 — Porterhouse steak from somewhere… dunno, found it in the bottom of the freezer. I set up for direct cooking and threw in soaked wood chips. The fire seemed rip roaring, and I had the bottom draft door full open and the top damper full open, but it didn’t look like the temps were going to go above 400°F.

Change of plans. I grilled the peach and green beans that I had planned to grill after the steak. When those were done, I just took the top damper off the EGG.

This was not a technique noted in the recipe but Hoo Baby. the temps started climbing. At 600 I threw on the steak and the temps just went up to 700 by the time 2 minutes had passed. Flipped the steak for another 2 minutes… by now the temps hovered around 650. Flipped and took the instant read temperature of the steak, about 85°F. Seared another minute on each side, inside temp 98. Flipped the steak and shut all the grill vents. Temps stuck about 500.

Left another 2 minutes, flipped; inside temp about 115, another 2 min, inside temp about 130, took off the steak and took its picture. After resting about 4 minutes, internal temperature at 145, a little overcooked, but real juicy with a fine crust.

So, the timing for my 1 1/2 inch porterhouse:
2 min + 2 + 1 + 1, shut down vents, 2 + 2 more minutes. Coulda shoulda taken off at 115 to 120°F.
Now I know.

I’ve cooked by this method many times since then. It flat works.

• • •

In the basic recipe, a dry rub was used. I also do with a marinade, here are a few:

Top Four
flank steak a la Sue (from Paula)
Sometime in ought six…
Marinate 1 or two flank steaks 3 hours in:

1/4 cup [60g] soy sauce
2 tbls. [30g] light oil (we use olive)
2 tbls [30g] honey
1 tbls [15g] red wine vinegar
at least 3 cloves garlic
The honey makes a nice change of flavor.

Drunken Steak from Cooks Illustrated
6/2008 Serves 4

Other thin steaks with a loose grain, such as skirt or steak tips, can be substituted for the flank steak.
1 cup light rum
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 garlic clove , minced
1 scallion , minced
1 flank steak (about 1 1/2 pounds), scored on both sides at 1 1/2-inch intervals

** Good idea from Bittman — serve hot over lettuce leaves.

Bourbon Marinade
Used for USDA Prime Rib Eye 9.14
2 oz bourbon
brown sugar
soy sauce
chili flakes
nice

Vietnamese Style
5.15 Reno Gazette Journal
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1/4 C lime juice
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
2 tsp brown sugar
marinate 1/2 hour

Grilled Duck Breast

duck breasts and fixins

On one of our irregular trips to Whole Food, we found these lovely duck breasts in a package in front of the meat counter. Oh yes.

I can’t remember the last time we had duck breast, but Brian always remarks on their availability in France: the leftover from the foie gras ducks. I think the last time, I cooked them quickly to rare in the cast iron skillet.

For these babies… straight to the Big Green Egg.

Rub the skin side with a spice rub. Rest a bit while the fire is forming, put on skin side down for four minutes, flip, four minutes to finish. Rest five minutes and slice.

Hoo Baby.

Recipes on line warned of serious fire flare-ups from the fat, but either my duck was excellent, or the EGG doesn’t allow fire. We did get heap big smoke.

served with mashed sweet potatoes with butter and brown sugar; Brussels sprouts with blue cheese dressing

Brussels Sprouts with Blue Cheese Dressing
Dressing
Bacon, about 1 ounce in bits
Trim and halve sprouts, Steam for four minutes.
Bacon inna pan… brown. Off heat, toss in creme fraiche and chopped blue cheese, stir for a minute or so to get the flavors going.
Slowly heat crème fraiche and blue cheese until it melts.
Sprouts
Sprouts inna bowl… fold dressing in. Serve.

next morning’s breakfast

Heat LO Brussels in microwave for 33 seconds.

Spread mashed sweet potatoes on a plate and stick in the Toaster Oven to warm while the toast is finishing.

That’s good.

Grilled Lamb Chops

Roasted potatoes and cippilini onion, candied carrots, lamb chops.

6:30pm — dark, but we have a light on the wall by the door.
Note the swell clip-on battery powered LED light.
Wind — none
Air Temperature — 41°F
Green Egg Temperature — 600°F
Time to Fire Up — 50 minutes
Grill time — 6 minutes

Lamb chops are only great, grilled with a good sear. No reason not to grill.  I’m only outside to a) light the fire, b) check the fire, c) close the lid and open vents, d) put on the chops, e) I can see temperature gage from inside, f) turn the chops, g) close the vents and take off the chops.
The EGG is one step from our back door.    (note: EGG picture taken at 4pm)

PORTERHOUSE

and a lagniappe of Drunken Steak

On the EGG, the big ol’ steak is the yin to the halibut yang… or is it the other way? No matter.

We don’t eat much steak anymore. What you can get outside of a steakhouse is generally low grade, not marbled, and just tough and tasteless. That said… I find it hard to pass up a porterhouse when I see a good looking one in the meat case.

porterhouse on the cow

So, how to cook a perfect porterhouse on the EGG?

Build the fire the same way. as for all things EGG.

I generally do a Cooks Illustrated recipe for marinade called “Drunken Steak,” [below] but this time was in a bourbon mood, so I looked up a recipe on line from the Certified Angus Beef folks. Their recipe made 1 1/2 cups and went in the refrigerator for 8 hours. Too much and too long for my taste. I like to marinate on a plate. If the meat’s any good, an hour to add a little flavor is just fine.

So I got out a rimmed plate big enough to hold the steak and

measured 1 ounce each of bourbon and soy sauce. Added 1 Tbsp of brown sugar and a little bit of Worcestershire Sauce, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and a few grinds of black pepper. I swirled that around with the back of a fork and carefully laid the steak in the mix on the plate — this is often where I splatter marinade all over me and my counter. Turn the steak a couple times while the fire gets going.

porterhouse marinating

About 20 minutes BC (before cooking) I checked the fire, cleaned my cast iron grill grate and put it over the fire.

At cooktime, I closed the top and took the top vent clean off, patted the steak dry and slathered with some oil and put the puppy on the grill. Closed the top and started timer.

steak and fire

top vent clean off

What we want is 2 minutes at 500 – 600 degrees, flip and two more minutes. Shut all vents and flip at 1 minute intervals until the internal temperature hits 115°F — about 2 flips. Remove the steak to a cutting board and let it rest. Oh baby, that is one fine looking steak.

porterhouse cooks

porterhouse done, steak-flipper at its side

For flipping, I used my new steak flipper I bought at the Silver Legacy Wings Cook-off on Virginia Street, July 6. Brian said it was way overpriced, and I agree, but it’s a handsome devil, perfect for flipping steaks and I also use it to pick up my grill grates and lift the insides in and out of my egg poacher. A multi-tasker.

We served the steak with Carol’s cold tomato soup, kind of like a Gazpacho.

YUM.

So, here’s the Drunken Steak story from March 2010 in SF…

Just a Steak
3.10.10
Carol’s brother, Alan, called about 6:15. “Yo Alan, what’s up?”

“You cookin’ dinner?”

“Yep.”

“What’s for dinner?”

“Drunken Steak. A beautiful boneless New York Strip.”

“What’s a Drunken Steak? You gonna grill it?”

“It’s marinated in a cup of light rum, half-cup of soy sauce, some brown sugar, chopped garlic, ginger, scallion… that’s about it… then dry it and grill it. It’s a beautiful evening for grilling.”

“Sounds good, I’ll have to try it sometime. Is the Mrs. home yet?”

“Just walked in the door. Heeeerrrrrre’s Carol.”

I went on to light the fire and get to grilling. I threw on a sliced potato, as well, tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. When I returned, Carol had set the table, opened a nice bottle of 2006 Cline Ancient Vines Mourvedre and made a salad of sliced Cherokee Purple tomato and fresh mozzarella.

“Why are you taking a picture of that? It’s just a steak.”

“Never know when I might need a picture of a steak.”

“Well, I’m hungry and you’re holding up dinner.”

“Besides, its not ‘just a steak.’ Its a grass fed, Marin Sun Farms boneless New York steak… and the first grilled steak of the year.”

“You grilled a flank steak when Tom was here.”

“OK, the first grilled steak of the Spring, in the twilight, not the dark… warm, not cold out. Besides I grilled this lovely asparagus, definitely the first grilled asparagus of the year.”

Dinner was served.

“This is really good steak,” said Carol.

The Pig

NEW ENGLAND, 14 DAYS IN OCTOBER, 2013

At age 30, we moved to Massachusetts. Our sons were five and three. At age 54 we moved to San Francisco. All but one year of that time, we lived at 48 Harrison Street, Newton Highlands MA 02138. 617-969-3359 It was the time when we embraced adulthood, raised our children and forged lasting friendships. A time like no other in our lives. This is about revisiting New England, not for reflection and nostalgia, but for activity and exploration.
Our visit was centered around the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA) annual Nose to Tail Pig Processing Workshop during Columbus Day weekend. Before, we made our way to the Belfast Maine environs, and after, we drove across the whole of New England to Cooperstown, New York, and from there to Newton Highlands.
The story has a beginning, middle and end. You recently read the beginning, “Getting to the Pig.” And here is the middle and the raison d’etre, “The Pig” where we will journey from two snorting and snuffling pigs to some hams, bacon, sausages and the like.

Pig One

We called this fella “Pig One” He’s been in this stall about two days to get used to his surroundings. He’s had his food withheld but given plenty of water. He’s met the farmers, Paul and Everett, so he knows them and is not afraid.

the big room with tables in a “U” shape

We met in this big, high room each morning for coffee and a muffin and to discuss what will be going on that day. Eric — at the corner table — says that today, Paul and Everett, our farmer instructors, will lead us through the process of killing and dressing two pigs.

The day was cloudy and quite cool, perfect weather for our task at hand. We walked across the field to greet Pig One and be instructed how he will meet his demise. The killing must be quick and efficient and cause no trauma in the pig. In this case, Paul will shoot the pig with a .22 caliber pistol aimed at the center of a triangle formed by the pigs eyes and nose. — I was surprised at how calm the pig was, Paul walked into the stall and slowly up to the pig’s head and BANG. — The pig will writhe violently, so stand clear, a flailing leg could cause serious injury.

As soon as possible, the pig will be “stuck” by inserting a knife just above the breast bone and thrusting up. This will cut the main artery that runs above the breast bone and the pigs own heart will pump all of the blood out onto the straw of the pen. Very efficient. That whole process took about 30 seconds.

spreader attached to the pig

A spreader is attached to the pig’s hind feet and he will be picked up and hosed down to wash off mud, blood and straw.

We will process two pigs, the first will be scraped clean of his hair and dressed with his skin on. Often, for hams or bacon, the cut with skin on is preferred. Excess skin can be boiled and ground into sausage, as well. The other pig will be skinned.

Very early, a trough was filled with water and a fire built under the trough. Now the water temperature is just under boiling and the pig will be lowered into the water and sloshed around. The hot water bath eases the scraping… just like shaving, guys.

the pig, being guided into very hot water

The table to the right has been washed and sanitized with a vinegar water solution. Out he comes, onto the table.

pig on the table

scraping starts at the head

For this pig, the head will be cut off whole, to be boiled and made into headcheese. Continue reading

Whiskey Piggy

One dinner, three more meals…

From time to time, Sierra Canyon has a dinner and show deal. The show in this case was GREASE at the El Dorado Showroom. Bus picks us up, Tuesday at 5pm, takes us to the El Dorado, we eat at our choice of the Buffet, La Scala or the Roxy Steakhouse. Fixed price for dinner and show plus drinks. The Roxy was only $10 per person more than the Buffet, so we chose that. We had eaten at La Scala a couple of times.

This is about my meal(s). I ordered the pork chop called Whiskey Piggy.

Bourbon Whole Grain Mustard Marinated Center Cut Pork Chop — Pork Belly Greens — White Cheddar Bacon Mac & Cheese — Whiskey Glazed Pink Lady Apples (menu description)

Unstacked, so I could get at the food. The ball of Mac & Cheese on the right is breaded, deep fried and wrapped with the aforementioned greens.

The dinner was way good, served with bacon cheese bread to die for, but somehow, I didn’t manage to finish.

This is dinner at home the next day. All that we added to the Roxy meal was yellow beans. I made an identical plate for Carol. Not quite as pretty, but quite as tasty.

I didn’t take a picture, but today (Friday) I had the leftovers of that for lunch. Still good. All gone.