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Price Chopper House of BBQ Grilling Class with Chef Michael

Most Americans do not know what they are going to have for dinner at 4:00 pm each day. Did you know that? I did. It’s rare in my house that we know what we’re having for dinner ahead of time.

I’m here at the Price Chopper House of BBQ Grilling Class event at the Century House in Latham, New York. We have Chef Michael here from Certified Angus Beef, and he’s here to talk to us about grilling techniques. The sirloin is what we’re focusing on, which works for me, because I have two Certified Angus Beef sirloin steaks in my fridge right now.

Grilled Red Pepper Steak Sauce

Direct high heat grilling is what you’re going to be doing for your middle meats – filet, T-bone, Porterhouse, sirloin… But while you’re using the direct heat for your meat, you can roast veggies for your steak sauce on the cooler side of the grill. Chef Michael says that grilling with charcoal is more of an art, more hands-on than gas grilling, but it’s better for flavor. (Side note: Price Chopper is #1 in sales in the country for Certified Angus Beef middle meats.)

Ingredients

  • 8 cloves of garlic, roasted on grill in foil pouch
  • 1 large sweet onion, sliced and grilled
  • 2 large sweet red bell peppers, seeded and grilled
  • 3 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cracked black pepper

Quarter your red pepper to keep the seeds all together so you don’t have seeds everywhere. Slice your onions thick, or use wooden skewers to stab straight down into your peeled onion, in between the slices, before cutting them. (Let me see if I can find a picture after the class.) Peanut oil works better than extra virgin olive oil at high heats, something else to keep in mind. Chef Michael is getting sassy with the blender…oh my.

Combine all of the ingredients in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Serve warm with your favorite steak. Yield 2.5 cups. (Recipe courtesy Certified Angus Beef)

Flatbread for Grilled Individual Pizzas

Chef Michael got the flatbreads started earlier today, which is fine by me. We’ll eat sooner this way. ;-)

Grilled Flatbread Pizzas

Flatbread Ingredients

  • 0.5 oz active dry yeast (2 packets, about 1 Tbsp)
  • 1.5 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 6 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp coarse kosher salt
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray

Combine yeast, water, and sugar in a standing mixer bowl. Allow to rest for 10 minutes, allowing yeast to activate and foam on the surface. Lightly oil a large sheet tray. Whisk flour with salt. Combine yogurt and olive oil. In standing mixer with dough hook on medium speed, add half of the flour to the yeast water. Add yogurt ingredients and remaining flour until combined. Transfer to a floured surface and divide into 12 equal balls, about 4 oz each. Knead each with floured hands forming nice balls with a smooth surface; place evenly on oiled sheet tray. Spray top with nonstick spray and cover with plastic. Place in a warm spot to rise for 45 minutes.

Preheat the grill to 400-500 degrees. On a floured work surface, gently shape each ball of dough. These flatbreads are perfect for an appetizer-size pizza. Smaller oblong pieces (3×10 in.) of dough grill up better. Working in batches, 3 or 4 at a time, place flatbread on grill. Watch the dough for bubbling like pancakes. You want to be able to pick it up with your tongs. When it bubbles and has nice grill marks (about 1-2 minutes) flip and grill the other side for about 30 seconds to a minute. Flatbreads should still be soft with crisp grill marks but without flaming char. Turn grill to low. He’s teasing us now about having a sous chef and a dishwasher helping you out “on the line.”

Top flatbreads with your favorite ingredients and heat on the warm grill until the ingredients are warm and melted. Suggested ingredients include pesto, shredded cheese, roaster onions and peppers, grilled chicken, etc.

Chef Michael says you can toss a whole onion right on the coals to make what he calls “melted onions.” When they’re done, you pull off the charred outer layer and enjoy the charcoal flavor of the sweet inner layers.

Moving on to Meat

Chef Michael was on WGNA this morning grilling up some cowboy steaks. Apparently the sales guy at the radio station complained about the smell of grilled steak and lost some man points.

We’re looking at the top sirloin (or top butt) as it comes in when the guys in the meat department get it. The meat guy uses a scabbard at his waist and has a hook to serve as another hand while they work with the knife. He’s putting on protective gloves, too. I’m not going to watch this too closely, because I don’t need to know quite so much about how my food gets to my plate. Sorry. A band saw is usually involved. (Oh man, the grilled onions are starting to make my eyes water.)

Meat becomes more cherry red as it is exposed to oxygen. Now we’re looking at something called the culotte muscle, and he’s trimming the fat off with a “Texas butter knife.” (Much laughter. This is a serious knife.) Make sure you get the silver skin off, because it is tough and hard to chew. (The skin on baby back ribs is not really the same. You can remove it if you want, but it’s not necessary.)

The culotte steak is also known as the top sirloin London broil or the sirloin cap. When you cut or slice your steak, cut against the grin to make it more tender. He’s got the steaks curled on skewers now, and doing his best rendition of a guy from a Brazilian steakhouse. This is the perfect cut for kabobs. USDA, by the way, grades only on marbling of the ribeye on a side of beef. Certified Angus Beef uses other specs for their meats, including maturity. Certified Angus Beef only selects younger animals, while USDA prime beef could come from older animals.

I think that Chef Michael needs a moment while talking about making beef butter. Render your beef fat, combine it with butter in a blender, and melt it on your steaks after they come off the grill. Two parts butter to one part beef fat.

The tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef, but the flat iron is the second most tender cut. Grab them when you see them.

You can turn a sirloin into a “faux filet” or “baseball cut.” Chef Michael is joking around and telling us all to request this at the custom cut counter.

Coarse kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper are the chef’s “go-to” seasoning for grilling. He says there’s no need to mask the flavor.

Grilling Tips

High heat is the key for creating a crust on the outside and leaving it tender on the inside. Our palettes crave it. There’s talk of cavemen and caramelization. Have patience at the grill. Don’t over-flip. Don’t press on or push on the meat. Give the beef a quarter turn to get those diamond grill marks.

“Who thinks you should finger your meat?” Oh my. A meat thermometer is the best way to check if your meat is done – not touching it with your finger.

Re: grill marks… Diamonds are a grill’s best friend.

Let your meat rest when it comes off the grill so you don’t lose the juices. Leave it for 5 minutes if it’s a steak, 10 minutes if it’s a larger cut like the culotte steak. The meat will continue to cook as it rests.

Chef Michael doesn’t cook meat and veggies on the same kabob. Onions are the only veggies he’ll put on the skewer with his beef so they make each other taste good. But he says beef and zucchini aren’t good friends…grill them separately.

“Certified Angus Beef is  like an insurance policy if you like your beef medium well or well done.” If you like your beef with “no pink,” it’ll be fine if you’re grilling up Certified Angus Beef.

“How long can you marinate safely?” (This question is important to me, as we’ve got a sirloin steak in the fridge for a second night due to the storm yesterday.) Chef Michael doesn’t recommend marinating more than overnight. (We’ll see how ours tastes tomorrow night…)

Christina Gleason (833 Posts)

That’s me: Christina Gleason. I’m a professional copywriter, editor, and blogger. My company is called Phenomenal Content. (Hire me!) I’m a relatively high-functioning Aspie who also lives with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), depression, anxiety, and chronic pain. I am not ashamed to admit that I am in the care of a psychiatrist, who assures me that people in therapy are often better adjusted than “normal” people who are not, because at least we know what our issues are and are working on them. I’m a geek for grammar, fantasy, and select types of gaming, including World of Warcraft and Plants vs Zombies 2. I hate vegetables. I have an intense phone phobia, so I’ll happily conduct business over email or IM instead. I have started writing no fewer than five novels, and I hope to finish one of them...eventually.

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