Thursday, August 18, 2016

Day-off Rerun: Old King Coal

To all my vegetarian friends, may I steer you to another blog just for today? Nothing you will read beyond this sentence will be of interest; I'll stake my reputation as an avowed carnivore on it.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, hero of the D-Day Invasion and two-term US president during my childhood, contributed a lot to our modern society. A great military man who later warned of the consequences of exaggerated balance of power in the nation as he left office, he also contributed a style of cooking steak that only now, decades later, is being recognized for its genius and simplicity. And tastiness!

He cooked steaks directly on hot coals!

When you cook steaks on a grate above the heat source, the space between the hot coals and the grate itself serves an an oxygen source, and there's where you get your flare-ups. This way, no flareups. And no greasy grate to scrub later!

Of course, to cook steaks on a charcoal grill this weekend, first, go find a job that pays you on a par with neurosurgeons and big-league starting pitchers, and you'll be able to afford a couple of nice porterhouses or New York strips.

Then load the old kettle grill with charcoal - the kind made of wood chunks, not briquettes. You can usually find big bags of this charcoal at hardware stores and liquor stores. Let those chunks burn for a good while, getting past red hot (so that's where the expression comes from!) to where they are white hot, and then, just before dropping steaks on them, blow across the top to remove any dust.

Eisenhower, or "Ike," as he liked to be called, also liked three-inch beef strip steaks, covered all over with salt and pepper, then set down directly on white-hot coals. This gives a rare, charry-crusted steak that is said to be out of this world.

All the online sources I checked say this works well for any meat that is cut thick, so you can even try tuna steaks or pork chops. Let me know how it goes for you!

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