In Michigan, it’s the American Grill season. Baseball’s on the field, pollen’s in the air and if you wait five-minutes the weather will change. Let’s take a brief look at the American Grill and it’s roots.
Gentlemen, fire up your grills!
Once Memorial weekend arrives, millions of Americans will flame up their charcoal, gas up their grill and smoke out their neighbors to enjoy the all American favorites Barbecue, Hot Dogs, and a variety of meats and veggies with those indisputable grill marks.
Barbecue is about as red, white and blue as American cuisine gets, and for true carnivores, the only real question is how to save room for seconds.
Not sure where the term barbecue originated.
The conventional wisdom is that the Spanish, upon landing in the Caribbean, used the wordbarbacoa to refer to the natives’ method of slow-cooking meat over a wooden platform. By the 19th century, the culinary technique was well established in the American South, and because pigs were prevalent in the region, pork became the primary meat at barbecues. Corn bread emerged as the side dish of choice, owing largely to the fact that in humid Southern climates, corn grew better than wheat (which was prone to fungal infections). Barbecue allowed an abundance of food to be cooked at once and quickly became the go-to menu item for large gatherings like church festivals and neighborhood picnics.
Bring out your best cut.
Pork is not the only piece of meat or food to cook on the grill. If you’re going to barbecue, meaning slathering the meat in sauce and cook it ’til it falls off the bone, it doesn’t require an expensive cut of meat. But if you’re going to grill, a good cut of beef properly prepared – marinated, seasoned, aged – is your best bet for a tender tasty slice of heaven from a steer.
For example, here is what bon appetit says about Dry-Aged Rib Eye
If you’re going to pay top dollar to grill steak for a few (very good) friends, you want a couple of dry-aged, bone-in rib eyes. This rich, beefy, and, yes, fatty cut is near-perfect to begin with, but dry-aging rib eyes adds flavor that Young says is “like eating beef mixed with blue cheese and funky mushrooms and truffles.” No need for marinades or rubs here: Salt, pepper, and a hot grill are all you need to coax out everything this glorious cut has to offer.
How to Cook It: Sear over medium-high, direct heat until charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side for a 2-lb. rib eye. Move to medium-low, indirect heat and continue grilling, flipping once, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Use tongs to lift the steak and sear the edges (the bone side and the fat-cap side) for 1 to 2 minutes per side. Grill until an instant-read thermometer registers 120° for rare (steak will carry over to 125°, or medium-rare, as it rests.) Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
True barbecue is distinctly American. So this summer, when the Memorial and Festival and Independence day parades have ended and the sun starts to go down, throw some meat on the grill and cook yourself a true American classic. Patriotism never tasted so delicious.