Category Archives: Recipes

Picanha from Porter Road Butcher

Picanha (pronounced “pee-KAHN-ya), also known as top sirloin cap or coulotte, is a cut of beef that most Americans know little about. Those that do probably associate it with expensive Brazilian steakhouses (churrascarias) where it’s skewered in half-moon shapes, grilled to perfection, and carved to order at the table.

Skewered picanha with other meats
Skewered picanha (second from left)

A company named Porter Road Butcher gave me a 4.24 pound package of their dry-aged picanha to try, and it’s the basis of this article. You’ll find picanha at better supermarkets, butcher shops, or online meat retailers.

Picanha Defined

Picanha is a triangular roast with a lean side and a fat side covered with thick, white hard fat.

Picanha in packaging

Lean side of picanha

Fat side of picanha

Picanha has great beefy flavor and good moisture due to abundant intramuscular fat. It should not be confused with tri-tip. Both come from the sirloin primal, but picanha is cut from the top sirloin butt while the tri-tip is cut from the bottom sirloin butt. Continue reading Picanha from Porter Road Butcher

Grilling Cheeses

Close-up of marinated grilling cheese on a sourdough crisp

My first encounter with grilling cheeses was at the 2019 San Francisco Fancy Food Show. You can watch my video to learn more about my experience at that amazing specialty food show.

After trying some of those cheeses at the show, I decided to buy a few and grill them at home on my Weber Summit 450. I bought the following:

Selection of grilling cheeses

The first two were ones I saw and tried at the Fancy Food Show. The third one was something I picked up at Whole Foods. Continue reading Grilling Cheeses

Beef Vs. Bacon Burgers From Porter Road Butcher

I’ve cooked beef/bacon burgers once before, back in May 2016. On that occasion, I smoked them at 300-325°F using the Weber Smokey Mountain Cooker. Delicious and smoky, to be sure. But on this occasion in August 2019, I grilled beef/bacon burgers using my Weber Summit 450 gas grill.

A company named Porter Road Butcher gave me a two-pound package of their Beef Vs. Bacon mix to try. It’s a 50/50 blend of smoked pork belly bacon and dry-aged beef trimmings. Porter Road doesn’t specify the percentage of lean-to-fat in the ground beef, only that it’s “lean ground beef”. If I had to guess, I’d say it’s 90/10 ground beef or something close to that.

Beef Vs. Bacon in the package

If you’ve never tried a beef/bacon mix for burgers, you should, especially if you’re a bacon lover. It’s amazing how much flavor bacon adds to otherwise delicious ground beef. But these Bacon Vs. Bacon burgers had it all—the fat and smokiness from the bacon plus the hearty beef flavor that only comes from dry-aged beef. Continue reading Beef Vs. Bacon Burgers From Porter Road Butcher

Grilled Peaches Redux

Finished grilled peach with ice cream and granola crumble

I last wrote about grilled peaches in August 2014 when two members of The Virtual Weber Bulletin Board shared their approach to grilling this wonderful summer fruit.

It’s almost the end of peach season here in Northern California, and before summer is over and we rush headlong back into our fall routines, I wanted to share some grilled peaches that I made just for you, and they could not be simpler to make.

Start with perfectly ripe, juicy peaches. Freestone peaches works best. The ones shown here are from Andy’s Orchard in nearby Morgan Hill, CA…probably the best stone fruit you’ll find still grown here in “The Valley of Heart’s Delight”.

Fresh peaches

Gently rinse and dry the peaches. Use a sharp knife to cut in half from pole to pole, twist to open, and remove the pit. Continue reading Grilled Peaches Redux

Grilled Corn On The Cob

Grilled corn on the cob is so easy to make that it hardly demands a post on the subject, but here goes anyway.

Fresh white corn on the cob in the husk

Buy fresh, sweet corn on the cob. Look for large ears that are long and even in width. I like white corn more than yellow or bi-color corn, it just seems sweeter to me, but purchase whatever corn is your favorite. Most important is that it be in-season and fresh.

Remove the husks and silk as best you can. Cut off the stem flush with the cob. Cut off the pointy end to remove those janky little kernels and to make a flat spot to insert a corn pick after grilling.

Preheat your Weber gas grill with all burners on MEDIUM for 10 minutes. Clean the cooking grates with a grill brush.

Corn on the cob over medium heat

Continue reading Grilled Corn On The Cob

Reverse Seared Cast Iron Skillet Ribeye Steaks

I picked up a couple of high quality Creekstone Farms ribeye steaks at Lakewood Meats in Lodi, CA while in town judging a barbecue contest.

Lakewood Meats in Lodi, CA

Creekstone Farms steaks in butcher counter

These steaks were about 1″ thick. I wish they’d been 1-1/2″ thick, which would have been a better thickness for the reverse sear cooking method used here.

I sprinkled the steaks with kosher salt on both sides and refrigerated them on a cooling rack over a rimmed baking sheet pan for 2 hours. Right before grilling, I applied freshly ground black pepper to both sides and pressed it on with my hands.

I setup the Summit 450 gas grill for indirect cooking, with two burners OFF on the left side and two burners on HIGH on the right side. I placed a 12″ cast iron skillet on the hot side of the grill to pre-heat.

Ribeye steaks on cool side of grill Continue reading Reverse Seared Cast Iron Skillet Ribeye Steaks

Bacon Wrapped Garlic Sausage Stuffed Pork Loin

Bacon wrapped, garlic sausage stuffed pork loin goes into Weber Summit

I picked up this piece of meat at Lakewood Meats in Lodi, CA after a barbecue contest. Nice folks, good quality meats. The butcher cut a pocket in one side of the lion and stuffed it with their in-house garlic sausage, then wrapped it in bacon and tied it up tight.

Loin roast cooking over indirect heat

I grilled this guy for 90 minutes over indirect heat with burners 1 & 4 on LOW and burners 2 & 3 on OFF. To prevent sticking, I sprayed the bottom surface of the roast with non-stick cooking spray. Continue reading Bacon Wrapped Garlic Sausage Stuffed Pork Loin

Pomegranate Molasses Glaze For Grilled Steaks

Pomegranate molasses in bottle with sirloin steaks

The Popularity Of Pomegranate

In 2007, pomegranates hit their peak of popularity in the United States. A news article at the time reported that over 450 new pomegranate-based products were brought to market that year. Stores were flooded with pomegranate juice and every kind of pomegranate-flavored food. Even Jelly Belly got into the act with pomegranate-infused jelly beans and Burt’s Bees made pomegranate shampoo!

Today in 2018, pomegranates are still going strong, and pomegranate molasses is the current darling of the food world, appearing in many of the latest recipes in new cookbooks and on television cooking shows. This ingredient of Middle Eastern origins is simply pomegranate juice that’s been boiled down into a sweet/sour/tangy syrup. Pomegranate molasses can be used as a glaze on grilled meats, drizzled over roasted vegetables, substituted for vinegar in a salad dressing, mixed into hummus, and used in desserts and cocktails.

Pomegranate Molasses Glaze On Grilled Steaks

I recently listened to an episode of Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Radio podcast in which a phone-in caller asked about using pomegranate molasses with cooked meat. While Kimball suggested brushing it on full-strength at the end of cooking, co-host Sara Moultin suggested making a mixture of pomegranate molasses, butter, Dijon mustard, and a little garlic.

I tried Moultin’s suggestion when grilling some Certified Angus Beef sirloin steaks. Moultin did not offer a recipe with measurements, so I just winged it as follows: Continue reading Pomegranate Molasses Glaze For Grilled Steaks