Hey all! I found out late lastnight that we would be post-poning our day-trip to restock supplies and meats untils in the morning, and I realized that I hadn't made any plans to smoke today. So, I dug through the freezer (for meat) and then I dug through my brain (for ideas).
It seems I've been turning out some pretty decent recipes lately, so I figured, why try to stop a moving train when you can just jump on and enjoy the ride!
Anyway, I've used marinades bottled before, sometimes with a little docoring, but I don't recall having made my own from scratch, so here goes. I started out with less vinegar, water, brown sugar and no salt, but my initial taste-testing wasn't quite what I was looking for. What I have below tastes really good straight-up, so it's gotta be a winner after soaking some beef in it for a few hours.
CHERRY MARINADE FOR BEEF
(for 6-7lbs of beef steak)
6 Tbls wood-aged sherry cooking wine (1.5% salt content was used)
3 Tbls white vinegar (5% acidity content was used)
1 cup cold water
3 Tbls dried fresh ground tart cherries
1 Tbsl freshly coarse ground red bell pepper
2 tsp fresh ground black peppercorn
2 tsp fresh ground garlic
2 tsp fresh ground onion
2 tsp coarse ground thyme
1 tsp coarse ground oregano
2 Tbls brown sugar
2 tsp salt
Mix well and pour over steaks in ziploc bag. Close and gently tumble bag to coat all meat surfaces,
repeating tumble every 30-45 minutes, and refrigerate for 3-4 hours before cooking.
Smoke with hickory/cherry.
***note: this marinade is not well suited to high temperature grilling or broiling due to the natural and added sugars and will scorch relatively easily***
The price paid vs regular price/lb...man, eats are getting spendy, but if you look around there are still deals to be had...we used to find these for 3.99/lb, but those days are gone...:
The good news is, I get to transform these beauties into what is sure to be a delight and delicious dinner entree...tonights victims:
My marinade is ready for some beef:
I'll marinate these for almost 4 hours to keep me on schedule for a 7:30 pm dinner to smoke with hickory and cherry @ 225 for approx 2 hours:
No, on to the Cheese and Veggies. I haven't smoked much veggies lately (shame on me) as my wife or girls have been handling that, but tonight I'm home alone (that's the scary part) until dinner, so I'm handling the bulk of the meal on my own. They don't know yet (for the most part) what I'm up to, so it should be a nice surprise for them when they get home. All they know is I'm cooking steaks...that's it. They know not how I'm preparing them, whether grilled or smoked, or what flavors I'm using to bring them from the freezer to the table, and they have no idea about the veggies yet.
The main ingredients...I'll top this with frozen shaved/crumbled cream cheese, small halved pats of butter and salt and pepper:
I'm shooting for a softer bottom layer with the broccoli, with the mediterranean blend above being uncooked for an aldente' texture, then the grilled mushroom and onions, with the cheese melting through from above:
The veggies are all still frozen with plenty of ice crystals present, so I won't add any liquids. I'll start their smoke low @ 140-150* with cherry/hickory for about 45 minutes until the cheese just begins to melt, then bump it up to 210* when my steaks go in with additional smoke woods if needed.
Ah, just about perfect to begin a hot smoke and add my steaks:
Time for some beef!!! 2nd grate above the dry water pan:
3rd grate up:
Veggie pan was previously on the 4th grate up, and will now finish on the 5th so I've got a good gap between the steaks and the pan for better heat distribution to the veggies. You don't want a pan down lower when you have meats on the grate or it will act as a heat baffle which redues heat above and slows down your meat smoking too much. You can use this to your advantage if you have something which you want to keep a bit cooler though.
Time for the slow ride @ 210-220*...still with cherry/hickory smoke.
I'll rotate the rack positions (3rd to 4th, 4th to 3rd) and also give 'em all (including the veggies) a 180* spin for more even cooking after the first hour.
OK, I had a couple more pics after the rack rotations 'cause I didn't have this post to send this off yet, so...1-hr, 10-min into the steak smoke:
Finish to come ASAP! Thanks for peeking!