This started out as a shot in the dark, yet it ended up being a fantastic meal!!! We love taters & steak, especially smoked taters and smoked/seared steak...and we love mushrooms with steak, so I tossed all three into some smoke this afternoon.
Yellow potatoes (medium size), warm smoked @ 140-150* for 2.5 hours (finished in the "O" @ 350* for 45 minutes...they were too hot to handle with bare hands straight off the grate (trust me, I tried...LOL!!!). Then, the best part, sliced mushrooms warm smoked for 45 minutes and finished with a hot & fast sautee in butter, just long enough to lightly caramelize the surface, then reduced heat to slowly finish to aldente. Bone-in large end rib-eyes (2lbs/ea), warm smoked for 45 minutes (around 110-120*), then seared over a HOT lump coal-base for 7 minutes/side to rare/med-rare. All smoked with cherry chunks, fired by RO lump.
Into the 26.75" Weber (about 1.75 hrs for the taters, shrooms just into the smoke):
Pulled the taters and shrooms to finish in the kitchen after I prepped the beef for a warm smoke and char-grilling:
Shrooms seasoned lightly with garlic powder and salt...heat turned down, just waiting for those rib-eyes:
BTW, I went for another experiment for dry-rub on the beef...I usually go KISS method (SPOG or similar), but decided to put my relatively new mortar & pestle to work for a few minutes. I ended up with (in rough measurements...you know, small handful of this, couple dashes of that, 2 pinches of...):
1 tsp Celery Salt (just a few dashes);
2 Tbsp Garlic;
1 Tbsp 5-corn peppercorns (5-color blend);
1 tsp Basil
1/2 tsp Oregano (with Basil, both for a slightly sweeter background);
1.5 tsp Thyme
1.5 tsp Rosemary (with Thyme, both for a more savory touch);
New Mexico Chili (approx 1/4 of a large, dried) for more depth right up front;
Dried Shallots (approx. 2.5 Tbsp)
Bashed and rolled it around for several minutes until the chili pieces were mostly broken-down and the peppercorns were crushed to small pieces. Some of the chili flakes and peppercorns ended up being almost powder, so the flavor should distribute quite well in the blend.
If you haven't acquired one of these yet for your own specialty spice-blending uses, I recommend you hunt one down...got this beautiful granite set for Christmas from my oldest daughter, and we're making some history together. This is a 4" inner diameter...very heavy and stable...hefts @ over 3lbs:
With tonight's rub blend finished:
I've only used this a few times, but I've grown quite fond of it in already...much nicer finished blend with all dried ingredients than I get with either of my electric grinders. If you want to process each ingredient separately for the most control over particle size, I believe it will serve you VERY well. I'm not sure how I'll incorporate it's use with dried cherries, apples and blueberries for rub blends (they tend to paste-up in an electric grinder), but I'm sure I'll put it to that test soon and figure out the best approach...probably not much different than what I do with electric rigs.
Back on topic...
Poured a hot bed of RO lump into the Weber, set the steaks off to the side on a platter, replaced the grate to preheat for a few minutes, and let it rip:
I cut the bone portion of this steak off for the wife (she likes the rib bones)...view of my portion of the eye cut open...nicely rare, with just a touch of rainbow-effect:
The beef could have used a bit more smoke, IMHO (I usually allow over an hour for steaks this large and thick, and usually use a sharply sweet wood for beef - hickory), but with everything else having a good dose of cherry it was actually a really good balance throughout the meal. I just can't get over how GREAT those mushrooms tasted (and smelled)...smoked just long enough to begin to wilt and turn a light brown before finishing in the pan. Texture was great with a tender steak-like chew (such as the ribeye), just the way we love 'em.
I gotta say, those mushrooms, simple as they are, made this meal uniquely delicious. We love our smoked goodies, and the shrooms took it to a whole new level tonight. Sure the smoked taters as a side was a nice touch for the ribeyes, but the shrooms was what really did it for me. You could smell the smoke aromas filling the house as soon as they hit the pan, and I can still smell that earthy mushroom and cherry smoke more than an hour after finishing dinner, as the pan (with butter residue) continued cooling down (hmm, smoke, garlic and mushroom infused butter...LOL!!!)...gotta love it!!!
Oh, and the dry rub? Nothing off-putting, or, earh-shattering about the profile...just a nice twist on the use of some basic ingredients that goes pretty well with beef. No, it's nothing like my more popular blends with dried fruits and red bell peppers (which are not well-suited to high-temps due to rapid scorching), but a nice change, none-the-less. I made it very similar to this a week or so ago for cold smoked/char-grilled beef chucks and strip steaks, and wanted to change it up a bit...I like this round better...last round had a bit more bite to it than I liked...the sage was part of it...just wrong for beef, and I should have known better......but, round two with some refinements is much better.
Great smokes to all, and to all a good night!!!