Saturday, March 27, 2021

Grilled Tequila-Lime Ribeye Tacos


Carnivores place ribeye steaks on the highest pedestal. There is no finer steak. It is  cut from the most tender part of the cow, between the 6th and 12th rib. It is a heavily marbled slice of the longissmus dorsal muscle.

Ribeye is my favorite steak. To prepare them, I generously salt them and then place them on a wire rack in my fridge for 24 hours. I remove them 2 hours prior to cooking...setting them on the kitchen counter to bring the steaks to room temperature. Then I simply grill them over charcoal and additional seasonings added. Once cooked, they rest for 5 minutes under foil. Then they get a light dusting of kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper before serving.

Mr. Steak was a restaurant chain started in 1962. We had one in Edina on Vernon Avenue that was a favorite of mine when I was growing up. I was also a regular at their Dinkytown location while I attended the U of M in the early 70's. The company went bankrupt in 1987 and disappeared from the face of the earth. Fortunately, they left behind a recipe that allows me to prepare my beloved ribeye in a whole different fashion.


For the Steak

1-1/2 pound ribeye steak, 1-1/2 inches thick

For the Marinade

1/2 cup tequila

3/4 cup fresh lime juice

1 cup chopped garlic

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 bunch chopped cilantro (stems included...the most flavorful part!)

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 tablespoon fresh cracked pepper


  1. Combine marinade ingredients in a sealed plastic bag. Add steak and marinate for 3 hours.
  2. Remove steak from marinade and let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours. Put marinade in small saucepan and bring to a boil. Then set aside.
  3. Prepare your grill for direct cooking over high heat.
  4. Place steak over coals and grill for 4 minutes. Then flip and grill for 4 more minutes (for medium rare). Remove steak, tent with foil and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  5. Slice steak and serve with warm corn taco shells. Garnish with leftover marinade and your favorite taco toppings and sauces.

Pairing: While a Malbec or a beer would be good, 
I'd keep the tequila party going with a Paloma!

Grogs and Goldie, 1956

Saturday, March 20, 2021

French Onion Meatballs


I like French Onion Soup. But for something to be a meal, it has to have meat in it. Preferably beef. Thankfully, Jessica Merchant found a way to get me my French Onion Soup flavors in a form that suits the unabashed carnivore that I am. And just so I can have the complete soup experience, I like to serve these meatballs on a toasted slice of sourdough bread.


2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium onions, sliced thin

1 pound ground beef

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup finely grated gruyere cheese, plus extra for topping

2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan

1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs

3 tablespoons fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil for browning meatballs

1-½ cups chicken stock

1 teaspoon flour


    1. Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Stir in the onions with a big pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions caramelize, about 30 to 40 minutes. Once the onions are golden and caramelized, transfer them to a plate. 
    2. Preheat the oven to 350º. 
    3. Take half of the cooled caramelized onions and chop them up a bit - just so they easily mix into the meatballs.
    4. In a bowl, stir together the beef, garlic, ½ cup gruyere, all the parmesan, the breadcrumbs, parsley, thyme, salt and pepper. Add in the chopped caramelized onions. Mix until the meatballs are just combined - do not over mix. 
    5. Use your hands to form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs. It helps if you wet your hands with water before rolling. 
    6. Heat the same skillet over medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the meatballs in a single layer and brown them on all sides - let them cook for 1 to 2 minutes, before flipping.
    7. Once the meatballs are completely browned, fill a shaker cup or water bottle with the stock and flour. Shake it for 30 seconds. Pour the mixture into the skillet with the meatballs. Add in the remaining caramelized onions. Top the meatballs with the remaining gruyere cheese.
    8. Bake for 25 minutes. Then serve.

    Wine pairing: Merlot

    Grogs and Goldie, 1956

    Monday, March 8, 2021

    Corned Beef with Béarnaise Sauce


    Being of primarily Irish descent and having made 68 full trips around the sun, suffice it to say I know how to throw a really good St. Patrick's Day meal together. I've cooked corned beef a million different ways, but this recipe is the best. I got the recipe from a lady that made it for the Fox 9 news crew on a Saturday morning show many years ago. Besides being the tastiest corned beef I have ever had, it's also the easiest. Just dump everything into a slow cooker and come back 10 hours later. The recipe is so good, that there is only one way to improve upon it.

    Béarnaise sauce is the only thing that makes the recipe better. It's a classic example of one plus one equals three. The sauce takes what is already extraordinary....and makes it even tastier and more 
    luxurious. The only downside is that requires a little bit of work on your part. But given that you really had no labor involved in preparing the corned beef, consider it a wash.


    For the Corned Beef
    1 corned beef brisket, 3-4 pounds
    2 medium onions, cut into quarters (no peeling required)
    5 ribs celery, cut into chunks
    1 tablespoon prepared stone ground mustard 
    2 cups chicken stock
    12-ounces of beer (lager or pilsner)

    For the Béarnaise Sauce
    1/4 cup white wine vinegar
    1 small shallot, minced
    1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chopped, fresh tarragon
    2 egg yolks
    12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
    Kosher salt
    Splash of lemon juice


    For the Corned Beef
    1. Place onions and celery on the bottom of your slow cooker. Add stock, beer and mustard.
    2. Set brisket on top of onions and celery, fat-side up. Sprinkle meat with seasoning packet (which comes packed in your brisket). Put lid on slow cooker and cook on low for 10 hours.
    3. Remove brisket. Slice and serve with Béarnaise sauce.

    For the Béarnaise Sauce
    1. Put the vinegar, shallots, black pepper and 1 tablespoon of tarragon leaves into a small saucepan and set over a medium flame. Bring just to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer until there are only a few tablespoons of liquid left, approximately 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and set aside to cool.
    2. Fill a small saucepan with an inch or two of water and set over medium-high heat to boil.
    3. Put the cooled shallot-and-tarragon mixture into a metal mixing bowl along with a tablespoon of water and the egg yolks, then whisk to combine.
    4. Turn the heat under the saucepan of water down to its lowest setting and put the bowl on top of the pan, making sure that it does not touch the water directly. Continue to whisk the yolks until they thicken, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. You should just about double the volume of the yolks.
    5. Slowly beat in the butter, a tablespoon or two at a time, whisking slowly to combine and emulsify. Remove the bowl from the pan occasionally, so as not to overcook the eggs and then taste the sauce. Season with salt. If the flavor is not sharp enough, add a splash of lemon juice. If the sauce is too thick, stir in a splash of hot water. Add the remaining teaspoon of tarragon leaves and serve.

    Pairing: You already knew this. Served at 42.8 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Grogs and Goldie Dunleavy, 1956