Matt Hill, executive chef of Charlie Palmer Steak on the National Mall in Washington DC, is one of only six chefs in the country selected to serve beef from Randall Lineback Cattle, a "critically rare" breed being revived at Chapel Hill Farm in Berryville, Virginia. We asked him to craft three simple, adaptable and flavorful recipes with easy-to-find ingredients to fire up the home cook.
"Because their key ingredient is typically some sort of acidic liquid—such as vinegar, citrus juice, or soy sauce—marinades don't just add flavor, they tenderize fibrous cuts (such as hanger steak). In this case, you'll get two very different flavors by swapping out the tang of Dijon mustard for the sweetness of the Maraschino cherry juice."
1 cup soy sauce (regular supermarket brand is fine)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup Dijon mustard or 1 cup Maraschino cherry juice
1 cup olive oil
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
Method: Mix ingredients together in non-reactive bowl (or plastic container).
Yield: About 1 quart
To Use: If the meat needs to be trimmed, do so before marinating. Place the cuts of meat and several cups of the marinade in a large Zip-Loc bag, for a few hours. Turn the bag occasionally to guarantee all sides of the meat are coated. For a thin fibrous cut like skirt or hangar steak, a good marinade time is two hours. Any longer, and the acidic ingredients will begin to ''cook" the meat. But it's not just for beef. This would be great on hearty cuts of fish or scallops too.
"A combination of spices typically used to add flavor, a dry rub does not tenderize meat. When grilling, the spices may char up a bit, but that's good. It intensifies the depth of flavor and adds an interesting texture to the surface of the meat. The advance time required for a rub to best deliver its flavor is directly related to cooking time: a single-serving sized steak may only require several hours, while a sirloin roast or sizeable brisket needs a full day."
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup kosher salt
1 tbs cayenne pepper
2 tbs ground cumin
2 tbs granulated garlic
2 tbs granulated onion
1 tbs dry English mustard (like Colman's, available in any supermarket)
1 tbs finely ground black pepper
Method: Mix all ingredients until well incorporated.
Yield: About 1-2 cup
To Use: Sprinkle on all sides of the meat to be grilled. Then smack it up a bit, pushing the mixture into the meat. Then flip it, and rub it down.
"This is a version of one of our most popular sauces, the "Big Ass Barbeque Sauce." You can use it on everything, from beef to chicken to pork. You can also warm up by itself for a mean sauce on the side for dipping."
2 cups ketchup
2 tbs ground black pepper
½ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup water
½ cup light brown sugar
2 tbs hot sauce*
1 tbs dry English mustard powder (like Colman's, available in any supermarket)
2 tbs minced fresh garlic
2 tbs minced fresh ginger
Method: Place ketchup and black pepper in a heatproof bowl or container. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium saucepan over moderate heat, and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and simmer until flavors marry and the liquid is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Pour through fine mesh sieve (or strainer) and add to ketchup and black pepper.
Yield: about 5 cups
To Use: Brush it on in the last ten minutes of cooking time so that the tomato and brown sugar get a little char without burning.
* If you can find it in a local Asian market, it's even better to use Sriracha hot sauce made from sun-ripened chilies with a touch of vinegar and garlic.
Wood Chips give a smokey finish to any grilled piece of meat. For a charcoal grill, sprinkle damp chips over the coals just before placing the meat on the grate. For gas grills, you can place the chips in the smoker box, or wrap the wet chips in foil and piece some holes to let smoke escape.