When I awoke around 3 yesterday, the weather report forecast another perfect spring day in AA, 75 degrees and sunny with enough wind later in the day to keep things interesting. Dinner on the deck was a must, so I kicked things off by pulling out of the freezer a couple chunks that arrived from Kansas City Steak a few days ago. My American Express had a deal with them so why not? I picked a cut I wasn’t going to find in any local store, a big slab of “picanha”, popular in Brazil, derived from the biceps femoris of the cow (big muscle back of the thigh).
Nice apron of fat, which is of course where the flavor comes from. I got a about 4 meals worth. This would be the debut. The order came with two packets of their steak seasoning, one of which which I decided to deploy. Cut into ~2” chunks, they skewered nicely. Since the Brazilians like their steak on a sword, I figure it was appropriate.
While Kathy corrected papers all morning – she’d gotten down to less than 100 for the rest of the term – I got busy prepping dinner. I’d managed to throw together everything by 1:30 when I took off for my haircut. It was pretty easy peasy. The potatoes were the most fuss. I parboiled then cooled them. I warmed ¼ C duck fat and 2 T olive oil in the same pot, threw in 2 T garlic paste and 1 t rosemary, emulsified everything, then added ½ C parsley. I threw the potatoes back in the mess and made sure everything got coated. They’ll sit in the pot till I skewered them and threw them on the grill. The recipe’s at the end. The rest were just skewered vegetables: a sweet onion and 2 peppers. Not quite ready by then were the ‘shrooms – Kathy’s favorite – which had to marinate a while before being skewered https://wordpress.com/post/theviewfromharbal.com/1238. I brought a couple nice cabs up from the cellar to wash this all down. Intercept is from Charles Woodson’s vineyard. Yes, that Charles Woodson. Both his cab and red blend are highly rated and good values. We stock upon them whenever we go to Meijer’s. The Yalumba was inexpensive and bought on a whim, curious about South Australia and liking the tractor on the label. If we do get to a second cab, we tend not to be so picky. Plus it has a screw top cap. Easier to close for later.
Here was the spread, all skewered up and ready for the flames.
I have 2 Weber grills and a Pit Barrel smoker. I do most of my grilling on the little Go Anywhere number, with its 10X16 grate. It sits on top of my 23” kettle. But this spread would require more grill space. Fat on the steak sure makes it tasty, but oh does it feed the flames. The internal temp shot past 1350 quickly, already at well (1650) when I first measured. Had to take it off and let sit while the vegetables got done. Kathy had set the table as if normal people would be eating there, complete with place mats, steak knives, and forks. But it was all finger food to me, so we sat in our rockers and watched the sun set, surveying northwest Ann Arbor for any signs of trouble. All was quiet. Came time for dessert which usually features 2 kinds of dark chocolate: Nibbles from San Diego https://nibblechocolate.com/ and a Señor Murphy’s chocolate chili bar from Santa Fe https://www.senormurphy.com/store/detail/chocolate_bars/organic_chocolate_chile_bars_3_pack. But we’d nibbled away all the Nibbles , and our next order had yet to arrive. We still had a nice plate.
And we debuted a little something I’d found on sale at Plum’s.
Both went very well with a red.
The Mel Torme Spotify channel provided our soundtrack. But we could just as well have put on John Prine and Mac Wiseman
Woulda suited us just fine.
Oh yeah, here’s that potato recipe: