Red Meat - The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for the Most Flavorful and Delicious Barbecue - Peter Jautaikis

The Wood Pellet Smoker and Grill Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for the Most Flavorful and Delicious Barbecue - Peter Jautaikis (2016)

Chapter 3. Red Meat

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Perfectly Grilled Steaks

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New York strip steaks, with their beautiful marbling, strong beefy flavor, and perfect tenderness, are a favorite at steakhouses. Elevate any meal to a magnificent occasion by grilling the perfect New York strip steak at home. In this recipe I call for 1¼ to 1½-inch-thick steaks—the thickness of the steak is more important than the weight here.

Serves: 2

Prep Time: 60 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Rest Time: 5 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any

2 USDA Choice or Prime 1¼ to 1½-inch-thick New York strip steaks (about 12 to 14 ounces each) extra-virgin olive oil

4 teaspoons Pete’s Western Rub (page 169) or salt and pepper, divided

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and cover loosely with plastic wrap about 45 minutes before cooking to bring them to room temperature.

2. Once the steaks reach room temperature, brush them on both sides with olive oil.

3. Season each side of the steaks with 1 teaspoon of the rub or salt and pepper, and then let stand at room temperature for at least 5 minutes before grilling.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for direct cooking by using searing grates (page 17), set the temperature to high, and preheat to at least 450°F using any pellets.

2. Place the steaks on the grill and cook on one side until slightly charred, 2 to 3 minutes.

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3. On the same side, rotate the steaks 90 degrees for cross grill marks, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Flip the steaks over and grill until they reach desired doneness:

✵3 to 5 minutes for medium rare (an internal temperature of 135°F)

✵6 to 7 minutes for medium (an internal temperature of 140°F)

✵8 to 10 minutes for medium-well (an internal temperature of 150°F)

5. Transfer the steaks to a platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Notes

When still attached to the bone, the strip steak is known as a T-bone, porterhouse, or sometimes, a Kansas City steak.

To prevent juices from escaping, avoid piercing your steaks during cooking.

I recommend using a pig tail food flipper to rotate and flip the meat rather than tongs.

To add extra flavor and moisture to your New York strip steak during cooking, don’t trim the fat off.

Smoked Tri-Tip Roast

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Tri-tip roasts have long been a delicacy in the Central Coast and San Joaquin Valley of California. Until recently, most of the country had never heard of this triangular-shaped cut from the bottom of the sirloin primal. Historically, the tri-tip was cut up for stew meat or ground into hamburger.

In the 1950s, Bob Schutz, a butcher and meat manager of a Safeway market in Santa Maria, California, had plenty of stew meat and hamburger, so he decided to barbecue the tri-tip over locally available red oak wood. The rest, as they say, is history!

Serves: 4 to 6

Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus overnight marinating)

Cook Time: 2 hours

Rest Time: 15 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory, Blend

1 (2½ to 3-pound) whole peeled tri-tip roast

3 tablespoons roasted garlic-flavored extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons Pete’s Western Rub (page 169) or your favorite Santa Maria-style rub

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Rub all sides of the tri-tip with the olive oil and then with the Pete’s Western Rub or other rub.

2. Double-wrap the seasoned tri-tip roast with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect heat and preheat to 180°F using hickory pellets or a blend.

2. If your unit has one, insert your wood pellet smoker-grill meat probe into the thickest part of the tri-tip roast and smoke for 1 hour.

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3. After an hour, increase the pit temperature to 325°F. Cook until the internal temperature reaches 140° to 145°F.

4. Rest the smoked tri-tip under a loose foil tent for 15 minutes before serving.

5. Slice the roast against the grain using the illustration below as a guide.

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Notes

Peeled tri-tip roasts are those that have their fat cap and silver skin removed by the butcher.

The grains of a tri-tip roast run in different directions as you can see in the image below.

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Black line: Seam of fat down the center of tri-tip roast.

White lines: Direction of the grains; note how grains are different on each side of the black line.

Blue lines: Carving direction.

Cut the tri-tip in half along the black line. Carve along the blue lines on the bias at a 45-degree angle.

Meaty Chuck Short Ribs

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Smoked low and slow, beef chuck short ribs are juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender, and the flavor profiles will rival any beef brisket. The big, marbled ribs will delight any dinner table.

Serves: 2 to 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 5 to 6 hours

Rest Time: 15 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Mesquite, Hickory

English-cut 4-bone slab beef chuck short ribs

3 to 4 tablespoons yellow mustard or extra-virgin olive oil

3 to 5 tablespoons Pete’s Western Rub (page 169)

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Trim the fat cap from the ribs, leaving a ¼ inch fat, and remove any silver skin.

2. Remove the membrane from the bones to season the meat properly by working a spoon handle under the membrane to get a piece lifted. Use a paper towel to grab the membrane and pull it off the bones.

3. Slather the mustard or olive oil on all sides of the short rib slab. Season liberally on all sides with the rub.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect heat and preheat to 225°F using mesquite or hickory pellets.

2. Insert your wood pellet smoker-grill or a remote meat probe into the thickest part of the slab of ribs. If your grill does not have meat probe capabilities or you don’t own a remote meat probe, then use an instant-read digital thermometer during the cook for internal temperature readings.

3. Place the short ribs bone-side down on the grill and smoke at 225°F for 5 hours.

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4. If after 5 hours the ribs have not reached an internal temperature of at least 195°F, then increase the pit temperature to 250°F until the internal temperature reaches 195° to 205°F.

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5. Rest the smoked short ribs under a loose foil tent for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

Surprisingly, common yellow mustard, used as a glue for your rub or seasoning, does not give the meat a mustard flavor.

Meaty Chuck Short Ribs

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Smoked low and slow to medium-rare, a New York strip roast is delicious and tender. It’s elegant enough for any special occasion and reasonably priced to grace your dinner table any day of the week. Enjoy leftovers in salads or succulent sandwiches.

Serves: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 30 minutes (plus overnight marinating and rest time)

Cook Time: 2½ to 3 hours

Rest Time: 20 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Hickory

1 (6-pound) beef New York strip roast, USDA Choice or Prime grade

¼ cup roasted garlic-flavored extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup Texas Barbecue Rub (page 171) or your favorite prime rib seasoning

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Use a sharp boning knife to remove the fat cap from the roast and trim away any additional excess fat and silver skin.

2. Rub all sides of the roast with the olive oil, and liberally season on all sides with the rub or seasoning.

3. Double-wrap the seasoned roast with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Remove the roast from the refrigerator 45 minutes prior to cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.

2. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 240°F using hickory pellets.

3. Insert your wood pellet smoker-grill meat probe or a remote meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast. Smoke the New York strip roast at 240°F for approximately 2½ to 3 hours.

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4. Remove the smoked roast when the internal temperature reaches 135°F.

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5. Rest the roast under a loose foil tent for 20 minutes before serving. Slice the roast against the grain to the desired thickness.

Texas-Style Brisket Flat

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Brisket is one of the most universally loved cuts of beef. It comes from the breast or lower chest of the steer. As one of the toughest cuts of beef, a brisket is ideal for low-and-slow cooking on a wood pellet smoker-grill. A 6 to 8-pound brisket flat should only take about 5½ hours to reach an internal temperature of 205°F if you use a technique commonly known as the “Texas crutch” to reduce your cooking time. This technique entails double-wrapping the brisket tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil to bypass the stall and tenderize the meat. Couple the Texas crutch with resting the brisket for 2 to 4 hours using the FTC method (page 24), and you’ll no longer have to fear briskets. So don’t let traditional cooking times and the size of a brisket deter you. Jump in—your guests will love you for it and wolf this brisket down.

Serves: 8 to 10

Prep Time: 45 minutes (plus overnight marinating, optional)

Cook Time: 5 to 6 hours

Rest Time: 2 to 4 hours

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Mesquite, Oak

6½ pound beef brisket flat

½ cup roasted garlic-flavored extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup Texas-Style Brisket Rub (page 172) or your favorite brisket rub

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Trim the fat cap off of the brisket and remove any silver skin.

2. Rub the trimmed meat on all sides with the olive oil.

3. Apply the rub to all sides of the brisket, ensuring that it is completely covered with the rub.

4. Double-wrap the brisket in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for the rub to penetrate the meat or, if you prefer, you can cook the brisket immediately.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Remove the brisket from the refrigerator and insert your wood pellet smoker-grill or a remote meat probe into the thickest part of the meat. If your grill does not have meat probe, capabilities or you don’t own a remote meat probe, then use an instant-read digital thermometer during the cook for internal temperature readings.

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2. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 250°F using mesquite or oak pellets.

3. Smoke the brisket at 250°F, until the internal temperature reaches 160°F (about 4 hours).

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4. Remove the brisket from the grill, double-wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure to keep the meat probe in place, and return it to the smoker-grill.

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5. Increase the pit temperature to 325°F, and cook the brisket until the internal temperature reaches 205°F, about another 2 hours.

6. Remove the foiled brisket, wrap it in a towel, and place it in cooler, referring to the FTC instructions on page 24. Let sit in the cooler for 2 to 4 hours before slicing against the grain and serving.

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Notes

The “stall” is inevitable when smoking large portions of meat like brisket, pork butt, or turkey. Don’t be tempted to increase the pit temperature when your internal temperature remains the same, sometimes for hours.

Pete-zza Meatloaf

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The ultimate comfort food has to be meatloaf, in my humble opinion. But I really love pizza too. Now you can enjoy the best of all worlds: a smoked meatloaf stuffed with pizza ingredients. Your family and friends will inhale this loaf. From the smoke ring to the vivid colors of the stuffing, this recipe makes a stunning presentation and will tickle your taste buds beyond expectations.

Serves: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 30 to 45 minutes

Cook Time: 2 to 2½ hours

Rest Time: 15 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Oak, Blend

FOR THE MEATLOAF:

1 pound 80% lean ground beef

1 pound pork sausage, like Jimmy Dean

2 large eggs

1 cup Italian bread crumbs

½ cup pizza sauce, plus an additional ½ cup, to serve

½ teaspoon garlic salt

½ teaspoon seasoned salt

½ teaspoon ground pepper

½ teaspoon granulated garlic

FOR THE PIZZA STUFFING:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms (about 6 small mushrooms)

⅔ cup sliced red onion (1 small onion)

⅔ cup sliced green bell pepper (1 medium green pepper)

½ cup sliced red bell pepper (1 small red pepper)

pinch of salt and black pepper

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

2 cups shredded cheddar or Jack cheese

3 ounces sliced pepperoni sausage

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. In a large bowl, combine the meatloaf ingredients thoroughly using your hands for best results.

2. In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and sauté the mushrooms, red onion, green bell pepper, and red bell pepper for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables are al dente. Season the vegetables with a pinch of salt and black pepper. Set aside.

3. On parchment paper, flatten the meatloaf into a 3/8-inch-thick rectangle. Evenly spread the sautéed vegetables over the meat. Top the vegetables with the mozzarella, followed by the cheddar or Jack. Top the cheese with the pepperoni.

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4. Use the parchment paper to roll the meatloaf, making sure to seal the ends and all seams.

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ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Configure your wood pellet-smoker grill for indirect heat and preheat to 225°F using oak pellets or a blend.

2. Smoke the stuffed pizza meatloaf for 1 hour.

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3. After an hour, increase the pit temperature to 350°F, and cook until the internal temperature of the stuffed pizza meatloaf reaches 170°F.

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4. Top the meatloaf with the remaining ½ cup pizza sauce and let rest under a loose foiled tent for 15 minutes before serving.

Notes

If your wood pellet smoker-grill does not have a built-in meat probe, you’ll want to use a digital instant-read thermometer to verify your meatloaf internal temperature.

Traffic Light Stuffed Bell Peppers

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Who says you can only use one color of pepper for a dish? The vibrant colors of these smoked stuffed bell peppers will delight your family and friends. Make sure to cook plenty and watch people fight over their favorite color.

You never know where you’ll get your inspiration for a recipe. I got mine while waiting at a traffic light. Red light, green light, and no—yellow does not mean accelerate!

Serves: 4 to 6

Prep Time: 30 to 45 minutes

Cook Time: 90 minutes

Rest Time: 10 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Apple, Hickory

6 to 8 large bell peppers (green, yellow, and red)

1 small red onion

3 celery stalks

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound 80% lean ground beef

1 (28-ounce) can tomato sauce

2 cups cooked white rice

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced, or 1 teaspoon crushed garlic

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and save for use in the stuffing. Core and remove the seeds from the peppers.

2. Finely chop the onion, celery, and bell pepper tops.

3. In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat, warm the olive oil and sauté the vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes, until the vegetables are al dente. Remove the vegetables from the pan and set aside.

4. Using same skillet, cook the ground beef over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beef is brown. Drain the fat.

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5. Set aside ½ cup of tomato sauce to top stuffed peppers.

6. Mix the browned ground beef, sautéed vegetables, rice, and remaining tomato sauce in a large bowl. Season with the salt, pepper, and garlic.

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7. Loosely stuff the bell peppers with the filling and top them with the remaining tomato sauce.

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ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 180°F using apple or hickory pellets.

2. Smoke the bell peppers for 45 minutes.

3. After 45 minutes, increase the pit temperature to 350°F, and cook for another 45 minutes.

4. Remove the peppers and rest under a foil tent for 10 minutes before serving.

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Applewood Walnut-Crusted Rack of Lamb

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As you bite through the walnut crust your taste buds will light up when stimulated by a hint of Dijon mustard, garlic, and apple smoke. These juicy lamb chops are smoked to a beautiful medium-rare, giving them a soft and silky texture.

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 25 minutes (plus overnight marinating and 30 minutes rest time)

Cook Time: 60 to 90 minutes

Rest Time: 5 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Apple

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves, minced, or 2 teaspoons crushed garlic

½ teaspoon garlic powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon rosemary

1 (1½ to 2-pound) rack of lamb, Frenched

1 cup crushed walnuts

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Combine the mustard, garlic, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and rosemary in a small bowl.

2. Spread the seasoning mix evenly on all sides of the lamb and sprinkle with the crushed walnuts. Press the walnuts lightly with your hand to adhere the nuts to the meat.

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3. Wrap the walnut-crusted rack of lamb loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to allow the seasonings to penetrate the meat.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Remove the walnut crusted rack of lamb from the refrigerator and rest for 30 minutes to allow it to come to room temperature.

2. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 225°F using apple pellets.

3. Place the rack of lamb bone-side down directly on the grill.

4. Smoke at 225°F until the thickest part of the rack of lamb reaches the desired internal temperature, measured with a digital instant-read thermometer, as you near the times listed in the chart.

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5. Rest the lamb under a loose foil tent for 5 minutes before serving.

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Notes

If desired, substitute pistachios for the walnuts.

Roasted Leg of Lamb

Scrumptious roasted leg of lamb will truly delight at any Easter or Passover dinner. But this fuss-free, family-pleasing recipe will have you eating tender and flavorful lamb any time of the year. For best results, do not overcook your lamb.

Serves: 8 (½ pound per serving)

Prep Time: 20 minutes (plus overnight marinating and 1 hour rest times)

Cook Time: 1½ to 2 hours

Rest Time: 10 minutes

RECOMMENDED PELLETS: Any

1 (4-pound) boneless leg of lamb

½ cup roasted garlic-flavored extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup dried parsley

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice or 1 tablespoon lemon zest (from 1 medium lemon)

2 tablespoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon dried rosemary

½ teaspoon black pepper

PREPPING FOR THE GRILL

1. Remove any netting from the leg of lamb. Trim any large pieces of gristle, silver skin, and fat.

2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, parsley, garlic, lemon juice or zest, oregano, rosemary, and pepper.

3. Apply the spice rub on the inner and outer surfaces of the boneless leg of lamb.

4. Use silicone food-grade cooking bands or butcher’s twine to secure the boneless leg of lamb. Use bands or twine to form and maintain the lamb’s basic shape.

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5. Wrap the lamb loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight to allow the seasonings to penetrate the meat.

ON THE WOOD PELLET SMOKER-GRILL

1. Remove the lamb from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature for an hour.

2. Configure your wood pellet smoker-grill for indirect cooking and preheat to 400°F using your pellets of choice.

3. Remove the plastic wrap from the lamb.

4. Insert your wood pellet smoker-grill meat probe or a remote meat probe into the thickest part of the lamb. If your grill does not have meat probe capabilities or you don’t own a remote meat probe then use an instant-read digital thermometer during the cook for internal temperature readings. Roast the lamb at 400°F until the internal temperature at the thickest part reaches desired doneness.

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5. Rest the lamb under a loose foil tent for 10 minutes before carving against the grain and serving.

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Notes

Do not bring the roast directly from the refrigerator to your wood pellet smoker-grill; the roast must be at room temperature to ensure it will cook evenly.

When roasted to medium-rare, lamb is flavorful and mild like a roast beef.

Pesto sauce can be substituted for the spice rub.