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Got a buddy coming up for a visit in a few weeks and am planning on grilling some thick Porterhouse steaks, hopefully over some good hickory. I'm pretty handy with the grill and, if I may say, do a killer steak. It'll still be cold up here but I grill in the snow occasionally. Dammit, I'm a man.

My question; what do you guys like with a big, smoky, juicy steak? Normally I like a slightly hoppy beer like a Sam Adams, etc., but my pal is a bourbon/single malt devotee like me. I had a Balvenie 15 with a steak at Morton's in Anaheim last year, great combination.

What are your thoughts? Bourbon? Rye? Single malt? Two of each? :D

Thanks in advance for your input.

Cheers!

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Bourbon. Whatever you like. I lean to ryed bourbons for an accompaniment to steaks. Nothing too young though. In fact, preferably on the older end of your preference range. The barrel influence goes well with a nice steak with a little char of its own. Rye, I think goes better with grilled pork and scotch goes with any Italian pasta/seafood dish.

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Thanks for your suggestions, man, greatly appreciated.

My initial thoughts are to let the hickory smoke take center stage and not let peat smoke or barrel char fight with it, so I was thinking younger bourbon, but I can see how a little char could pull things together. Particularly in the sauteed mushrooms that will accompany the steak. I usually throw a little bourbon in the skillet just before the mushrooms are done, with a fat pat of butter. High or medium proof? To me, a smoky steak wants a medium (90-100) proof whiskey but I'm open to ideas.

I'm sure there really is no bad combination where bourbon and grilled beef are concerned, but I'm trying to take the season into account a little. It's late winter and I still have over a foot of snow on the ground. SMS weather for me. But the magical powers bourbon is endowed with may hasten the onset of spring...

Thanks again.

Cheers!

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I was thinking about this the other day...what foods really go with whiskey....other than some nibblers....beef popped up...I think I agree with

the bourbon / steak, rye / pork combos.....though certainly not a rule..I never would have considered scotch with pasta (what kind? Sauce?).....salmon yes...and similar strong flavored fish....it would overpower a mild white fish...unless in a bouillabaisse etc.

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I don't particularly care for bourbon with my meal. It's good before or after dinner but not as an accompaniment. Given that it's still cold I would go with some WLW as a prelude, and Sam Adams or something comparable with the steak.

Do you use propane? I don't find it works very well in cold weather.

Craig

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Normally, I would probably sip some bourbon while cooking...switch to a red wine with dinner....or maybe a beer...then later sip some more bourbon.

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I'm with Jono. A decent bourbon over ice before dinner and a cognac-grade bourbon in a snifter after. Nothing like a good porterhouse over a CHARCOAL grill accompanied by a nice red wine. The "meritage" wines coming out of California are pretty good; they're a mix of cabernet sauvignon and lesser grapes such as cabernet franc and merlot. Sort of like a Bordeaux.

It's only 10:00 a.m. here now, but already you've got me thinking of this evening!

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StraightBoston

I'm actually a fan of bourbon and steak at the same time, but for me it would be a smooth wheater like a Lot B.

(Making me hungry!)

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I'm with Jono. A decent bourbon over ice before dinner and a cognac-grade bourbon in a snifter after. Nothing like a good porterhouse over a CHARCOAL grill accompanied by a nice red wine. The "meritage" wines coming out of California are pretty good; they're a mix of cabernet sauvignon and lesser grapes such as cabernet franc and merlot. Sort of like a Bordeaux.

It's only 10:00 a.m. here now, but already you've got me thinking of this evening!

Marco, do you buy the locally raised Wagyu steaks? I know they are expensive even in HA. I imagine the cost of CA and Australian wines is pretty similar re shipping etc....though Aussie wines are often cheaper on the mainland.

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I enjoy a drink before dinner, but with that steak I would want a good, full-bodied red wine. A nice Chateauneuf du Pape would be wonderful. Or a Bordeaux or Bordeaux-style wine.

Tim

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...I never would have considered scotch with pasta (what kind? Sauce?).....salmon yes...and similar strong flavored fish....it would overpower a mild white fish...unless in a bouillabaisse etc.

no red sauces but blonde seafood/ shellfish sauces like portifino. Also things like shrimp scampi.

Yes, scotch will over power a mild fish.

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Got to go with the red wine, I prefer a Zin, but I don't find any bourbon (or any hard liquor) to work well with steak. Too strong on the taste buds.

Love a good cocktail before and after.

TJ

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Appreciate the responses, guys. A wide range of opinions indeed.

I normally prefer a good beer over wine, but I'll do the wine thing occasionally.

Guess I'll experiment a little and see what happens. If bourbon doesn't cut it I can always save it for afterwards.

Craig, I never grill over propane. I was a charcoal guy, then charcoal with wood chips. Now I grill over wood and there's no turning back. Usually hickory but sometimes mesquite, oak, apple or a combination of a couple different woods depending on what I'm grilling. I've mentioned it before here so I won't belabor the point, but grilling over wood beats those chips any day. Not even close.

Here's a steak grilling tip that yeilds fantastic results for me; keep a small bowl of melted butter close to the grill. If you've used any kind of spices to treat the steak before grilling, add a little bit to the butter with a pinch of salt. Shortly before the steak is ready to come off, gently brush or dab the butter on to the steak with the steak on the cool side of the grill. Turn and repeat. When you hit that "sweet spot" of the grill, the butter forms a delicate crust. It's a little tricky but once you get the hang of it you'll dig it I'm sure.

If you've got some "steak tips" ;) let's hear 'em.

Cheers!

P.S. Regarding the butter tip; be careful not to drip too much into the coals, you'll get a flame-up. Don't soak the steak in it, just a little. The trick is to crisp up the butter without burning it too much. Experiment with placement of the steak on the grill to find what works for you.

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Marco, do you buy the locally raised Wagyu steaks? I know they are expensive even in HA. I imagine the cost of CA and Australian wines is pretty similar re shipping etc....though Aussie wines are often cheaper on the mainland.

Jono,

Confess I am ignorant as to whether anyone is raising Wagyu cattle here. Maybe out at the Parker Ranch. I'll enquire.

I've had Kobe-style beef only once in my life--at a great steak house in Lexington, KY, of all places. It was certainly delicious, even magnificent, but I've had a lot of great steaks so found myself wondering what all the fuss was about. With more exposure, maybe I'd learn to appreciate it more.

I buy my wines at COSTCO, and the Aussies are always good value there, even though I'm more likely to pick up a California.

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We have been finding several very tasty South African wines at our Costco. My wife loves one called "Goats Do Roam".

Tim

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spun_cookie

What are your thoughts? Bourbon? Rye? Single malt? Two of each? :D

Parker Heritage 122.9 or any of the original PHs go well with beef. There are great charicters of briskey and smoked meats in them to me...

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Along side a nicely done filet, chose a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale from a neatly tapped 5 gal keg that will never survive the night.

Had a few nice bourbons made available also.

I still gladly drank beer. I will have a very nice Baker's for a finale.

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Last night I attended a school fundraiser..."steakfry"...really it is a steak grilling.....the local VFW has large steel grilling basins filled with both charcoal and wood....very hot with a steel grate over the fuel....everyone gets their steaks and plops them down...I picked up the only bourbon in the bar...a WT80...certainly not the best but it was bourbon...it went well with the steak...I also had some beer to wash things down.

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Craig, I never grill over propane. I was a charcoal guy, then charcoal with wood chips. Now I grill over wood and there's no turning back. Usually hickory but sometimes mesquite, oak, apple or a combination of a couple different woods depending on what I'm grilling. I've mentioned it before here so I won't belabor the point, but grilling over wood beats those chips any day. Not even close.

I agree generally, but propane is just easy - let's me grill when otherwise I might not. We had rain all weekend, which kind of killed the grilling mood here - at least for a while.

Craig

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fishnbowljoe

Steak tips. Hmmmm. I generally tenderize my steaks whether they need it or not. For spices I mix some Lowerys Seasoned Salt, black pepper, and just a pinch of onion and garlic powder. For a sauce or marinade, I have no real recipe. I just throw whatever I have on hand together. Usually worcestershire, with some steak or barbecue sauce,(depending on the mood) and anything from a little wine to salad dressing to bourbon.

As for a Bourbon with the meal. Well, I usually don't drink till afterwards. I usually will have ERSB, ETL, MM, or FRSB while socializing afterwards. But, for some strange reason, a strong Knob Creek and Coke came to mind when I read the posts on this thread. Good Luck Luna. Let us know how it all turns out. Joe

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Thanks for the tip, Joe.

I generally won't salt a steak until just before it goes on the grill but I'll often do a rub of some sort.

Here's another steak tip; let the steak reach room temperature before you grill. It'll cook faster and the outside won't get tough while you're waiting for the cold inner part of the steak to cook.

As for the bourbon, I'll give it a try. I always have Sam Adams on hand if I decide a beer is more appropriate.

Cheers!

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That's the spirit. We gotta get a steak sometime. :grin:

I'm thinking of doing a Binny's order of some FR1B (100 proof) or maybe some WT101 which is available here. Nothing under 90, so that includes my beloved ERSB.

I was surprised how well the Balvenie 15 (100 proof) went with the Morton's steak I mentioned earlier. I don't normally have spirits with food unless it's snack food like nuts, etc. but that combo was great.

Thanks to all for the input.

Cheers!

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  • 3 weeks later...

We've still got a lot of snow on the ground up here but I'm dragging the grill out for a practice run in the next day or two. Got a lot of oak and hickory on hand, so looking forward to charring some good beef. There's an old school butcher shop nearby, I can get some Delmonicos cut as fat as I want.

Life is good and getting better!

Cheers!

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dean_martin

Hey Luna - I'm going to grill a beef tenderloin Friday after work for a tasting I'm hosting Friday night. I usually drink beer (start with an Abita Purple Haze then onto Shiner Bock) while grilling and eating and then something like Lot B afterwards.

During football season, the wife and I found a prepackaged beef tenderloin that was easy for grillin' on the portable propane grill while tailgating. I've since tried them on the big daddy charcoal grill at home with success. Quick or no prep time is a plus when you're away from home or in a rush. Anyhow, I'll be serving the tenderloin sliced with dinner rolls and horseradish sauce and pretzels for snacking and cleaning the palate. We'll see how it goes with the bourbons.

Most of the time I enjoy the prep work. Sometimes a little fresh squeezed lime and oregano adds a pop to steak. Can't add the lime too early though. Always lots of fresh ground black pepper.

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