Saturday, January 26, 2013

Beer Coffee Steak Bacon Corn

The title is a cacophony of deliciousness that can't even begin to describe how tonight's dinner went. We had our pal's The Costas over for dinner. We had not seen them in a while so I decided to blow the doors off with a killer dinner.

There is a specific reason for the menu that I chose, but that will have to wait for a bit. For now, let's just dish about dishes (sorry).

 I know I usually give you the description first, but I really hope you clicked on that photo to see the full size version of this amazing plate. Here's what you're looking at:

Coffee Rubbed Sirloin Tri Tip Steaks
Why tri tip? Because it is a pretty tender and relatively inexpensive cut of meat. That's why. I also like it's lack of fat cap. WHOA! Pump the brakes! I love fat on meat more than any of you, but I cry on the inside when I see that fat cap cut off the steak of someone else and left on the plate. So to save myself the heartache, I went fat cap-free. Now here's the rub, literally: instant espresso, brown sugar, salt, and black pepper. Rub the steaks ahead to allow the flavors to permeate and adhere. Grill the steaks 4" above the flame for about 3 minutes per side. Allow to rest AT LEAST 10 minutes. Top with...

Brown Sugar Bourbon Butter
I'm pretty sure we've covered this before, but here it is anyway: Allow 1 stick of butter to soften to room temp. Combine with half that much brown sugar. Add a splash of vanilla, a dash of salt, and a good slug of bourbon. Mix it all up, roll into parchment or plastic wrap and put back in the fridge to slice later. It's amazing on this coffee rubbed steak. Or sweet potatoes. Or pancakes. Or on a spoon in your mouth.

Fried Red & Yellow Onion
Slice thin, toss with flour, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Fry.

Shaved Brussels Sprouts
They make a triumphant return! I didn't have any duck fat this time, so I just tossed these in bacon fat. Make a difference in someone's life, teach them that Brussels sprouts aren't that stinky, funky, steamed/boiled tiny cabbage that they think it is.

Bacon. Wrapped. Corn on the Cob
A revelation. This must be what Archimedes felt like when he discovered volume. I wrapped bacon around half a corn cob and threw it in a 400ยบ oven until the bacon was crispy. You're welcome.

 So the twist here was that, with serious advice from Mike Beech, I got 4 ports/stouts to see what paired best with this dish.

Left Hand Milk Stout Nitro - Longmont, Colorado
This was my and Jason's favorite beer on it's own and also with the entree. It really accentuated the deep and rich qualities of the dish. Read more about it here.

Breckenridge Brewery Vanilla Porter - Breckenridge, Colorado
This one wasn't very impressive. The vanilla wasn't really apparent and it didn't seem to add much to the dish. Read more about it here.

Brooklyn Dry Irish Stout - Brooklyn, New York
I liked this one a lot. It may have been the best pair all together, as it provided a very clean finish. It didn't really accentuate or overpower the dish. Read more about it here.

Real Ale's Brewer's Cut Dry-Hopped Porter
This is where it got interesting. This porter starts as a malty porter, and finishes as an IPA - that may be a bit of an overstatement, but it is ridiculously hoppy for a "porter". I found it to be distractingly so, but the ladies picked it for both the entree and the dessert. Check it out here.

"You say there was dessert, Luke?" Oh there was dessert. Thanks to David Rocco's "La Dolce Vida" on Cooking Channel, we had a flourless chocolate cake. I cut the sugar in half, and topped it with an espresso ganache (instant espresso and dark chocolate chips melted with heated heavy whipping cream). Behold:

Hopefully soon I can inform you as to why I chose this menu. It's some pretty exciting stuff. I know I've said this before, but this time, it's gonna happen. Stay tuned!

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