Hanging with Gus: Grilled Steak Fajita Bowls
The winds of November felt more like September, this weekend last. And tho the leaves have all descended now, and the song birds have parted ways for yonder lands far to the south, and the earth is on hold now, seems like, waiting for winter; the weather that which remains this side of a setting sun, at the time of this draft anyways, has been nothing short of paradisaical. Shirt sleeve temperatures, leastwise for a Minnesotan it is. Blue skies, no humidity, and no bugs. I rather like it. And so does Gus.
Gus is my rabbit, don’t you know. He’s been hanging out at the pit with me a lot lately, often occupying the same corner of the yard, meticulously nosing through the lawn there whilst I putter on the patio. He’s a good rabbit, by and far. Never a cross word. Keeps out of trouble. And no, I’m not at all positive he’s a he. Nor does Gus cotton much towards my curiosity to check on these matters. So I let him be, under the plausible notion that it probably doesn’t matter anyways, and the two of us, man and rabbit, manage to co-exist together no how, where the wood smoke gently curls.
Such was the case last Saturday afternoon. I had me a beautiful skirt steak sizzling away over a good bed of coals, jazz music playing, and the afternoon long to while away here at the pit. Whilst Gus milled about in the grass, I tinkered with a new technique on my Weber Smokey Mountain. How to convert the classic smoker into a grilling machine. It’s elementary really, but I’ll tell you about it anyway, because that’s what we do around here.
The technique here is to use the lower rack in the smoker to hold your fire. I told you it was simple. And it works too! Those of you not familiar with the Weber Smokey Mountain could probably give a barn owl’s dropping about this, but to a WSM owner, a beautiful new world has just opened to thee. You take the charcoal ring from the fire bowl below, and place it, centered, on the lower cooking rack of the WSM, and thus kindle your blaze accordingly there. This not only ushers a hotter fire closer to your spoils, proper for the likes of steaks and burgers, but also expands the versatility of the WSM. Another method is to place a cooking grate directly over a good fire in the fire bowl itself, and do your grilling there. But I kind of like this method just as well, as it lets you stand up to do your cooking. Say what you will, but we do like to be civilized at the pit.
Anyways, about this skirt steak. Hark, if you could have smelled it here, I do believe you would have shed a tear, or at least had a man moment, patron to the pit. Man it smelled good! Even Gus flared a nostril. We marinated the beef for 6 hours in a 30 minute marinade. Now like most red-blooded American males, we figured if a little is enough, then too much is just right. Not sure if we were allowed to perpetrate such behavior, but we did. The marinade was Lawry’s Steak and Chop Marinade, and wow, did it pack some flavor into that skirt steak. Maybe 30 minutes would have been plenty after all. Even so, good is good. After the steak was almost, but not quite done, we converted the Weber Smokey Mountain yet again, this time into a giant frying pan!
Glory be but for the endless virtues of restaurant grade, hot-rolled steel, placed steadfastly over a beautiful bed of coals. By now you know of our love affair with the venerable, Mojoe Griddle. It’s no secret. And that’s good because we’re not ashamed to show it! Nay, we cannot help but to revel in it’s capabilities, and now coupled with the 22.5 WSM, set up in grilling mode, well, let’s just say that the culinary world is ours! From smoking, to grilling, to elaborate frying over the nearly nonstick Mojoe surface. This is high living, folks. Made in America. And made to last.
Whilst the Black Capped Chickadees lit atop the pit-side spruce, we tossed the vegetables onto the lightly oiled griddle and got to work. I suppose I ought to tell you, now that I think of it, what we’re cooking today. It goes like this. One of my favorite places to eat is the Chipotle Mexican Grill. And my favorite thing to eat there is the burrito bowl. Well, Chipotle has been in the news lately, as you may know. Apparently Escherichia coli is on the menu too there, and people don’t much care for it. I’m not sure what E coli does to a chap, but I just as soon steer clear of a dinner date with the Big E! Thus, and today, we do the only sensible thing a man can when he craves a Chipotle burrito bowl and can’t have one – we re-create it at home! Turns out its real easy to do too!
Onions and bell peppers chopped to suit, and tossed on the griddle. My they sizzle liked a love song there. We got some black beans heating up there too. Some corn also, dusted in Wholly Chipotle Rub from the good folks at Miners Mix. A pot of brown rice simmers off to the side on the pit stove. Can you smell it yet! The aromas which curled and ebbed about the pit, the onions and marinated smokey beef and peppers, man, well lets just say it was enough to draw the drool from the lip pit of anyone with an fair to adequate pulse! What a pleasure to escort these spoils about, spatula in one hand, lovey beverage in the other. Turning them, folding them, working them together unto a higher calling suitable to thee. My inner Mexican rejoiced, and for a moment, all the world was right.
It was time. I bid Gus a hearty adieu, who was still prospecting through the grass yonder. Then I plated up some spoils, and topped it fresh with some shredded cheese and of course, the token dollop of sour cream.Yum! Needless to say, but we will, it was aptly devoured in kind. And Amen.
Home made burrito fajita bowl, or how ever you wanna say it. Indeed, good is good, patron to the pit.
Links To Stuff We Used Today: