“It takes tremendous skill to turn a tough, low grade piece of beef into a delicious meal like you did tonight.”
– Bob Haberberger, July 2014
This might be the best compliment my dad has ever paid me. It came on our vacation to the Smokey Mountains in July, where Patti and I cooked the meals for our family vacation. It also inspired me to write a quick Que-Tip for all of you.
My dad purchased a bunch of frozen beef from one of those dudes that drives around neighborhoods in a truck. He got a “great deal” on top quality beef. (Here’s one tip: You’re probably not going to get top quality beef from a guy’s truck sold frozen in a cardboard box.) Needless to say the beef was not quite up to the standards we would have liked. So, Patti and I were left with the task of turning 10 mediocre steaks into something tasty for our family’s dinner.
That’s when Patti had a brilliant idea: Take the barely edible beef and turn it into Mexican Delight! We created a marinade made up of mexican-ish flavors…cumin, chili powder, olive oil, jalapeno, Worcestershire, lemon and lime juice…and anything else we could think of.
Then I created a Mexican Rub: A mix of chili powders, chipotle, garlic, cumin, onion, salt & pepper.
We marinated the steak for 2 days in ziploc bags in our fridge, then covered them in the Mexican rub before searing them to a medium doneness over a blazing hot grill. Then I sliced them as thin as I could, and voila! We made Steak tacos and burritos. Fresh tomatoes, Mexican cheese blends, guacamole, sour cream, and some grilled peppers and onions of course….and a Taco Bar was created on a picnic table in the middle of the Smokey Mountains. GLORIOUS.
It ended up being the best meal we had on vacation. Isn’t that cool? So there you go – an idea to take frozen meat that’s below average quality and make it into an extraordinarily tasty meal.
Thanks for the compliment, Dad.