Steven Raichlen's Barbecue! Bible


Cherry-Smoked Strip Steak with Cutting Board Sauce



  • Yield: Makes 2 really thick strip steaks, enough to serve 3 to 4
  • Equipment: cherry wood chips, soaked for 30 minutes in water, then drained, or cherry wood chunks; remote digital temperature probe (optional)
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  • 2 thick (2-1/2 to 3 inches) strip steaks
  • Coarse sea salt and cracked or freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

For the Cutting Board Sauce:

  • 6 fresh sage leaves
  • A small bunch of chives and 2 scallions
  • 2 green and 2 red jalapeno or serrano chiles
  • 1/2 cup really good extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed

Step 1: If using a charcoal kettle grill, light 10 lumps of charcoal in your chimney starter and place in one side basket or on one side of the bottom grate. Adjust the top and bottom vents to heat your grill to 225 degrees.

Step 2: Meanwhile, very generously season the steaks on the top, bottom, and sides with salt and pepper. Insert the remote thermometer probe through one end of the steak deep into the center, if using. (Otherwise, use an instant-read meat thermometer to check the temperature.)

Step 3: Place the steak on the grate as far away from fire as possible. Toss the wood chips on the coals. Cover the grill and smoke the steak until the internal temperature reaches 100 degrees for a rare steak or 110 degrees for medium-rare.

Step 4: Transfer the steak to a wire rack over a foil pan or sheet pan and let them rest for 10 minutes.

Step 5: Prepare the Cutting Board Sauce: Working on a large cutting board with a well (a juice-catching groove around the periphery), finely chop the sage. Thinly slice the chives, scallions, and chiles. Season with salt and pepper and pour half the olive oil over the top. Mix with the blade of the knife.

Step 6: Meanwhile, add 10 to 15 fresh lit coals to the bed of embers and open the vents to build a hot fire in your grill.

Step 7: Lightly brush or drizzle the steaks on both sides with olive oil. Place them on the grate over the fire and direct grill until the top and bottom are sizzling and darkly crusted and the internal temperature reaches 120 to 125 degrees (for rare steak), or higher (130 to 135) for medium-rare. If you like, give the steaks a quarter turn on each side halfway through searing to lay on a crosshatch of grill marks.

Step 8: Remove the hot steaks from the grill and lay them directly on top of the herbs on the cutting board. Cut the steaks into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Pour the remaining olive oil over the steak and toss on the board with a spoon and the blade of the knife. The idea is to coat the steak slices with herbs and oil and mix them with the meat juices. Add salt and pepper to taste. The whole process of slicing, tossing, and serving should take only a few minutes. Transfer the steak and Cutting Board Sauce to a platter or plates and serve.

Tips:

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Smoke is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2017 Barbacoa, Inc.