Episode 205: Secret Steaks

Drunken Spinalis

Drunken Spinalis

More Recipes from Episode 205: Secret Steaks


Drunken Spinalis

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Serves 4
  • Method: Direct grilling
  • Equipment: Oak or hickory chunks for grilling or 1 cup oak or hickory chips


For the Marinade

  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup Asian (dark) sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger

  • 1 ½ pounds spinalis (2 12-ounce steaks)

  • Coarse salt (kosher or sea) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cold salted butter

Recipe Steps

1: In a mixing bowl, combine the bourbon, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and ginger.  Whisk until the sugar is dissolved.

2: Using a sharp knife, make a crosshatch pattern of shallow cuts on the top of the steak (about 1/4-inch apart) to prevent it from curling on the grill. Place the steak in a roasting pan just large enough to hold it.  Pour the marinade over it, turning the steak once or twice.  Marinate the steak for 4 hours in the refrigerator, turning once more.   Drain the meat and pat dry before grilling. 

3: Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high.   (If using a gas grill, place the wood chips in the smoker box or a smoker pouch and run the grill on high until you see smoke.)  On a charcoal grill toss the wood chips on the coals.

4: Brush and oil the grill grate.   Grill the steak until cooked to taste, about 3 minutes per side for medium-rare.   Generously season the steak with salt and pepper as it cooks. 

5: Transfer the cooked steak to a cutting board.   Impale the slice of butter on the end of a fork and rub it over the top of the steak.   Let the steak rest for 2 to 3 minutes, then carve it crosswise into broad, very thin slices, holding the knife at a 45-degree angle to the top of the meat.    Serve at once, spooning any juices over the meat.

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2019 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein.