With this week’s spring equinox and the recent return to daylight saving time, we’re noticing more sunlight at the end of the workday. In the Northwest, that means it’s time to wash and scour the grill.
Whether you’re a propane lover or a charcoal fan, the folks at Carne The Butcher Shop know what items taste best when prepared on a grill. Their meat is Northwest sourced and pasture-raised without hormones and antibiotics.
“Grilling is the art of cooking meat on medium to medium-high heat,” said Shawn Almassy, co-owner of Carne with Chad Johnson. “It usually involves more tender cuts or marinated cuts. We tend to carry cuts that you can take home, put salt and pepper, (grill them) and they will be delicious.”
Unsure what’s best for your grill? Stop by their shop at 902 N. State St. and chat them up. They love to talk meat and how to prepare it.
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Boneless beef ribeye
Almassy says this luscious steak is their most popular and without question is the finest cut of meat for grilling. It’s tender and flavorful, part of the animal’s back muscle.
“(Chad and I) both just use salt and pepper because it has all the flavor you need,” Almassy said.”We like a nice, hot grill — five minutes a side for medium-rare.”
“Because of where we live, it’s one of the best things you can cook on your grill,” Almassy said. “People shouldn’t be intimidated by cooking salmon on the grill.
He said the trick is to grill flesh side down for two to three minutes before it gets too flaky, then scoop the fish with a broad spatula to skin side down, finishing for 10 or so minutes.
“While it’s still intact, you can flip it to skin side down,” he said. “The technique allows you to get brown on the flesh.”
His dog gets the skin “jerky” after it’s cooled.
Pork Rib chop
Prepare this tender cut the same as you would a ribeye, seasoning with a good-quality salt and freshly ground black pepper.
“Because it’s a bone-in item, I’d add two minutes a side,” Almassy said. Because the chop’s bone is the pig’s rib, this cut is “like getting a baby back chaser” with your meal.
At Carne, they grind and stuff their own bratwurst. At home, Almassy often prepares his brats in a simmer of beer and onions, then finishes by browning on the grill. “If not, cook them five minutes a side, rotated for 20 minutes total.”
Ground beef for patties is freshly ground at Carne, with a fat content that adds flavor and makes a grilled patty flavorful. Whether you’re grilling a patty of pure beef or mixing it with spices, egg and maybe breadcrumbs, Almassy has one key piece of advice: “Don’t play with your meat. You only have to flip once,” he said. “And don’t be afraid to use your lid” to give the meat that essential char-grilled flavor. Do put a dimple in the center to prevent swelling as you shape the raw patty, he said, but don’t — just don’t — smash the patty with your spatula while grilling.
Robert Mittendorf: 360-715-2805, firstname.lastname@example.org, @bhamMitty