These steaks were grilled at 450 degrees because Big Joe was tired that night - needing a good clean out, charcoal was pieces from bottom of the bag, and airflow was clogged up... and man they were great. Proves you don't need to go blast furnace hot to have a really nice steak cook.
Dad handled the eggplant and zucchini direct heat grilling as the first shift and cranked tired Joe up to whatever he would deliver. Son took over and did the perfect steak cook simply seasoned using salt, pepper, and a dusting of imported Spanish Chiquilin brand 'Pimenton Picante' (hot paprika) on the meat. Plus a small chunk of hickory wood in the coals. Daughter pulled together a nice salad. Wife enjoyed sitting back, watching the production with a glass of wine, and offering sage commentary on how slow the count down timer for the 'resting period' for the steak was running.
But when it all hit the table - well that is where the title for this post comes from...
Here's the thing. On days that I'm not going to feed H and/or Z, I generally try to make a veggie meal for myself. As I've mentioned before, they get twitchy if there's not meat in a meal. Me? I like veggie now and then. So tonight I had planned to use one of the eggplants from the farmer's market, some of the leftover roasted zucchini, and a few other things and make lasagna.
Except halfway through the roasting of the eggplant, I realized I didn't have any ricotta or any milk with which to make ricotta. If I didn't already have veggies on the grill, I'd have run up to the store, but ... too late. Womp womp.
So instead I made a sorta lasagna like casserole.
Put sliced eggplant and grape tomatoes on the grill to char up some.
Then chopped them and mixed them in a bowl with leftover grilled zucchini, some mushrooms, and some onion.
Layered in my small CI dish - sauce, noodle, sauce, veggies, cheese ... repeat until I ran out of veggies, and top with cheese and a hefty sprinkle of parm.
Into the grill at 450° covered in foil.
45 mins later removed the foil for a last 15 mins of browning.
Served! It didn't have quite the structure of a full lasagna that would with cheese and egg, but it was really delicious. I had it with more of the spinach salad and Gorgonzola vinaigrette and a glass of wine!
This was exactly what I wanted tonight and I love that I could throw it together with leftover veggies and it worked. And if I were making this with H or Z in mind, I could toss in some Italian sausage and it would be just as good!
Pork Sirloin Tip Roast and Spicy Eggplant Cooked Kamado Style with Black Rice Side Dish
This was an easy and quick cook done on Big(Red) Joe using the main cooking grid and the expansion rack.
Two pork sirloin tip roasts (about 2.5 lbs each from a Costco 4 pack) were prepared by simply rinsing and drying, then rubbing with a light coat of a Mediterranean oil blend (olive, grapeseed, canola).
I utilized a different seasoning approach -- I took about 8 garlic toes and minced then with a knife and then added a bit of salt and using a fork ground the garlic into a paste. Lightly scored the roasts in a wide spaced diagonal cross hatch all the way around and then rubbed the meat with the garlic paste working it into the scoring and coating the surface. Finished with a liberal sprinkling of some coarse ground black pepper. Let the seasoned meat sit out and come to room temperature while Big(Red)Joe got his act together.
The accompanying main dish was a couple of nice large eggplants peeled and cut into medium sized pieces. Added to that was some Vidalia onion and yellow onions in medium pieces and some chopped green bell pepper and a handful of rough cut garlic. Tossed with some grapeseed oil. Poured over the eggplant and them mixed were 2 cans of San Marcos red chipotle salsa (the spicy secret here!). Foiled an 18 inch round low sided pizza pan for the eggplant cooking dish. Make sure to well oil the foil before adding the veggies to prevent sticking during the cook.
Additionally, we had some leftover plain black rice. While the food was cooking in Joe, on the stove I added a bit of butter to a sauté pan and a few chopped green onions. Cook at low heat to soften the onions. Add some Better than Bouillon chicken base and a bit of water to make a very highly flavored sauce. Fold in the black rice and heated it through gently during the meat cook. Right before serving add chopped parsley. Makes a great dish!
The Main Cook
Big Joe was set up for indirect cooking at around 325 to 350 or so. Meat was put on main grid and the eggplant on the round tray on the top of the expansion rack.
After a short while I realized the large round tray on the top of the expansion rack was restricting air flow and causing the temps on the main grill to rise significantly (like to 450 degrees) and the veggies to only be at 300 degrees . So I swapped the veggies to the main grid and put the roasts on the expansion rack. Readjusted the air vents and all was well.
Cooked the roasts and veggies for about 1H20-1H30 minutes until the meat was at 150 internal. Make sure to gently stir the eggplant mix around on the tray as the extra heat coming around the deflector will cook them more on the outside of the pan than in the middle. Continue to cook the eggplant until soft while the roasts are resting a bit. You can even put the eggplant on ahead to ensure it is done at the same time as the meat.
Time to Eat!
Seasoning the Pork Sirloin Tip Roasts – Garlic (lots!), Salt and Pepper
Eggplant Dish Being Fixed
Eggplant Mix and the Meat Ready for Big(Red)Joe
Beginning the Cook in Big(Red)Joe
(As noted in the text - I shortly swapped the meat to the expansion rack and the eggplant onto the main grate)
One Roast is Ready and Sliced for Serving (Tender, and Juicy)
One Roast Saved for a Later Meal
The Finished Eggplant (it was really good tasting with the chipotle seasoning)