Patriots Buffet Table – Dec 16th Patriots vs. Jets
BSMW Kitchen Staff

This week the Patriots are taking on the Jets. Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles got primed for this game weeks before by saying the Pats are the best they’ve ever seen and the Jets have no chance. I think those guys are trying to distance themselves from Mangini. Mangini can have some slim Fast meals today. He’s the same sort of classy short-memoried gent as Slim Fasters Don Shula, Dan Marino and Mike Golic. Those guys have been complaining about the Pats all year. Enjoy that “man food” Mangini, the Buffet Table will be filled with steak. NY strip.

New York strip with Roasted Garlic
1/2″ inch thick NY strip steaks, 1 per person, 12 oz is a nice serving
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1 bulb of garlic

To make roasted garlic. Pull off the outside papery skin of the garlic bulb. Leave the cloves wrapped in their individual skin. Cut the very top off the entire bulb of garlic so you can see the cloves. Drizzle olive oil over the bulb. Wrap the bulb in aluminum foil and cook in the oven at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes. The garlic will be soft to the touch when done. This can be done the day before. If you have enough time you could also do this on your grill with the cover closed.

Take the steaks out and sprinkle both sides with kosher salt. Allow the steaks to come up to room temperature. We’re doing a few important things here. Allowing the steaks to come up to room temperature is going to make the meat cook more evenly.

If you don’t do this the inside of the steak will still be at fridge temp as the outside is burning on the grill. The kosher salt is going to draw some of the moisture out of the meat. This moisture will sear on the grill giving it more of that delicious grilled flavor. Kosher salt is important here. Table salt will quickly dissolve. Kosher salt is made as large flakes, they dissolve slowly and the texture makes them taste saltier. You’ll get as much salt taste with less sodium by using Kosher salt — it’s health food.

Cooking the steaks will be very similar to the burgers from last week. Turn them 1/3 of a turn halfway through the cooking time for each side. This gives them the crosshatch grillmarks.

Here is a trick to tell doneness without a thermometer. Lightly touch your thumb to the tip of your index finger. Press the fleshy part of your thumb, that is the feel of a rare steak. Lightly touch the thumb to your middle finger, the fleshy part of your thumb will then feel like medium steak. Touch the thumb to your pinky and you’ve got the feel of well done steak. You’ll probably cook them 6 to 8 minutes per side, but that will depend on your grill.

When they’re done to your taste, take the steaks off the grill, add pepper and rub with a roasted garlic clove to taste. Let rest 5 minutes. Cut against the grain, this makes the steak more tender.

Time for a drink!
This week we’re going with Brown ale. Brown ales feature caramel, roast and sometimes even chocolate flavors from the malts used in brewing. Flavors that make them an excellent match for grilled steak. The charred flavors from the grill will blend very well with those flavors in the beer. We’ll be drinking American style Brown ales in particular. American style beers tend to be hoppier than their British cousins.

American Brown is no exception. The hops can stand up to the roasted garlic we used on the steak. American Brown ales also tend to be higher in alcohol. Alcohol is a good match for black pepper, in fact alcohol can often have a black pepper taste.

Our choice is Brooklyn Brown Ale from the Brooklyn Brewery. An excellent beer, and one of the first American style Brown ales that was brewed. We’re actually going to be drinking a beer from New York, far more authentic than those Jersey Jets. Hiding out at Giants stadium, the Jets are the NFL version of a 40 year old living in his mother’s basement.

Close to the Jets actual New Jersey home is the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Delware. Their Indian Brown Ale, a cross between the Brown and IPA styles may be the biggest version of an American Brown.

Looking around New England and the rest of the US we can find plenty of great examples. In Ipswich, MA, Ipswich Dark Ale from Mercury Brewing  fits the bill. These guys also brew the beer for the Eagle Brook Saloon located close to Gillette Stadium. Harpoon Brown Session Ale is light for the style, but the brewery does consider it American styled. Sebago Brewing from Maine offers their Boathouse Brown. Berkshire Brewing Company in South Deerfield, MA brews a Berkshire Brown Ale. Their current seasonal is Cabin Fever Ale, it’s not as hoppy as some American Browns, but I feel it still fits the style and would go well with our steak.

Rogue Ales from Oregon features their Hazelnut Brown Nectar. If you’re still in the Hanukkah mood, Shmaltz Brewing Company brings their He’Brew Messiah Bold. I could continue, but as you can see this is a style where it’s easy to find good beers. Brown ale had a boring reputation, I think American brewers took this as a challenge to make excellent Brown ales to prove people wrong. You’ll have plenty of choices in any large beer store.