by Patriots Daily Kitchen Staff

The Patriots start off their playoff season facing the Ravens for the second time this year. Counting that game, the Patriots are 5-0 all time against the Ravens. Of course if you ask Jim Harbaugh, the Officials are 5-0 against the Ravens and the Patriots were only bystanders.

Now that the Ravens have identified and fixed their “it was the officials’ fault” issue, the Patriots will need to show up in both halves of this game.

What to eat?

Porterhouse is a steak of two halves. Unlike it’s cousin the T-bone where the second half is a poor whisp of a cut that lets teams score at will and throws away easy wins and halftime leads … sorry started talking about the Patriots performance in second halves there.

Back to the steak.

The Patriots need to be a Porterhouse, being a T-bone won’t cut it in the playoffs. One one side you have your strip steak. It always shows up and gets the job done, maybe it isn’t the fanciest thing around but if you start there
the rest of the meal should go smoothly. The second half is the tenderloin. A soft, buttery half that you can cut with a spoon… sorry talking about the Patriots second half performances again.

Be a Porterhouse, don’t be a T-bone Patriots.

Patriots Play both halves Porterhouse (serves 1 hungry or 2 normal people)

1 Porterhouse steak, on a Porterhouse the tenderloin side will be at least 1.25″ wide. But that is the minimum USDA definition, don’t settle for a tenderloin that small. Anything smaller than 1.25″ is a T-bone. Get a steak about 1.5″ thick, a little thinner is fine as long as it is thicker than 1″. The steak will weigh around 1.75 pounds give or take a few ounces.
Salt (to taste)
Pepper (to taste)

Steaks grill best when they are at room temperature. If your steaks are cold, the outside will be done before the inside is ready.

Simple preparation. There is no need to dress up this king of steaks. Salt the steak, preferably with kosher or sea salt and allow to rest. This will draw out some juices and help develop a crust on the grill. Let the steak rest at least 5 minutes for this to happen.

Set one side of your grill to high heat (450) and set another side to medium (300-350).

Grill over the high heat side for 2 minutes. Give the steak a 1/4 turn. Grill another 2 minutes. Flip, grill 2 minutes, give it a 1/4 turn and grill another 2 minutes. At this point you’ve grilled it for 8 minutes and you’ve gotten crosshatched grill marks on both sides.

Move the steak to the cooler side of the grill. Grill an additional 3 to 4 minutes for rare. 5 to 6 minutes for medium-rare, or 7 to 8 minutes for medium.

Add pepper to taste. Let the steak rest 5 minutes covered, before cutting.

As we’ve mentioned before, you do not need a meat thermometer to tell doneness. You can tell by touching the steak.

Hold out one hand with fingers extended. Touch the base of your thumb/palm with the index finger of the other hand. A steak will feel the same way when it is raw. Lightly touch your thumb to the tip of your index finger, and then feel – that is the feel of a rare steak. Thumb to middle finger is medium rare. Thumb to ring finger is medium. If someone wants their steak well done, you instead extend both middle fingers in their direction.

What to drink?

This is the third time the Baltimore-DC area has been on the Buffet Table and for the third time we’re going with Clipper City Brewing. Why? Because they’re that good, besides the game is a rematch so the beer should be as well.

Peg Leg Imperial Stout is part of Clipper City’s Heavy Seas line of stronger beers. As an Imperial Stout we can expect strong dark fruit (plum, raisin), heavy roast, chocolate, molasses, caramel or toffee type flavors and aromas. Alcohol percentage starts at 8% and can go past 12%. The ‘Imperial’ in the name comes from the origin of this beer style – a heavy substantial stout brewed for export to the Imperial Court of Russia in the 1800s.

Peg Leg weighs in at 8.0% ABV and features all English style ingredients.

Sam Adams Imperial Stout was released this year as part of their new Imperial Series. A 9.2% ABV beer with 50 bitterness units, this one differs from the other examples with it’s use of smoked malt.

Samuel Smith Imperial Stout features the oldest looking packaging, all Victorian and old-timey but I believe it was introduced during the 1980s. It’s 8.0% ABV and has the strongest yeast character of the examples – very plum like in taste.

Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout is a 10.1% stout, heavy on the chocolate and roast flavors.

Great Divide Yeti from Denver, CO weighs in at 9.5% ABV and 75 bitterness units. Great Divide also puts out Yeti beers that have chocolate added, coffee added, and some that have been barrel aged.

From Pennsylvania, Victory Brewing puts out Storm King Stout. At 9.1% ABV it falls towards the middle of these examples alcohol wise, but it is amoung the hoppiest of the bunch.

Oskar Blues Ten Fidy is the only Imperial Stout I know of that is canned instead of bottles. A 10.5%, 98 bitterness unit Imperial Stout in a can, now that is 21st century technology – the hell with flying cars.

Founders Imperial Stout hits the charts at 10.5% ABV and 90 IBU. It’s also 100.5% good.

An odd playoff time appearance from Cleveland – Hoppin’ Frog B.O.R.I.S. is a Barrel Aged Oatmeal Imperial Stout. Say that 5 times fast or just say B.O.R.I.S. There is no truth to the rumor that Eric Mangini was the model for the frog on the label. It is true that this 9.4% ABV, 60 IBU is easy drinking for it’s size, and extra smooth from the oatmeal.

A couple of the smaller New England breweries also get in on the Imperial Stout act.

Berkshire Brewing Imperial Stout comes in at 8.5% ABV with chocolate and licorice flavors and aroma.

People’s Pint in Greenfield, MA brews their Imperial Stout to 9.2% ABV and 100 bitterness units.

Trinity Brewhouse in Providence, RI makes one of the oldest. Their Russian Imperial Stout has been produced for close to 15 years. Most brewers did not make beers this big back then. It’s closest to the Samuel Smith Imperial Stout at 8.0% ABV and 60 IBU.

Finally, both Long Trail and Smuttynose put out Imperial Stouts on a limited basis. Both of these beers are released in February so over the next few weeks you’ll see: Long Trail Brewmaster’s Series Coffee Imperial Stout and Smuttynose Big Beer Series Imperial Stout. If you try any of the stouts listed above, and want to try more examples definitely check these out when available.