The big damn book of sheer manlinessAbout fifteen years ago, I stayed with this bloke called Ken, in South Carolina. He had a book - a hardback of roughly the same dimensions as a British annual. It was called The big damn book of sheer manliness. Now, I know what you're thinking - and no, the book wasn't gay. I know that, because Ken told me it wasn't. I also know that he wasn't gay and in denial, because he was big and he was manly - like the title of the book. And I didn't need need any more proof than that.
Anyway, there was a recipe in the book for something called "Macon's politically incorrect salt steak". I honestly don't know what was politically incorrect about it, but it definitely sounded great. I've wanted to try it out ever since.
Now, fifteen years is a long time to wait. But... **** it... I think this summer, I should give it a shot. Especially after my cousin and I went to all those lengths to turn his garden into a great place for barbecues.
So... not having access to the big damn book, I went online to see if I could track down the recipe. I don't know if this is completely verbatim - I had to correct a couple of spelling mistakes, so I'm confident that someone copied it from the book, rather than lifting it from some official website anywhere. And since the internet was in its infancy, back when the book was first published, there's no guarantee that there was ever an official website, anyway. I suppose that all depends on whether the writers considered that to be a sufficiently manly kind of thing to do. And I won't argue with them, whatever they decide, because they're clearly manly men who know better than me. I've only ever occasionally stumbled across my own manliness, accidentally, when I've been looking for other things.
The recipe gets very clear and specific about everything - even right down to when you need to take a drink. I think, however, that my cousin and I - when we get round to trying it - will be quite manly enough to be able to decide that for ourselves. In fact, we're Scottish - which outranks any kind of manliness where it comes to drinking. So we'll drink whenever we ******* well please and then kick the book up the arse for trying to slow us down.
Anyway... here's the recipe...
1 large Sirloin steak 1 1/2 - 2 inches thick
6 sheets of newspaper
1 large bowl of kosher rock salt
2 jars of Lawry's lemon pepper
1 jar of whole pepper corns
1 bottle of Worcestershire sauce
1 jar of grey Poupon mustard
1 roll of masking tape
10 lb bag of charcoal
1 giant bucket of water.
Start... drink an adult beverage and lay your fire six inches thick at minimum. (Make sure the grill is off).
Replenish beverage and mix spices in a big bowl.
Lay the 6 sheets of newspaper open and plunk the steak down in the middle of it. Open the jar of mustard and slather one side of the meat with a quarter of inch la
Now grab several handsful of spices and plaster it into the mustard - enough spice that no mustard gets on your hand when tapping it. Then dump Worcestershire on it to colour the whole thing brown. Carefully turn the steak over and repeat process on opposite side.
When done wrap it up in the paper and secure it with the masking tape (use as little tape as possible). Once secure, dump the package into the bucket of water. Replenish drink.
Let it soak until your fire is fully engaged... (almost hot enough to melt the grill). Then take out the package, squeeze out the excess water and throw directly onto the coals. (Pray to the charcoal gods that your fire does not go out from this). Allow about 10 minutes per side (the paper should be smouldering and close to catching fire). Rescue the package from the fire and using your now empty water bucket scrape the paper, mustard and spices off the meat. Your steak should look sickly white.
Put the grill back on above the coals and brown the steak for 3 to 5 minutes per side until it looks like beef again. Slice into strips and serve.
The steam from the newspaper will marinate the meat with the flavor of the spices and mustard while leaving the original juices in the meat as well.
Enjoy and remember not to overcook your meat or else it turns into jerky.