In honor of Father’s Day this weekend, we grilled a couple of what Dan affectionately referred to as “Big Daddy Steaks.” Since we try not to indulge in too much red meat too often, we figured Father’s Day was the perfect occasion for this rare treat. There is something special about dads and grilling. Dan fondly remembers a hiking trip long ago with his dad, brothers and grandfather where they cooked steaks over a campfire. I recall my dad grilling something delicious nearly every weekend, and to this day he makes the best burger I’ve ever had. So grilling a couple of giant steaks seemed like the perfect tribute to our dads.
To make the steaks even more special and Father’s-Day-worthy, we decided to serve them with a rich BBQ sauce adapted from a recipe that Dan found on the Weber website. The sauce ingredients include onion, garlic, olive oil, hot sauce, tomato paste, paprika, Dijon mustard, apple cidar vinegar, maple syrup and bourbon (very special bourbon that we had to use for cooking since we didn’t have whiskey or any other, lesser, bourbon. Shame on us.)
Heat the oil over medium-high heat, then add the onion until it softens — about 5-7 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook until it is fragrant — about 1 minute.
Add the bourbon. The recipe recommends removing the pan from the heat for this step and warns “beware of any flames.”
Not only does Dan scoff at such advice, he does the opposite and sets the bourbon on fire. Cook until the bourbon has almost completely evaporated — about 2 minutes (or less if you speed things along with flames.)
Stir in the tomato paste until it is completely incorporated.
Add the vinegar, syrup, mustard, hot sauce, paprika and ground black pepper, then simmer until the flavors blend and the sauce thickens slightly — about 2-3 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and set it aside.
The steaks will need to sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes before they go on the grill.
Season the steaks on both sides by brushing on some olive oil…
…then generously sprinkling with salt and pepper.
Use even more salt and pepper than you think, especially with thick steaks like these.
Dan decided to grill the steaks over charcoal in his Weber bullet, rather than on his gas grill. The charcoal adds flavor, makes the backyard smell like summer and creates a super cool photo op. As a happy accident, there were a few chunks of cherry wood left among the old coals from the last time Dan used the smoker. The wood added just the right amount of smoke flavor to the steaks.
Grill the steaks over very high heat for about 9-10 minutes, turning once halfway. Keep the steaks covered as much as possible to create an oven-like environment to help cook these thicker cuts of meat all the way through.
The steaks may look a little dark on the outside, but they were cooked perfectly. The olive oil, salt & pepper make for a nice outer crust. And check out those grill marks!
We served the steaks with the bourbon BBQ sauce on the side and accompanied by sauteed baby zucchini and roasted potatoes. The steak was cooked exactly how we like it — medium rare, with a nice beefy flavor and hint of smoke.
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads out there (those we celebrate in person and those we forever remember in our hearts), and to anyone with Dad attributes — Grill Masters, Household Providers, Fixers, Builders, Protectors, Advice Givers, and all-around Heroes.