Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Birthplace of A Legend

During my Massachusetts upbringing Connecticut was most often referred to as 'the state you have to drive through' and the dividing line between Red Sox and Yankees fans. Thus, CT is not quite a glowing gem in the geological wonder that is the Northeast.

That all being said, I had heard stories about one ultimately redeeming quality of The Constitution State. Legend has it that it is the birthplace of our beloved hamburger. On a recent jaunt back to NYC from MA, I stopped in at Louis' Lunch in downtown New Haven to investigate. I was flabbergasted with my findings.

Louis' is no bullshit and you can feel it from the moment you walk through the door. Dimly lit, hardwood all around, clean but gritty. Two employees: one taking orders and one cooking burgers. A sign conveniently points out that there are two condiments, tomatoes and onions, and that 'this is not Burger King' and 'you cannot have it your way'. Menu options are Hamburger, Cheeseburger and one side, Potato Salad.

I went for the cheeseburger with tomatoes, onions and a Foxon Park Ginger Beer (a delicious local soda) then took a seat where I could watch the cooking process. Louis' uses 3 vertical, gas powered, broilers to cook. Their patties are fresh, not frozen, and they are placed into a grilling basket then inserted vertically into the broiler. They are cooked from the sides; not the top and bottom. The result is the juiciest more flavorful burger I've ever tasted and with the accompanying onions, tomatoes and toasted white bread to sop up the juice, the deal is instantly sealed.

Connecticut you are redeemed...for now.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Shark Pie!

This is a first world first for Meat Hunx. And because we take photography so seriously, renegade genius picture taker Ben Ritter signed on to guest photo edit.

This recipe is inspired by an idea from Dr BBQ Ray Lampe. He's in the mix with the Big Green Egg folks, and constantly throwing his sizable frame well past the boundaries of what can be done on a grill. He recently came out with a video instructional to make Red Fish Pie. Red Fish, if you're unfamiliar, is a common name for various fish species. If you're curious about the variations and your google is broken, go here.

Annyhooow, inspired, I headed to the grocery store to figure it all out. Unfortunately, they didn't have any Red Fish filets. They did however have motherfucking mako shark in abundance! My first reaction was one of concern. But those clouds quickly drifted away, making way for a blazingly ambitious ray of a plan - shark pie.

Here's what you need:
- 2 lbs of mako shark
- Two handfuls of green beans, cut into 1/2-inch long segments
- 6 carrots, quarter length-wise
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- Can of Cream of Asparagus soup
- French fried onions
- Crescent rolls, straight out of the can

Grease a medium-sized cooking pan with olive oil, then wipe with paper towel to make sure that the surface is even.

Chop the shark into large bite-sized cubes, and place them across the pan.

It's layers from here on in. Drop the green beans, then carrots, onions, full can of cream of asparagus soup, and french fried onions over the shark bed .

Lastly, open the can of crescent rolls, and layer the sheets over the top of the pile. And you're set.

Pop that bad boy on the grill indirect at 350 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes. You'll know when it's done by the crispy golden dough.

Shark Pie is incredible right out of the grill and even better the next day. Really can't overstate this.