From Grill to Table to Lunchbox

Posted on 29. Jul, 2009 by in Good Eats, Tricks of the Trade

“Each day is a little life: every waking and rising a little birth, every fresh morning a little youth, every going to rest and sleep a little death.”

- Arthur Schopenhauer

I’ve received some questions as of late as to how I go about whatever meal planning I do.  Now, please know that I’d rather not have to meal-plan, but given my working environment and time constraints, planning is a better option than “winging it”; I save the winging it option for the weekends, when I can be reasonably assured of ready access to Paleo resources when I’m ready to chow-down.  Anyway, I hope this gives you folks a little visual idea of how I go about a typical weekday’s meal prep.

This was a two-part grilling process,due to the nature of how each meat/cut needed to cook.  First, the chicken quarters and sausage; long and slow for these, over a low flame:

Meat from free-range animals.  Fabulous stuff.

Meat from free-range animals. Fabulous stuff.

Then, we crank-up the fire full bore; grease drippings from the previous round will help maintain the inferno long enough for these to get well seared:

Nice grill marks he says, patting himself on the back...

Nice grill marks he says, patting himself on the back...

Meesus TTP and I like our steaks rare to medium rare and heavily seared on the outside.  For that, you need a super-hot grilling surface — and a quick hand.  This is the antithesis of the chicken/sausage process, and the extra fuel (grease drippings) help make for a superbly done pair of steaks — near crunchy outside, still quivering near the bone.  I let the cuts set out until they’re near room temperature, then brush them liberally with olive oil and rub in plenty of  fresh cracked pepper and Fiesta brand brisket rub before they hit the grill.  I then brush each face side after flipping the meat, and again immediately after the steak comes off the grill.  Flip the steaks only once one the grill.  The process is this: oil and season ‘em up and slap them on the super-hot grill, quarter turn (see the grill marks?), flip and oil the now face-up side, quarter turn, take ‘em off and oil the side that was last on the grill.  Now, let them set for a few minutes, covered, as this will allow the juices to move toward the center of the cut.  Ok, now eat-up.

Meanwhile, Meesus TTP had this going on inside:

Can't think of a finer use for bacon grease.

Can't think of a finer use for bacon grease.

That’s fresh-cut broccoli sauteed in bacon grease, onions, garlic and shallots.

The evening meal, as plated, with a smattering of fresh cantaloupe and little Shiraz to wash things down:

Let's eat!

Let's eat!

And the (planned for in advance) leftovers will make for some fine follow-up work-day breakfasts and lunches:

Workplace cafeteria food?  Are you kidding me?
Workplace cafeteria food? Are you kidding me?

The crumbled white substance in the bottom two containers is raw goat cheese with a little raw butter; nothing better in the AM with a couple of soft-boiled free-range eggs.  The eggs only take about 10 minutes or so out of my AM routine, so I can prepare them fresh even on my workout mornings.  They keep just fine in my chilled cooler from 4:30 AM until I eat breakfast at approximately 8 AM; I haven’t tested it, but I feel quite positive that they would remain fresh all day, though, if need be.

In health,

Keith

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14 Responses to “From Grill to Table to Lunchbox”

  1. Marc Feel Good Eating

    29. Jul, 2009

    Thanks Keith now I’m hungry before my morning workout ;-)

    I do the same with the boiled eggs, I toss some butter in a dish then add the peeled warm boiled eggs. It melts the butter and is ready to go at my desk at work. You can also add some sliced tomato by the way.
    I’m going to look into the fiesta rub….not familiar with it.

    Marc

    Reply to this comment
  2. Richard Nikoley

    29. Jul, 2009

    Damn, Keith.

    Those are some awesome looking T-bones with a non-skimpy filet side. Like two steaks in one.

    As an alternative to the olive oil, you might try a real quick browning on each side in a lot of melted butter in the skillet. You can also add a bit of garlic, ground pepper, etc. After grilling, you can give ‘em another bath in the butter.

    Either way, yum yum.

    Reply to this comment
    • theorytopractice

      29. Jul, 2009

      Nice idea, Richard. And a great foul weather option, huh?

      Reply to this comment
  3. Beck

    29. Jul, 2009

    Can I just say — I love Meesus TTP! Girl rocks. I love any woman that cooks up her bacon and then adds broccoli. Love the blog. As a woman, doing odd exercises really draws a crowd. Egads, you think they’d never seen a woman do lunges down the street, her kids in tow. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Reply to this comment
    • theorytopractice

      30. Jul, 2009

      Yep, Meesus TTP can get it done in the kitchen. Say, what kind of looks will you get when you begin to do lunges with one of your kids in the full overhead lockout position? :) Fun for the whole family!

      Reply to this comment
  4. Richard Nikoley

    30. Jul, 2009

    Actually, Keith, that was meant as a suggestion in addition to grilling. I did it with some lamb steaks the other day. Brown both sides in the butter (very short time), grill, then dip ‘em in the butter again after grilling.

    http://freetheanimal.com/2009/07/the-grassfed-beef-lamb-experience.html

    Reply to this comment
    • theorytopractice

      30. Jul, 2009

      Ah, I see. Great idea, Richard. Thanks again for the suggestion.

      Reply to this comment
  5. Justin

    31. Aug, 2009

    Hey Keith,

    What containers do you use when bringing your foods to and from work, and what kind of lunchbox/cooler would you recommend? I’m just starting to bring meals with me to school since I’ve started living off-campus and usually don’t end up getting home until about 10pm. With everything I’ve been reading about plastics I’m trying to avoid the use of ziplock bags, etc.. If possible, something that can be carried around all day with not too much of a hassle.

    Reply to this comment
    • theorytopractice

      31. Aug, 2009

      Logistics mean everything when it comes to toting your food, Justin. Let me know your specifics, and I can give you some more detailed ideas. For instance, I used to ride a bike (fixie, of course!) to work and back every day, where I had access to a full refrigerator and microwave, so the plastic bag routine (although not so much environmentally conscious) coupled with reusable cold packs was my default transportation option. Now my commute is 1 hour via automobile, and I have no convenient refrigerator option — I do, however, have ready access to a microwave. So, I now pack-up my grub in a Coleman “Lil’ Oscar” cooler (with reusable ice packs), with the actual meal packed in glass (since weight is no longer an issue) containers purchased from Wal-Mart. The cooler/ice pack method will keep your grub at a safe temp for quite a long while — assuming, of course, you can store the cooler at a reasonable, indoor temperature.

      Reply to this comment
  6. Justin

    31. Aug, 2009

    Ah, well I drive about 6 miles to a street near campus and then walk about a mile to finish the trip (parking on campus is next to impossible), so I suppose weight really wouldn’t be that much of an issue. I have no designated place I could keep the cooler, so I’ll probably be keeping it on my person (climate oscillating between 100 degree Florida “Fall” weather and probably about 75 degrees when in class). I don’t tend to use microwaves so I’ll probably just be eating it straight from the container, I’m actually going to head to Sam’s now and see what kind of glass containers they’re offering there. My only worry is keeping it cold enough for 8 hours.

    Also, I just want to say how much I appreciate your advice, Keith. Whenever I inquire you always reply swiftly and with a much better answer than my question deserves, filling in the gap between what I wrote in text and what I “meant” to ask. You’re kids are lucky to have such a father, because I know my dad wouldn’t be 1/8th as helpful.

    Reply to this comment
    • theorytopractice

      31. Aug, 2009

      Justin, look for the Pyrex brand of containers — very good quality & forgiving, they hold up to lots of repeated washing, heating, rapid cooling, fumble-fingered drops and other such abuse. The reusable freeze packs will keep your food cold (maybe too cold, w/no microwave?) for a good while. You’ll have to experiment with what types of leftovers you prefer on the cool side. And hey, no problem with the replies. If someone is willing to learn, I’m willing to teach all I can.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Justin

    31. Aug, 2009

    Awesome, that’s actually what I ended up buying because it was all Wal-Mart had. I’ve gotten used to eating cold leftovers, mostly chicken, grass-fed burgers, pastured eggs, etc.. I’m getting really tired of buying the tiny one pound packages of ground beef and steak, though. Even though the local supermarket here has a good source from Georgia, I’m really ready to buy a quarter or half of a cow. The only problem is funds… The farmer’s market in Gainesville only panders to vegetarians, so it’s practically impossible to find unpasteurized butter, cheese, or the like, as well as good cuts of meat.

    Am I right in assuming that all the meat at the supermarket that’s not labeled “organic” or “pastured” comes from feedlot animals? Seeing those huge slabs of pork shoulder or rump makes me pine for a similar cut from a healthy animal.

    Best,

    Justin

    Reply to this comment
    • theorytopractice

      01. Sep, 2009

      Yeah, if the meat is not advertised as free-range, grass-fed, ect., you can bet it came off a CAFO. Even if it is packaged as such at a large supermarket, I’d still be skeptical, but that’s just how I am in general of “the establishment” — they’re some weaselly, cut-throat, money grubbing bastards. North Florida has plenty of open pasture land, and I’m sure if you ask around/research, you can locate a nearby source for free-range, grass-fed animals. Independent butchers are a good place to start. If you have a seller at your local farmer’s market who sells free-range eggs, they probably know someone who raises animals for slaughter. And here’s a bit of advice: learn to cook the cheaper cuts well. The roasts, short ribs, shanks, etc. We combine, for example, roasts (which tend to be dry) with fatty ribs in a pressure cooker, and the result is fabulous. In fact, I’m packing some leftovers in for lunch today.

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