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Beer Braised Beef Cheek Blue Smoked Slaw

– Hey everybody, I’m Chef
Tom with All Things Barbecue, and today we’re joined
again by our good friend, Eric Gephart of Kamado Joe. Now, we love these Kamado Joe grills, which is why we carry them in our store. All of the accessories and grills that you see Eric cooking on
in these fantastic recipes can be found at Check it out. (splashing) – Alright folks, Eric
Gephart here of Kamado Joe, hanging out with our friends at All Things BBQ in Wichita, Kansas. Had a lot of requests of how to do the Blue Smoked Slaw. So obviously, it’s cabbage. We got this, I want to thank Matt Fox out of La Place, and
their crew over there. Unbelievable restaurant in
Hillsborough North Carolina. They originally gave me
this idea of a smoked slaw. And then we were in Australia
and we started smoking the cabbage with meat and
harnessing those drippings which in turn gave us Blue Smoke, we were in the Blue
Mountains of Australia, and we came up with the Blue Smoke Slaw. Originally we did it with ribs stacked all the way around the cabbage, but last time we were here
at All Things Barbecue we threw an amazing Kamado Joe block party and we did it with
Creekstone Farm beef cheeks. Alright, we were in
Germany just last week. We took the slaw, chopped it up, and then shredded these
braised and smoked beef cheeks and combined them and made
this unbelievable side. So you can imagine having a really sweet and savory meaty slaw as a side. That’s gonna be the rock star
at any backyard barbecue. So lets go ahead and
get this thing started. So, first thing we’re gonna do is kinda cut out a little of this globular
fat and some of the sinew. A lot of times when I get beef cheeks there’s just so much carving to be done. If you’re only doing a
couple of em it’s easy but if you got a whole case to do you’re never gonna get
all that fat out of there and to be quite honest
with you some of that fat’s gonna provide some flavor. So, really go after that
surface connective tissue but don’t worry about delving
down in there too far. As we braise this thing
it’s just gonna break down. See, we can drive ourselves crazy with trying to take out this silver skin. And I’ll nick a little bit of it out there but not too much. Not too much. You can imagine what this
muscle was used for, right. All day long these beautiful,
beautiful black angus at Creekstone, they
got this massive jowls, massive cheeks, and they’re
just chewing grass all day long. So this is a very well worked muscle, that tells me we’re gonna
have to low and slow it and that’s why braising is a particularly wonderful
method for this cut of beef. So we got this great beef cheek, lets season this up before
we put a good sear on it and then a low and slow smoke for 3 hours. We’re gonna use R Butts R-Beef Rub, really, really fun seasoning. And… go crazy with it. Cool. So lets go ahead and sneak
this over to the grill. So we’ve got our grill to 400 degrees. I’ve got the grill rack
on the lower setting and we’re just gonna get a char
on the outside of this beef. This is one cheek, right. Just a beautiful sear. I’m hearing the sizzle right now, that’s what I want to hear. Again, the process here is get a seasoning on the beef cheek, sear it. Then we’re gonna take it out,
put the deflector shields in, we’re gonna have some smoke rolling and we’re gonna smoke the beef cheek right next to the cabbage and they’re just both
gonna season each other so the cabbage is already gonna have that meaty kinda umami flavor to it. Notice I don’t have a
whole ton of charcoal in there for this sear
because I’m gonna use this for both applications of
a high heat sear and then a low and slow for three hours I don’t want all this charcoal in here and have too much energy in there. So I’ve got a minimal amount of charcoal, I’ve banked it to one side, I’m gonna utilize that
fine heat right there, that pinpoint heat to get my sear. And then, when it’s time to
put the deflector shields in I’ll rake that out a little bit, we’ll put our chunks of wood in there and we’ll start the smoke rolling. So often I see pictures of people online and go over to folks houses and they’ve just got their
fireboxes jammed with charcoal. Really you’re choking out your grill. You want to have maximum air flow there so we’re using a minimal amount of charcoal to get the job done. That’s the ticket. So we’re starting to get a
nice sear on this beef cheek. While we’re letting that
finish up I’m just gonna leave this open so we can get maximum
heat and just get that sear. We’re not worried about
cooking this right now, we just want that maximum
flavor profile on the outside. Now is the opportunity to do it, because next we’re gonna smoke it indirect with the cabbage for three hours and then we’re gonna braise it in a porter with a local brewery
here from Aero Plains, and we’ll have Lance, the
head brewer slash owner, come over here and hang out with us and kinda describe that beer
and that process a little bit. So while we’re finishing
up that maillard reaction to that beautiful crust on the outside, lets go ahead and get
started on the cabbage. Take your cabbage, and we’ve
got the core straight up. We’re gonna take our knife
and at a slight angle kinda work around and we’re
gonna create a cavity. So not only are we cutting
out that very fibrous part that we’re not gonna be able
to use for the slaw anyway, but we’re also creating
a neat little pocket where we’re gonna put a neat
little kind of a flavor bomb. Real careful not to cut your hand there, and just flip it right out. While I’ve got that out sometimes I like to put the knife in here and
just give it a little twist. And that’ll allow all the
flavors that we put in here to penetrate just a little bit more. Done. Now for the mixture that
goes into the cabbage. We’re gonna use a Sea
Dog rub that’s kind of our version of a blackening seasoning. Little bit of garlic. When I say a little bit of garlic I kinda mean a lot a bit of garlic. And then oil. We’re gonna mix that up. Til it looks like this
blackened garlic oil mixture. Really nice, okay. Minced garlic, your favorite barbecue seasoning, little bit of oil, and then we’re gonna put
it right into that cavity. And you can start to see how
this is gonna work, right? We’ve kinda punctures things
in there to help draw down that garlic and that
oil and that blackening but as this thing is
smoking the acid is going to season and penetrate
the outside of the cabbage. The inner part of the cabbage is really gonna have a big bold garlic flavor. Whereas the third of the
cabbage which is not the very center and not the outside
will almost be at a raw state. So we’re gonna get this darker color here, this orange color in the center, and in this green color
in the center third. When you chop this up you’ll
have three different flavors, three different textures,
and three different colors. Really, really beautiful thing all in one. So this is like a little flavor time bomb and we’re gonna smoke it with that meat and really, really start
activating this thing. Alright, lets go check on
our beef cheek right now Again, the part of this process
is we take the cheek off we put the smoke in, put
the deflector shields in, and put this cabbage with the beef cheek, which in the end are gonna be chopped up and mixed into a gorgeous slaw. Lets get em. So lets pull this charcoal, kinda mix it around a little bit. Get our wood chunks in there. Often times I’ll use something
like a hickory or an oak. Today we’ve got cherry. So , we’re gonna use that. We’re gonna wait til we have combustion and then we’re gonna put
our deflector shields in. Alright, so we’ve got combustion. I’m gonna go ahead and lay
down my first deflector shield. Take this and just spin it on around. Second plate, we’re in. And just for good measure to make sure that we’re nice and
indirect I’m gonna take this to top level of the
divide and conquer system. Beautiful. And we’re gonna nestle
that cabbage right in. Spin it around so you can see. Often times we’ll have this
whole thing packed full of meat, maybe another cabbage in there, but since we’re doing a video and we don’t have a whole
lot of people to feed today we’ll just have it set just like this. Now I’m gonna close this
down, close this down, and we’ll be looking at a
temperature of about 250 degrees. Alright so its been three
hours, lets take a look. Oh my goodness. Look at that great color
we’ve got on that beef cheek. Started to render out nicely. And this cabbage is
unreal, look at the smoke, how it gave it that kinda
golden, amberish hue. And if we start to peel back the layers you can just see how tender that is. Really, really, really remarkable. We talked earlier about
the three different colors, the three different textures, and the three different flavor
that are all within this. Here in just a second we’re
gonna take that cabbage and slice it down the
middle and open it up so you can see how that
garlic and that blackening really permeated throughout
the veins of the cabbage. So, I want to introduce Lance
from Aero Plains Brewing. He’s got a beer for us that we’re gonna use to braise this beef cheek. I’m gonna go ahead and take the cheek off, it smoked for three hours. And we’ve got some amazing
mirepoix on the bottom here. Some great carrots, onions, and celery. We even put some bay leaf in
there and a little peppercorn. So I’m just gonna slide this beautiful beef cheek right in there. Lance, tell us a little bit about what beer you chose to help us
braise this beef cheek. – Well, at Aero Plains Brewing
we’ve got a barrel aging program that we’re working on right now and this is Rowdy Joe’s Summer Stout. It’s kind of a unique recipe in that it’s kinda warm around
here and that people think you’re gonna release a
stout in the summer time seems kind of odd, but
it really works well. Its got all the characteristics
that you like of a stout, the roastiness, a little
bit of coffee notes, little bit of licorice,
but then its barrel aged in a Breckenridge Distillery barrels which gives it just an amazing
additional layer of flavor and the fact that its a
little bit lighter in alcohol makes it drinkable, but it
does not detract anything from the flavor and it works
real well with cooking, as you’ve proven already before. So yeah, I’m excited to be using it. – Now is this the same beer that we used with Chef Tom when we
did the block party here? – It is, yep, absolutely. That was definitely a success. – So we’re looking for a very
remarkable flavor here from this beer and its just gonna
do so well with that beef. And again, we’re gonna shred
that beef after its braised and we’re gonna mixed it
in with that smoked slaw. Be looking for some big bold flavors. Lance, you wanna go
ahead and do the honors. – I would be happy to. – [Eric] Oh yeah. And so we really want the
level of the liquid to be at least three quarters
of the way up on the meat. So I’m gonna kinda bury that meat in the mirepoix just a little bit. – [Lance] You can smell the
bourbon, it’s really nice. – [Eric] Oh my gosh, yeah. And that’s from the barrels
you’re saying, right? – [Lance] Correct, yeah. – [Eric] We’re gonna stay at 250, we’re gonna give it eight hours. So, here’s the cabbage. I’m gonna give once slice
and I want us to see. Look how beautiful that is. It’s like a mosaic of deliciousness. Check out how that garlic
is just penetrated, even down into the lower
levels of that cabbage. And we’re gonna chop all
that garlic into this and then we’ve made a very simple North Carolina style slaw dressing that we’re gonna toss this with. Remember, the beef
cheeks are braising away. This is a labor of love. M’kay, when I chop this (chopping) I want to really go thin, okay. So, sometimes I’ll even decrease my surface area by a little bit more. The bigger this thing is
the more friction is created between the knife having to
slide down all that fiber, so if I make it smaller, I can actually make it a lot
easier for me to chop it. (chopping) Sometimes I’ll take that outer leaf out because it’s a little
bit slippery and just (chopping) And that’s about what
we’re looking for there. If you find that your cabbage is a little more firm than you
think cause you had a larger cabbage and you probably should’ve left it on the grill a little bit longer, you want to slice it even thinner. But judging by how this cabbage feels, this is right where we want to be. (chopping) And its rustic, so if you have a couple big pieces in there that’s fine. Beautiful, we wanna get
that garlic in there, don’t forget that. Gorgeous colors. And we’re just gonna start
putting this in our bowl. Alright, so we’ve got all
this gorgeous slaw chopped up. Again, I’ve made that
really nice, very simple, Carolina slaw dressing. Its got a little Duke’s
mayonnaise, a little sugar, a little red onion, a little scallion, and a little Dijon mustard,
I’m sorry, whole grain mustard. We’re not gonna toss this in quite yet, because we’ve got another six hours left, you know, we’re doing eight hours all day on these beef cheeks. ‘Cause we’ve got another six hours left, if I dress this slaw right
now it’ll get a little soggy so we’re just gonna keep these separate until we’re ready to
shred those beef cheeks and then we’ll incorporate
them all at the same time. Alright, its been eight hours and we’re still holding
that great 250 degrees. We’re gonna go ahead and bring this off and set it on the table and take a look. Oh yeah. Beautiful aromas, lets see if we got that, I can look at that and
tell that it’s tender. I’m just gonna use my pinky and. Yeah, so, that’s pretty crazy right? All the collagen at this
point has broken down into gelatin and we’ve just got an unreal, look there’s those carrots, sometimes the vegetables on a braise are
just as good as the protein. We’ll save those, that’ll
be an early dinner. And look at how that just shreds. I’m just gonna start putting
the meat right in here. And that meat just
soaked up that beautiful, beautiful beer from Aero Plains Brewing. And this is from one beef cheek, kind of broke up a little
bit as I was pulling it out. Look at that. It’s crazy, m’kay. At this point we’ll season
the beef a little bit. Little salt, little pepper. And now we just kinda
break it up a little bit. And you can go back in and find some of that globular
fat and get rid of that. And that’s us. Sometimes I like to take
the liquid and reduce it, and then strain it back
over almost like a jus, but because we’re gonna
add this into our slaw we don’t wanna add too
much moisture content. I might even just reduce that liquid down and then save it for another meal. So now all that’s left to do
is take our slaw dressing, incorporate it with the slaw, just like a salad you don’t
wanna over dress your slaw, okay, so a little goes a long way. And then we’re gonna slowly
incorporate our beef cheeks and we’re gonna put it into our
final dish for presentation. So lets go ahead and
add our slaw dressing. Gently toss that in. Beautiful, beautiful. Alright, now we incorporate
our beef cheeks. Look at that, still looks great, its not sopping with the dressing. (laughs) This is magic
right here, alright. This is absolute magic. Alright, we’re gonna start transferring this to our presentation. We do have scallions in the dressing so sometimes I like to have a
little fun with presentation. Alright gentlemen, dig in, dig in. That’s some of your hard work there. – Good stuff – So, just an unbelievable,
remarkable dish. You know, and again, that’s a side, right. So you really gotta up your entree if you’re gonna bring that as a side. Well, you know, when you
have great ingredients and you do simple things
perfectly using the Kamado Joe, using amazing craft beer, it
just makes my job a lot easier. You know, that oak and that
bourbon or whiskey flavor is really pronounced but
it’s not in your face, it’s not too much. Eric Gephart from Kamado
Joe coming to you from All Things Barbecue, Wichita, Kansas. Thanks so much for watching. – If you enjoyed the video
click that subscribe button and if you have any questions or comments or there’s anything you’d
like to see us cook, let us know in the comments
section down below. For more recipes, tips, and techniques, head over to All Things Barbecue, where
barbecue legends are made.


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