Man like meat. Meat like fire. Man put meat on fire.
Humankind has evolved a bit over the last few thousand years, but certain rituals never left us.
These days, we may talk more eloquently about our love for cooking an animal over an open flame, but the thrill remains — especially when you add a little whiskey to the mix. A booze-soaked bone-in tomahawk ribeye is as fun to grill as it is impressive, making it a perfect date-night dinner.
This recipe, adapted from 1985’s All About BBQ: Kansas City Style, is simple: Soak a gorgeous hunk of meat in a mixture of whiskey and brown sugar, then light it on fire, slice it up, and eat it. The outside gets an excellent char, while the inside stays red or pinkish, depending on how long you leave it on the grill.
Whiskey-Soaked Tomahawk Rib-eye
32-ounce tomahawk rib-eye steak, bone-in
1 cup whiskey
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 stick butter
Your favorite barbecue sauce
For the marinade, add the whiskey and brown sugar to a saucepan and whisk over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let the liquid come to room temperature.
Soak the steak in the marinade in a zip-closure freezer bag or Pyrex dish for 3 hours. Flip the steak, and marinate for an additional 3 hours. At this point, the steak should look gray and a bit weird — this is good.
Light a charcoal grill and get it hot (optional: add a few hickory chunks for a smokier flavor). Remove the steak from the marinade and allow the steak to come to room temperature.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and mix it with the marinade, and a few tablespoons of barbecue sauce. Dip the steak in this mixture then immediately put the steak on the grill directly over the flame. (Be careful and use long tongs because the steak should light on fire.) For a rare steak with perfect grill marks, cook it for 2 minutes, then rotate it 45º and cook another 2 minutes. Flip the steak, keeping it over the flame, cook it for 2 minutes, then rotate it 45º and cook it for another 2 minutes. For a pinker steak, move it to the other side of the grill away from the coals, and close the lid to let the inside get to medium rare or medium.
Using tongs, transfer the steak to a plate or cutting board, and tent with foil. Allow the steak to rest for 10 to 15 minutes, then slice it up and dig in.
For extra flavor, warm up the barbecue sauce marinade (make it bubble so you cook the raw-meat juices) and serve on the side.