Jess Pryles of Hardcore Carnivore joined Steph as a guest Co-Host and came up with a Texas meat challenge to expand Steph’s grilling skills.
Jess Pryles is a full fledged Hardcore Carnivore. She’s a live fire cook, author, and TV personality with a particular passion for beef and meat science. She’s also a respected authority on Texas style barbecue. Born in Australia, she now resides in Austin, Texas.
Jess challenged Steph to prepare Quail, Pork Loin and Skirt Steak with three very Texan recipes. See below for recipe details.
Apple Cider Brined Smoked Pork Tenderloin
Fruit woods pair best with pork – apple, cherry or peach are all great choices for smoking pork.
- One pork tenderloin, about 1.5 lb
- 1.5 cups apple cider
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom (optional)
- 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
- 1-2 tablespoons pork rub
- In a saucepan, combine cider, water, sugar, salt, cardamom and peppercorns. Heat gently until salt and sugar are dissolved. Allow to cool.
- Trim the tenderloin from any large pieces of fat or membrane and place in a large ziplock bag. Pour in the cooled brine, seal the bag then place in the fridge to marinade for 1-2 hours.
- Heat a smoker to run at 250f.
- Remove the tenderloin from the brine, discarding the liquid. Pat dry with paper towels and season on all sides with the pork rub.
- Place the tenderloin into the smoker and cook until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145f. This will take about 1-1.5 hours.
- When at temperature, remove from smoker, wrap with foil and rest 20 minutes before slicing and serving.
Grilled Michelada Skirt Steak Fajitas
Serves 6-8 Serving recommendation: pair the fajitas with tortillas, pico de gallo and fresh avocado.
- 2 lb skirt steak
- 1 teaspoon chipotle
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup of pilsner style beer
- 1 cup tomato juice or Clamato
- 1 poblano pepper, seeded
- 1 white onion
- 1 green bell pepper, seeded
- 1 fresh lime
- In a bowl, combine chipotle, cumin, garlic, onion powder, cayenne, paprika and salt. Sprinkle this dry rub over the skirt steak and massage in on both sides.
- Place the skirt steak in a large zip top bag and add the beer and tomato juice. Seal, then massage the outside of the bag to make sure all ingredients are well combined. Place bag in fridge to marinade, one hour.
- Thinly slice the onion, poblano and bell pepper. Place a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. Once heated, sauté the vegetables until the onions begin to caramelize, then remove from heat.
- Preheat a grill to medium high heat, 400-450f. Remove the steaks from the bag and discard the marinade. Pat the steaks dry with a paper towel to remove some of the surface moisture, then place onto the hot grill. Flip the steaks every 3-4 minutes, cooking for about 12-15 minutes all up, or until they reach an internal temperature of 135f.
- Once cooked, rest the steaks under a piece of foil for 10 minutes. Slice against the grain into strips, then combine with the onions and peppers. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top and serve.
- To serve as sizzling fajitas – place a cast iron skillet or fajita pan in a 400f oven to preheat for 15-20 minutes. Tip the steak and vegetable mix onto the hot pan, which will start to sizzle, and serve immediately. Use caution, the pan will be exceptionally hot.
- 6 whole, deboned quail breasts
- kosher salt
- 6 slices bacon
- 6oz cream cheese, softened
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
- 6 jalapeño peppers
- Set up grill for two-zone cooking and heat to medium.
- Rinse the quail breasts under cold water to clean them, remove the breast plate if still intact, then cut them in half, separating the lobes. season well with salt.
- Cut the bacon strips in half widthwise.
- Put cream cheese in a bowl and add the garlic powder, onion powder and pepper. Stir together, combining well.
- Slice jalapeño half lengthwise and remove any seeds and stems.
- Take one jalapeño half and, using a spoon, fill the hollow with the cream cheese mixture. Place one of the quail breast halves on top and wrap the whole parcel in a strip of bacon, securing it with a toothpick.
- Place the wraps on the indirect heat side of the grill. Cook, turning every 2-4 minutes, until the bacon is crisp.
If your bacon is not getting crisp enough, you can place the wraps directly over the heat for 20-30 seconds at a time but be careful to avoid flare-ups from the grease dripping onto the coals. Remove the toothpicks and serve.