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Master The Grill with Hell's Kitchen Champ Alex Belew

by Shamroz Naseer 21 Jun 2023

Who is Alex Belew?

Hailing from Tennessee, Alex knows the comfort provided by a well-set table, great food, and even better company.  His first cooking experiences were with his grandmother, churning out buttermilk biscuits and custard.  He has since gone on to revolutionize the restaurant experience by focusing on not just food and service, but by delivering gratitude with every plate and treating every guest as if they were seated around his family’s table.

 

Most known for winning Gordon Ramsay’s famed “Hell’s Kitchen”, Alex is culinary trained, on a first name basis with Husk Restaurant’s Sean Brock, and pours countless hours into teaching the youth of Tennessee invaluable knife skills, molecular gastronomy, and the basics behind how to provide food for themselves and their families. 

 

For us, he’s doling out the secrets behind the best steak you’ll ever have.  And we can confirm… He was at melin’s Lake Nacimiento Summer Camp, made this recipe, and we want to share it with y’all.    

 

 

Let’s get to it. 

 

Grilling Tips:

 

  • Preheat your grill for at least 10 minutes before throwing anything on it.
  • Use either oil or meat fat to rub down the grill grates.  We want a sear, not everything sticking to it. 
  • Understand your hot zones. Direct/indirect heat.  Open flame cooking means you need to know where the intense heat is along with the lower temps.
  • Know what needs a sear and what cooks slower.  Nothing wrong with low and slow if that’s what the ingredient needs. 
  • Char/Caramelization equals flavor. Let your food get some color. There’s a difference between beautifully charred and burnt to a crisp.
  • Salt your steaks hours before you cook them. Salt is an amazing ingredient but it takes time to work. I usually salt my steaks 4-6 hours before I cook them. You’ll get a better crust on the outside and the inside will be more seasoned.
  • LET YOUR MEAT REST before and after you cook it. I cannot stress this enough. Before you grill, set your proteins out at room temp 30 minutes. I know the temptation to eat it immediately is strong but wait 10 minutes before you slice. Your patience will be rewarded.
  • Always have a squirt bottle of water next to your grill. Unwanted flare ups happen, especially if there’s too much fat on your meat. Tame the flame with a few squirts of water to make sure no unwanted char and overburnt flavor gets on your meat. 
  • Mise en Place. Make sure you’ve got everything you need outside before you start cooking. There’s nothing more annoying than having to scramble to find tongs when it’s the perfect time to flip that chicken wing. 
  • If you use charcoal or wood to cook you can sear or roast right in the embers. You’ll get amazing flavors and color by cooking directly on the embers. 
  • Invest in a solid thermometer. No cook is perfect, and a thermometer isn’t a sign of weakness. We all use them. And if you want perfection every time, your finger isn’t your best friend.

 

 

Now, Follow This:

 

Marinated Smoked Tri Tip w/ Grilled Pepper Relish

 

3 lb Tri Tip

 

Marinade

1/4 Cup honey

1/4 Soy Sauce

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire

2 Tbsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

4 Garlic Cloves, crushed

6 Thyme Sprigs

2 Jalapeños, sliced

1 Tbsp. Paprika

1 Tbsp. Onion powder

2 tsp. Ginger powder

 

Grill

-Mix your Marinade ingredients together in a bowl.

-Marinade Tri Tip at least 4 hours, but no longer than 24.

-Set smoker to 200 and smoke for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until internal temp is 115.

-Remove from smoker and increase heat to 450. Grill for another 10-15 minutes until the internal reaches 130-135. Allow steak to rest for 15 minutes before slicing. 

 

Pepper Relish

2 Lbs Baby Bell Peppers

1/4 Cup Honey

1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1/4 Rice Vinegar

1 Onion, Sliced to rings

5 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 Bunch Basil

Salt and Pepper

 

-Grill baby bell peppers and onions until charred. Allow to cool and then dice.

-Mix all ingredients together and allow flavors to develop for at least an hour.  Let it sit.  Good idea to do this before you start grilling.

- Top steak with relish.

 

 

Dig In

Well, what you think?

 

The tips are your new go to’s for firing up the grill.  The recipe is straight from Alex so we suggest following it closely the first go round.  Afterwards, in true melin fashion, make it your own.  Want it spicier?  Swap the jalapenos for serranos, or even habaneros.  Little sweeter?  More honey. 

 

Point is, the guy is a master of flavors, and has chosen our favorite method to specialize in; open flame grilling. 

 

Who knows, maybe down the road we’ll host a grill off between Alex and a special melin fan.  For now, grab your favorite melin, get out there and grill this up, then post online with the #melinGrills (Let’s make one up, open to anything), to get featured on the melin IG.  We’re not gonna be able to taste so remember, it’s all in the presentation people. 

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