I don’t know if you knew this about me, but I love the Food Network, I mean I watch it on Saturday’s with the same giddiness that I watch a limited series on NetFlix. I watch it with such awe and intense inspiration to the degree that I’ve been known to duplicate what I have seen on tv during holidays or special occasions. What I think draws me to the Food Network is the passion, these people love food, they love every aspect of food, they smile when they speak about it, their hearts are filled with so much joy each time they utter a detail, and I am here to write to you these people are my tribe.
The Food Network hosts are friends in my mind who totally get my bliss when I am eating, but sadly there is a small shortfall when I am watching these hosts cook, especially when they cook a thick cut of beef. I often find myself thinking or saying out loud to the tv, “they know that meat aint seasoned enough.” I have totally rationalized that maybe they are consciously or unconsciously being mindful of my cholesterol or blood pressure, and that I need not to forget that this is tv food, not necessarily that tv’s host real life recipe. I mean I am completely confident that the meat Sunny Anderson makes is gonna be full of robust flavor, no salt or pepper needed on the table, because baby you aren’t gonna need it, because I totally have you covered kinda of meat.
I think it is totally plausible that the Redfire Grill & Steakhouse in Hockessin, Delaware has too been watching the Food Network, except that when they saw the host cook on the show and sprinkle a tiny bit of salt and pepper on the meat, and then tasted it with pure ecstasy in their eyes as if they were be blown over by the flavor the Redfire Grill chef bought it hook, line, and sinker, and I can tell this is true by the taste of the Boneless Short Rib.
I have a theory that whenever you go to a steakhouse, they are telling you upfront that beef is their area of expertise, yes they may have a few seafood items on the menu to appease the non-carnivore, but their love language is cow.
The Boneless Short Rib came with chipotle creamed corn and crispy onion straws. Now just so that we are on the same page, here is what you need to know: boneless short ribs are generally fork knife tender and this was, short ribs are commonly smooth on the tongue and this rib checked that box too, and short ribs are most definitely not skimpy on the meat, but where they were not very munificent was the seasoning. Maybe the chef at the Redfire Grill & Steakhouse worked from a school of thought that the meat in itself was the star, that he dare not have it compete with any other flavors, maybe the chef wanted to make sure that with every bite you took you never forgot that you were eating beef, and to that end, he succeeded. I absolutely felt like I was eating beef with every bite, but I was eating a beef that needed some more love, the chef’s infatuation with the cut of the meat was not translated in the taste and the potential that it carried to be sapid to a degree that could make all Food Network hosts blush from internal glee was an opportunity missed.
So what does one do when they find themselves in a food quandary? Do they send their food back? God forbid no, that ho-hum boneless short rib didn’t rise to that level of aggression at all, so the answer now becomes taste what else is on the plate. When I tasted the chipotle creamed corned I was beyond pleasantly surprised, this was not your grandmother’s creamed corn, no this was living in the neighborhood of mexican street corn, it wasn’t mushy, it had texture, it wasn’t completely creamed by no stretch, there was whole corn kernels in every bite, but the crushing of that corn released a sweet creaminess inside that was so delectable it created in me a solution to my flat short rib problem. I would take a piece of short rib, then before heading to my mouth a forkful of chipotle corn and top it off with crispy onion straw, and when I did that I experienced not an exquisite taste, but one that landed in the realm of satisfying. Yes, my palate mission was accomplished, but I was unable to carry out my long-established methodology of eating, one of which I may give in another blog post.
So you see there was a savior here and it was the corn, it rescued me from my tender, meaty, yet flavorless rib. That corn calmed me when my tongue egged me on to cry out preposterous, that creamed corn reminded me that the solution of the diner is not dead and it can be found in this meal too if I would just lean in just a little more, and the moment leaned into that corn, I left Redfire Grill not feeling like this was the Resurrection meal that Jesus would have have meant for me, but also not a meal that He would have condemned, but only because of the corn.
Redfire Grill & Steakhouse, let me give you a tip I learned by watching Food Network, and that is, tv cooking is not restaurant cooking and seasoning your food is important or dare I write essential, taste before you serve and if you would want more seasoning if you were home in your kitchen, then gosh darn it add more seasoning for the people, I am confident the patron will thank you. 🍽