Chef Govind Armstrong talks about the strangest things he’s ever grilled

Plus: An oxtail recipe for the aspiring dwelling cook dinner

Chef Govind Armstrong

Chef Govind Armstrong (above) teaches at Alisal Ranch’s barbecue boot camp.

Once I ask Chef Govind Armstrong in regards to the strangest issues he is ever grilled, he does not miss a factor: Brazilian clams, Amazonian caterpillars, beaver tails. “In Tierra del Fuego, the southern a part of Argentina close to Antarctica, we had a beaver tail,” Armstrong tells InsideHook. “It was wild, and actually good and cheerful. We spent all day sledding the canines, after which we roasted them and made tartare with them too. They have been agency and surprisingly gentle, too.”

Simply earlier than our interview, Armstrong had simply completed giving an indication at Alisal Ranch’s annual barbecue coaching camp, the place his lesson coated an genuine rooster recipe and a barbecued oxtail recipe—each extra palatable to American diners than beaver tail. As one in all Los Angeles’ most celebrated cooks, identified for coaching from a younger age underneath such greats as Wolfgang Puck and Nancy Silverton, Armstrong put Baldwin Hills establishment Submit & Beam on the map, and is now specializing in seafood at his present gig at The Lobster, the place he at present serves as government chef Government and Operations Supervisor.

However his fascination with worldwide delicacies stems from an upbringing that spanned Los Angeles and Costa Rica, and Caribbean influences stay a part of his model to at the present time. “In Costa Rica, barbecue is extra of a social factor, which I like,” he says. “We simply hang around and eat and drink and sing and dance — all the things. And that is all a part of cooking and feeding us. And in some ways, that is additionally a part of what introduced him again to Alisal for a fifth time as visitor chef, serving to to show keen members that barbecue is one thing everybody can do.” Greater than it might sound.

“That is my second barbecue boot camp, and I’ve performed different pop-ups right here, and it has been actually enjoyable,” he says. “The persons are nice and like to eat and drink – that is the sort of folks for me. It is at all times an incredible group of fascinating individuals who need to be taught. I believe opening folks’s eyes to completely different methods and completely different cuts of meat is vital. The extra I can expose these items to extra folks.” of individuals, or simply give them a distinct style, the higher.

As a chef, spending time in locations like Argentina, the place barbecue is virtually a lifestyle, and Brazil — the place he encountered one other unusual creature of barbecue — is a part of strengthening his personal strategy. “I cooked and grilled this unusual mollusk in Brazil,” he recollects. “They’re molluscs known as toro – taken from decaying evergreen bushes that decompose underwater in swamps. They’re lengthy and prickly, and the locals I used to be with ate them uncooked. We grilled them, and so they have been candy and flavorful like mussels, not chewy in any respect.”

And in his newest entry within the strangest sport of barbecue, one other go to to South America yielded an insect for dinner. “I’ve roasted Syrian fry within the Amazon,” he says. “They’re within the aguaji tree. That was actually good – very creamy and really wealthy. They jogged my memory of candy bread.” As a result of most Individuals would by no means be satisfied to eat swamp slugs, beaver rice, or the bugs that saved Timon and Pumbaa alive in… the king lionArmstrong agreed to share his recipe for grilled oxtail as an alternative.

Oxtail continues to be a uncommon minimize in comparison with an everyday steak or burger, nevertheless it’s decadent and simply as satisfying. “Oxtail is a singular minimize that you do not see over-grilled,” he says. “The one approach I’ve had success with it’s to dry rub it, smoke it, sluggish cook dinner it after which preserve attempting to get a ultimate layer of taste on it on the grill. Usually, I roast it on a mattress of curry leaves after which roll it forwards and backwards, which is a sort of charcoal. Even the leaves Charred curries have a singular taste that pairs effectively with a dry rub.

Take a look at his recipe under, and bear in mind: This isn’t a recipe for freshmen. You may at all times head to Submit & Beam to order an oxtail sandwich in the event you’d moderately go away it to the consultants.

Grilled Oxtail by Chef Govind Armstrong

  • For the dry Oxtail spice combine:
  • 2 tablespoons. Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons. Floor coriander
  • 2 tablespoons. Jerk seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon. Onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon. Garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons. Floor pepper
  • 2 tablespoons. turmeric
  • 4 tablespoons. Curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon. + 1 teaspoon. Sumac
  • 2 tablespoons. Floor cumin
  • 2 teaspoons. Spices
  • For the charred oxtail and curry leaves:
  • 3 complete oxtails, not minimize
  • Dry oxtail spice combine (elements listed above)
  • ½ pound recent curry leaves
  • 1.5 qt. Grilled rooster inventory

  • smoking
    1. Rub the oxtail generously with the dry spice combination and go away for 2 days.

    2. Convey the oxtail to room temperature two hours earlier than cooking.

    3. Warmth a hardwood smoker to 250 levels. Utilizing half the curry leaves, cowl the smoker mattress and place the oxtail on the leaves.

    4. Smoking for not less than six hours.

  • braise
    1. Preheat the oven to 300 levels.

    2. In a small sauce pot, warmth the rooster inventory, then switch it to a big three-inch deep roasting pan and place the oxtails within the pan.

    3. Cowl tightly with plastic wrap, then cowl tightly with aluminum foil.

    4. Roast the oxtail for 4 hours, then take away the plastic wrap and foil and return the pan to the oven.

    5. Prepare dinner for a further hour, basting the tails each 10 minutes.

    6. Take away the oxtail from the oven, nonetheless baste it, and let it cool in its juices for 1 hour.

    7. Warmth grill to medium-high warmth.

    8. Fastidiously take away the tails and switch them to a slicing board, eradicating as a lot fats as potential.

    9. Pressure the juices from the boil, take away the fats from them and scale back them by half.

  • Grill
    1. Place the remaining curry leaves on the grill and place the oxtail on the leaves, gently searing the leaves whereas twisting the tail (don’t permit the leaves to catch hearth).

    2. Grill till the tails are barely charred and caramelized.

    3. Switch them again to the slicing board.

    4. Minimize to regular sections and return to diminished browning juice.

    5. Serve with rice, peas, bananas and extra charred curry leaves. Take pleasure in!

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