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Caveman T-Bones with Hellfire Hot Sauce

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As Steven Raichlen describes these in “Planet Barbecue,” Caveman T-Bones represents “The ultimate primal grilling — T-bone steaks charred directly on the embers and topped with an incendiary sauce of jalapeños, cilantro and garlic.”

Steaks cooked directly on the coals give new meaning to the word "charred".

Caveman T-Bones with Hellfire Hot Sauce


4 T-bone steaks (each about 1 1/4 inches thick and 12-to-14 ounces)
Coarse salt (kosher or sea salt)
Cracked black peppercorns

Hellfire Hot Sauce:

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
10 jalapeño peppers, thinly sliced crosswise
10 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped


You’ll need an 8 to-10-inch cast-iron skillet

To grill the steaks: Build a charcoal fire (with hardwood charcoal) and rake the coal into an even layer (leave the front of the grill free). When the coals glow orange, fan them with a newspaper to blow off any loose ash.

Generously, and I mean generously, season the steaks on both sides with salt and cracked pepper. Place the steaks directly on the embers, about 2 inches apart. Grill steaks until cooked to taste, 4 to-6 minutes per side for medium rare. Turn once with tongs. Test for doneness.

Using tongs, lift steaks off the fire, shaking each to dislodge any embers. Using a basting brush, brush off any loose ash and arrange steaks on a platter. Cover steaks loosely with aluminum foil and let rest while you make the sauce.

For the Hellfire Hot Sauce:

Heat the olive oil in a cast iron skillet directly on the embers, on the side burner of a gas grill or on the stove. When the oil is hot, add the jalapeños, garlic and cilantro. Cook the sauce over high heat until the jalapeños and garlic begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Immediately pour the sauce over the steaks and go for it.

From Steven Raichlen, “Planet Barbecue”

Photo by Bonnie Walker

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