Tips and Recipes From Chef Tom McAliney Make Your Summer Barbeques Sizzle

Make Your Cookouts the Envy of the Neighborhood

BRAWLEY, Calif. – May 21, 2007 – It’s that time of year again when people start firing up the grill and enjoying the scents and flavors of summer barbeques. But for some people, the thought of the same old hotdogs and hamburgers generates little excitement. Tom McAliney, a world class chef with extensive experience catering special events such as the Grammy Awards, the Elton John AIDS Foundation Awards and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Inauguration, has several tips and recipe ideas to make your barbeques the envy of the neighborhood.

The Barbeque Industry Association (BIA) reports that more than 75 percent of U.S. households own a grill and more than three billion barbeques are held each year. Beef ranks as the most popular food to grill, taking center stage at 60 percent of barbeques.

“A great steak is definitely a crowd pleaser, but there are a few things to keep in mind when planning your barbeque to ensure that it will be a success,” says Chef McAliney. “Selecting high quality ingredients is essential to maximizing flavor. I prefer to use natural products including natural steaks from Brandt Beef, which are hormone free and offer superior taste and tenderness.”

Chef McAliney offers the following quick tips for expertly grilled steaks:

1.Clean the grilling surface prior to every use and preheat the grill 30 minutes before grilling. Also be sure to have all necessary grilling items including meat, seasonings, an instant read thermometer, tools, etc. ready for use by the grill.
2.To avoid fire flare-ups, trim your steaks, leaving only a thin layer of fat around the perimeter to retain natural juices and flavor.
3.Only add salt, pepper and seasoning after grilling. Salt, pepper and seasonings added before grilling will draw out moisture and inhibit browning.
4.Grill all steaks at high heat to begin. This will create that caramelized flavor we associate with grilling. Using too high heat for too long will cause overcooking, so turn down your grill to medium high or medium temperature to finish your steaks. For steaks ranging from ¾ inch to one inch thick, such as New York strip or filet, Chef McAliney recommends that you grill over direct heat for eight to 12 minutes. For thinner steaks, such as the skirt steak, Chef McAliney recommends that you grill over direct heat for six to 10 minutes.
5.Always use tongs or a spatula to turn your steaks. When steaks are pierced with a fork, flavorful juices can be lost. And remember to turn the beef only once during grilling.
6.The most accurate way to determine the temperature of the steak is to insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally from the side into the center of the steak.
7.Allow three to five minutes of resting time once your steaks have been removed from the grill. This will ensure optimal consistency and flavor are reached prior to serving.

Now that you’ve mastered your preparation and cooking technique, Chef McAliney offers the following recipe to get you started. “Grilled skirt steak with blue cheese butter is a new interpretation of an old favorite – skirt steak. It’s easy to prepare and the ingredients will have your guests’ mouths watering by the time you’re ready to plate.”

Grilled Skirt Steak with Blue Cheese Butter (serves four)
• 4 tablespoons blue cheese
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
• 2 shallots finely chopped
• 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
• Sea salt & fresh ground black pepper
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 2 lbs. peeled Brandt Beef All Natural skirt steak cut into four equal pieces

Cooking Instructions: Preheat the grill for 30 minutes. When you’re ready to cook, combine blue cheese, butter, shallot and parsley in a small bowl. Brush steaks with olive oil and place on the grill. Cook on the first side for approximately three minutes. Turn and cook approximately another three minutes depending on thickness of the steaks for medium rare. Remove the steaks from the grill and season them with sea salt and pepper. Let the steaks rest for three to five minutes before slicing against the grain, then top with cheese, butter, shallot and parsley mixture and serve.

For additional cooking tips and recipes from Chef McAliney, please visit

For grilling safety tips, Chef McAliney recommends visiting the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site at

About Tom McAliney
Tom McAliney is the executive chef for Brandt Beef. He specializes in working with natural and seasonal products. Prior to joining Brandt Beef in 2006, Tom served as executive chef and director of food and beverage for the Greenwich Country Club in Greenwich, Conn. Tom also has extensive experience working as a corporate executive chef for special events and has hosted such events as the Grammy Awards, Olympic fundraisers, the Elton John AIDS Foundation Awards, the Silver Apple Awards, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s Inauguration, Hollywood movie premiers, celebrity weddings and corporate IPOs.

About Brandt Beef
Brandt Beef – The True Natural, is a family owned premium natural beef producer for the up-scale restaurant and retail markets. The Brandt family is passionate about producing the most consistent, highest quality, 100 percent source verified natural beef in the market. Through cattle selection, natural feeding practices and humane treatment of animals, Brandt Beef produces a product that is unparalleled in taste, tenderness and consistency. Recently, Brandt Beef received the Master Chefs’ Institute Seal of Excellence for its achievement in obtaining the Master Chef’s Institute standard of quality. More information is available at