Tom Jackson was one of the few non-restaurant chefs invited to the event, but his success on YouTube more than qualified him for the gig. The in-house chef at All Things Barbecue, a store in Kansas, shares his love of 'cue with more than 100,000 subscribers through weekly videos. His idea to serve coffee-and-spice-rubbed flank steak with smoked cabbage was inspired by a slaw recipe from his friend Eric Gephart. "Flank steak is so flavorful and tender if done right," Tom says. "And having the smoked slaw meant we didn't need to smoke the meat, too."
Make the South Beach Sauce: Whisk the barbecue sauce, mayonnaise and garlic in a medium bowl. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Soak the wood chips in water at least 30 minutes; drain. Heat a charcoal grill and prepare for indirect grilling: Bank the coals to one side, leaving the other side empty. Set up a drip pan on the empty side. Let the fire burn off to a low heat (250 degrees F).
Meanwhile, prepare the Blue Smoke Slaw: Using a small sharp knife, carefully remove the core of the cabbage, creating a cavity for stuffing. (Make the cavity deeper than it is wide to keep the leaves attached.) Combine the vegetable oil, garlic and barbecue rub in a small bowl; mix well. Stuff some of the mixture into the cavity in the cabbage; let soak in for a minute, then add a little bit more.
Scatter a handful of the drained wood chips over the hot coals. Transfer the cabbage to the cooler side of the grill, over the drip pan, cored-side up. Cover the grill and cook until the cabbage is slightly softened and taking on color from the smoke, 2 to 3 hours, adding more wood chips halfway through and more charcoal as needed.
Cut the cabbage in half and let cool for a few minutes, then thinly slice. Transfer the sliced cabbage and garlic mixture from the cavity to a large bowl.
Combine the mayonnaise, red onion, scallions, vinegar, mustard and granulated sugar in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Pour the dressing over the cabbage mixture and toss to coat. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Make the steak: Spread out the coals and bring the grill temperature up to high (500 degrees F), adding more charcoal as needed. Mix the turbinado sugar, ground coffee, chile powder and 2 teaspoons salt in a small bowl. Blot the steak dry with paper towels, then season with the coffee rub. Grill the steak over direct heat until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 125 degrees F, 6 to 8 minutes per side for medium rare. Let rest 10 minutes, then thinly slice against the grain. Serve with the slaw and the South Beach Sauce.
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Photograph by Ryan Dausch
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