The holidays have ended and we all make the resolution to eat healthier and more responsibly. One way to keep the calories low but still have lots of flavor is through the use of herbs, citrus and even light wood smoke flavors. These types of flavor additions pack a flavor “punch” and lots of visual interest, too.
Below is a “one plank meal” that helps keep the portions in proper perspective while providing lots of visual interest and a good amount of flavor. The addition of cooking on a cedar plank also reduces the need for extra oils or other fats to prevent items from sticking on the grill.
The best part is, set this plank up the day before, wrap it and store in your refrigerator. When arriving home from work, start the grill and you have a great, healthy, home-cooked meal in about 15 minutes! You can also check out our tv segment on the one plank meal here.
Keep the coals hot!
One Plank Dinner
By Matt Jost
2 cedar planks (6” X 8” or bigger)
A large pan (big enough to hold the planks and water to cover them)
2 each beef tenderloin filet, 6 oz each
8 pc baby carrots, stem on preferred
10 sprigs thyme, fresh
4 sprigs rosemary, fresh
3 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ cup good quality olive oil
1 each lemon, for zest and juice
2 each Yukon potatoes, large
black pepper, fresh ground
kosher salt, to taste
1. Soak the cedar planks in water (or wine, if you prefer) for at least 60 minutes. Weigh the planks down in the liquid to keep them submerged.
2. While the plank soaks, trim the tops from the carrots and peel them. If the carrots are wider than ½” at the thickest part, cut them through the middle in half, lengthwise.
3. Peel the leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary and 4 sprigs of thyme (reserve the remaining herbs for the plank). Chop the herbs and the garlic cloves finely. Combine the herbs/garlic with the olive oil and lemon zest and juice in a small bowl, set aside.
4. Slice the potatoes in half, and then slice into medium wedges. Toss the carrots and potato slices with 2 Tbsp of the lemon herb marinade.
5. Spread the reserved whole rosemary and thyme out on both planks.
6. Season the filets lightly with the salt and pepper and place in the center of the plank, on top of the herbs.
7. Arrange the carrots and potatoes on either side of the beef. Do not pile the vegetables to high, or the bottom layer won’t cook. This is where a larger plank comes in handy.
8. Prepare the grill for medium-high, direct grilling (about 450 - 500F).
9. Place the planks on the center of the grill and close the lid. Cook for about 8 minutes with the lid closed.
10. After 8 minutes, lift the lid and lightly brush the beef and vegetables with the remaining lemon herb marinade.
11. Rotate the plank, to cook both sides evenly, and continue cooking until desired temperature. (About 10 minutes more for Medium rare, 12 minutes more for Medium.)
Special Note: If the beef is to be cooked beyond medium, place a strip of aluminum foil under the plank to keep it from burning while the filet cooks for the longer time.
12. Allow the steak to rest for a minute or two, loosely covered, before serving.