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Planking it!

Smoked steak, onions, and white cheddar mashed potatoes.

Smoked steak, onions, and white cheddar mashed potatoes.

Ever used a plank on your BBQ? If you haven’t you are missing out on some smokey goodness! The smell of dinner cooking has you licking your lips in anticipation. It has my 12 year old clapping his hands and jumping up and down. Also something to do with planking steak. He doesn’t get this excited for planked salmon! The new recipes that we used are definitely keepers. A friend of ours gave John a book on BBQ Planking. Napoleon’s Everyday Gourmet Plank Grilling by Ted Reader. Ted is a native of Paris, Ontario (15 minutes away from us!) and an award winning chef and author. The book is quite informative, all recipes we have made have been excellent. The photos are delightful, with thanks to Mike McColl. We buy our cedar planks at Costco, 5 large ones for $10.


1 regular oak, maple or hickory plank, soaked in water (we used cedar)
4 beef sirloin steak medallions about 6 oz (175 g) each and 1 1/2-inches (4 cm) thick
(we used two tenderloin and 1 larger prime rib steak)
2 Tbsp Sweet Spice Rub (recipe to follow)
4 slices thick sliced bacon
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  1. Rub each steak with 1 tsp (5 mL) of Sweet Spice Rub, pressing the seasoning into the meat so that it adheres. Tightly wrap a strip of bacon around each steak and secure with a toothpick; set aside. (we half cooked the bacon in a frying pan to make sure it will cook crispy)
  2. In a bowl, combine the remaining Sweet Spice Rub, garlic, sweet onions, approx. one cup  of whiskey, olive oil and parsley. Mix well and allow onions to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat grill to high heat. Sear steaks only on one side for 1 to 2 minutes and remove from grill. Place steaks, seared side up, evenly spaced on plank. Cover steaks with marinated onions.
  4. Reduce grill heat to medium-high heat. Place plank on grill and close lid. Plank grill for 15 to 20 minutes for medium-rare, checking periodically to see that the plank is not on fire.
  5. When the steaks are done to your desired doneness, reduce grill flame to low. Carefully drizzle the remaining Jack Daniel’s Whiskey over the onion-smothered steaks. Be careful! If the grill is set too high, the liquor will ignite and flambe.
    (NOTE: If you wish it to flambe, keep grill lid open and stand back. It looks nice and burns the alcohol off, but this step is not necessary.)
  6. Remove steaks from grill. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve steaks with lots of smothered onions and Cedar-Planked White Cheddar Mashed Potatoes.


Steaks are seared, potatoes made and ready for smoking.

Steaks are seared, potatoes made and ready for smoking!


1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup coarse kosher salt
3 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tbsp coarsely ground white pepper
2 Tbsp mustard seeds
2 Tbsp cracked coriander seeds
2 Tbsp garlic powder
2 Tbsp onion powder
2 Tbsp pink peppercorns, cracked
1 Tbsp crushed red chili flakes
1 Tbsp dill seed

In a large bowl, mix all ingredients together. Transfer to a tightly sealed container and store in a cool, dry place for up to 6 months


Applying the onions...yummy!

Applying the onions..yummy!

Steak, onions, and potatoes smoked and ready for eating!

All smoked and ready for eating!


1 regular cedar plank, soaked in water
2 lbs Yukon Gold potatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small onion, sliced
1 tsp salt
6 Tbsp butter
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup sour cream
4 cheese strings, cut into chunks (sounds weird, but we threw them in!)
1/2 cup grated white Cheddar cheese
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper

Mash until fluffy and smooth or leave them a little lumpy. These are your taters, so make ’em how you like! Remember, mashed potatoes plank cook best when they are a day old, so use this recipe when you need to make some of the meal ahead. (We didn’t do this, it made them ‘spread’ on the plank.)

  1. Place potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Add garlic, onions and salt and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until potatoes are fully cooked and tender. Drain and return pan to heat. Shake pan to remove excess moisture from potatoes, garlic and onions, Remove from heat.
  2. Mash potatoes, garlic and onion using a potato masher. Add butter, cream and sour cream to mashed potatoes; stir to combine, Cool for 20 minutes, Stir in cheese string pieces, white Cheddar and parsley, Season with salt and pepper to taste; Mix well. Transfer to a large bowl and cool completely, Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours,
  3. Mound the cold potatoes onto the plank, Firmly pat and smooth evenly, Alternatively, scoop the cold potatoes with an ice cream scoop to make small, individual mounds, (It’s a little more formal than the family-style mound, so have it your way,)
  4. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place plank on grill and close lid, Plank for 20 to 25 minutes, until the potatoes are golden brown and crisp on the outside and hot all the way through. Carefully remove plank from grill and serve potato topped with extra butter (we didn’t add more butter, but did sprinkle on a bit of extra grated cheese.)


An amazing meal! Yum!

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