Joel McHale and Certified Angus Beef take on an unparalleled flavor adventure

Joel McHale for Certified Angus Beef, photo provided by Certified Angus Beef
Joel McHale for Certified Angus Beef, photo provided by Certified Angus Beef /

While Joel McHale never seems to be at a loss for words, Certified Angus Beef enticed him with a flavor adventure that might have left him speechless for a moment or two. Although McHale has put his creative spin on cocktails with unlikely ingredients and has even helped to settle a Celebrity Beef, this dinner for two might be worthy of culinary infamy.

For many people who enjoy a great meal, the experience, and sometimes locale, can make every bite even more memorable. While the Michelin Star restaurant might impress with its intricate plating and impeccable service, that concept is only one component to a dining adventure. For Certified Angus Beef, the rugged outdoors, a stunning view, and a dash of potential peril made for a meal one of a kind.

When Certified Angus Beef set you to make a statement about how its beef can go anywhere and everywhere while delivering great flavors, the choice to showcase a chef-driven dinner on the side of a cliff might not be a reservation that some people would be willing to book. Even though some foodies have opted to enjoy a meal suspended in mid-air, this locale required effort to hike two miles and rappel down to a table simply called “The Ledge.” Whether effort, fear, or something else made stomachs respond, this meal is one that had people talking.

Before he set out on this food adventure, Joel McHale spoke to FoodSided about taking that step to the culinary unknown and what he expected from the dining experience. In true McHale fashion, there was a little hyperbole in the mix.

While McHale thought about cooking on the wing of an airplane or even at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, those locales provided too many issues, like keeping that burner lit in the bottom of the ocean. Putting the unlikely aside, McHale shared that “my version of being extreme is having two barbecues going at once.” Although he is learning to manage that double duty, the Certified Angus Beef experience showcased the flavor this beef offers, regardless of the locale.

Created by Chef Ashley Breneman, the multi-course meal showcased beef in various ways. From the spinalis on a rosemary skewer to the beef fat breadcrumbs in the sopressata salad, the creativity was on display. Of course, the Prime ribeye served with a yuzu beef bone broth and a Prime chimichurri crusted short rib might have taken McHale’s breath away more than the impressive view from The Ledge.

Still, the diversity in the menu is part of Certified Angus Beef’s mission. As McHale explained, the website can help home cooks learn and explore all the cuts. He explained, the cattlemen and ranchers behind the brand want people to learn about the craft. With over 40 years of history, there is experience and knowledge that impacts the food which arrives on the plate. While that “steak is wonderful and tastes great,” the system behind it and the selection process ensures that every cut is one that the ranchers would be proud to serve.

Since McHale knows his way around the grill, a few tips from his backyard kitchen could help others learn to man the flame. Although the recommendation of having Chef Breneman come cook might be beyond the regular person’s option, one technique can impress all the people around the table.

McHale recommends reverse searing. He said that the method where the steaks are cooked slowly to a lower temperature then seared to preferred doneness just before serving offers the best flavor. From being able to serve everyone around the table their preferred doneness to offering more control, the cooking technique is one that could turn a novice cook into a grill master.

While the meal on The Ledge might have been an engaging promotion to celebrate Certified Angus Beef, the takeaway for McHale is for everyone to appreciate the culinary creativity that a prime beef can offer. Even if many people cannot enjoy an extreme cooking event, a flavor adventure can be found in that beef. From cooking techniques to recipes to using that food imagination, food bliss is waiting to be discovered.