BBQ Wines, Grill Tips and Cookbook, Thai Steak Recipe: Chef Rob Rainford

In the video below, Food Network celebrity chef Rob Rainford shares his grilling tips, his favourite BBQ wines and his new cookbook Born to Grill. There’s also a delicious recipe for his barbecued Thai flank steak and Asian noodles below. Rob has always loved cooking, but his consistent theme has always been his love for the grill.

Rob Rainford is a Canadian chef with a world renowned reputation. Born in Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica on November 30, 1966, Rob moved to Canada with his family when he was three. Rob enrolled in culinary school at George Brown College in 1994 and after completing his formal training, began his professional career.

His career has taken him through several kitchens in Toronto including Kensington Kitchen, Accolade, Crown Plaza, Senses just to name a few. He then hosted License to Grill on Food Network Canada, Discovery Home in the U.S., and the Asian Food Channel for five years, and it’s now in syndication.

Rob has spent the last two years perfecting his signature style “The Rainford Method”. Discover this method in his newest cookbook – Born to Grill. Find Rob on Twitter, Facebook and his own web site.

Rob Rainford’s Born to Grill: Over 100 Recipes From My Backyard to Yours by the much loved chef and television personality. Rainford takes grilling to a whole new level with twenty mouth-watering menus from around the world, making this the ultimate cookbook for grill masters and novices alike.

Rob’s Barbecue Wine of Choice

2010 RavensWood Zinfandel, California

Ravenswood is one of California’s zinfandel pioneers, and remains one of its best producers today. This terrific Vintners Blend Zin offers enticing aromas of spice, black raspberry, brambleberry and blueberry and raspberry. It’s terrifically vibrant with layers of textured flavor.

Smooth with polished tannins and a warm finish are perfect for the barbecue because it has the flavours to stand up to grilled meats but a juiciness that is a terrific complement to the smoky flavours. This is also a great wines for pizza and movie night and is available year-round in the Vintages Essentials Collection. Pair with: baked beef ribs basted with homemade barbecue sauce, jerk pork and Rob Rainford’s Thai flank steak.

Drink: 2012-2015.  359257  14%  XD  750 mL  $17.95  Score: 90/100.

You can find more terrific barbecue wines here.

Rob’s Thai-Style Barbecued Flank Steak

with Asian Noodle Salad Recipe

This Thai-style flank steak is my twist on a flavor profile I have come to love. Living in Toronto, a city with such diverse cultures, inspired this dish.

The Rainford Method

For the steak, in a bowl combine the soy sauce, ketjap manis, lime juice, garlic, green onions, chilies, sugar, sesame oil, fish sauce, ginger and lemongrass until well blended and sugar has dissolved. Remove half the marinade and set aside to use as a dressing. Place the remaining marinade in a resealable plastic bag.

Lightly score the beef in a crosshatch (diamond) pattern and place in the bag with the marinade. Give it a massage and place in fridge for 4 hours.

2 oz (60 g) vermicelli-style dry rice noodles
Canola or grapeseed oil
1 head Boston lettuce, washed, dried and leaves separated
1 English cucumber, sliced
1 red onion, sliced into rings
2 cups (500 mL) cherry tomatoes
1⁄3 cup (80 mL) fresh mint leaves, divided
1⁄3 cup (80 mL) fresh cilantro leaves, divided
1⁄3 cup (80 mL) fresh basil leaves, divided
1⁄3 cup (80 mL) dry roasted peanuts, chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sesame seeds

1⁄2 cup (125 mL) soy sauce
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) ketjap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) or regular soy sauce
1⁄3 cup (80 mL) fresh lime juice
3 cloves garlic, finely grated
2 green onions, sliced (white parts only; reserve green ends for salad)
2 Thai chilies, seeded and finely chopped
2 Tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar
2 Tbsp (30 mL) sesame oil
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fish sauce
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp (15 mL) finely chopped lemongrass, outer stalk removed
1 lb (500 g) flank steak or flat-iron steak
Canola oil for greasing
Kosher salt to taste

Fire up your charcoal or preheat your gas grill. Grilling temp should be around 350°F (180°C). For charcoal grilling, you’re ready to grill when a thick white ash has appeared on the coals. Place three-quarters of the hot coals on one side of the grill and place a few on the other side. Oil the grate with canola oil.

Remove the beef from marinade, discarding the used marinade. Season the beef generously with salt. Place the beef on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes per side or until well marked and rare, or longer if you prefer your meat less rare.Transfer the beef to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Slice very thinly against the grain.

Meanwhile, soak the rice noodles in warm water about 20 minutes or until tender. Drain well and drizzle lightly with oil to prevent sticking.

Combine the smaller lettuce leaves, cucumber, onion, tomatoes and half of the mint, cilantro and basil in a bowl. Add the reserved unused marinade and toss until well coated.

Mound a portion of the noodles in the center of a serving platter and top with the salad. Arrange the beef over the salad and garnish with peanuts, sesame seeds and remaining herbs.

Makes 6 to 8 servings as part of this menu; 4 if served alone

Tip: If you prefer to serve this on individual plates, line each plate with a large lettuce leaf first to add flare to the presentation.


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Sideways mega-hit wine movie & book: Author Rex Pickett on why pinot noir sales skyrocketed after the movie and merlot plummeted. How he learned about wine to write the book.

Biodynamic and organic wines: do they taste better? Healthier? We chat with winemaker Ann Sperling, Southbrook Vineyards

Price of wines: how are they set? Is expensive always better? John Skinner, Painted Rock Winery

See all wine video chats here.

Is there someone else with a fascinating wine story whom you think I should interview? Please e-mail me:



One thought on “BBQ Wines, Grill Tips and Cookbook, Thai Steak Recipe: Chef Rob Rainford

  1. Nice catch with this guy, I watched his TV show and liked his method of using the same marinade for the sauce and mixing in a plastic bag. glad to know that he likes wine, and will try his zinfandal, raven being my favorite bird. thank you for the recipe,

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