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Amazing grazing on the ‘range’

September 29, 2015 - 1:30am

Heads up: It’s time to get your tickets for the 20th Annual “Mealani’s Taste of the Hawaiian Range” slated Oct. 9 at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. This extremely popular event, to be held from 6 to 8 p.m., features a stellar lineup of celebrity chefs from Oahu, Maui and the Big Island plus local food producers, creating more than 60 culinary stations. Attendees can do some serious free-range grazing of pasture-raised beef, lamb, goat, mutton and pork, from tongue to tail. Sourced from local, humanely-raised animals that are free of antibiotics or hormones, cuts include the familiar, such as sirloin and ribs, plus tripe and “rocky mountain oysters.” Never tried one? Now is your chance.

This year, each attending family will receive a copy of the 20th Anniversary Cookbooklet with recipes utilizing “Range” meats. Also new this year is a digital scavenger hunt, where smart phone users can answer questions and compete for prizes like restaurant gift certificates and local food products. In addition, QR codes at each table will offer online discounts, coupons and educational links.

Speaking of education, this year’s event is honored to have two founders of Hawaii Regional Cuisine, chefs Roy Yamaguchi and Peter Merriman, to lead educational presentations and cooking demonstrations featuring local pasture-raised beef. These events, open to the public, will be held at 1:30 and 3 p.m., prior to the gala taste.

Tickets for the main event are $45 presale and $60 at the door. The 1:30 p.m. presentation is free, and the 3 p.m. cooking demo is $10. Get tickets at Kuhio Grille in Hilo, JJ’s Country Market in Honakaa, Kamuela Liquors and Parker Ranch Store in Waimea, Kona Wine Market in Kailua-Kona, and Kohala Essence Shop at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Tickets can also be purchased online at For general event information, call 969-8209.

Several of this year’s participating chefs have graciously provided recipes to tantalize your taste buds.

Merriman’s Kahua Ranch lamb jook

According to Chef Neil Murphy of Merriman’s, this dish is very popular at their restaurant on Maui, and is said to sustain you through hours of surfing. Brought to Hawaii by immigrant Chinese plantation workers, a little bit of Jook could feed many people. Ground lamb can be substituted for the loin.

1 lb. pasture-raised lamb loin, cleaned and sliced thin (they use Kahua Ranch lamb)

4 teaspoons soy sauce

4 teaspoons sherry

3 teaspoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons minced or grated ginger

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl; add thin-sliced lamb and marinate in refrigerator.

3/4 cup white rice, Japanese or Jasmine

4 cups water

4 1/2 cups reduced lamb stock, or reconstituted chicken bouillon cubes

1 tablespoon salt

In a medium pot, combine rice, water, stock and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce to simmer, cover pot with a lid 3/4 of the way. Cook 50 to 60 minutes. Stir in lamb; cook for two minutes. Serve in a large bowl, garnished with a mix of mung bean sprouts, cilantro, chopped green onions, thin-sliced Maui onions, and a tablespoon of sambal oil (a 3:1 ratio of sambal to canola oil, blended).

Miso marinated beef skirt steak with gingered rice and pickled peach

This recipe by Chef Scott Hiraishi of The Feeding Leaf, requires some advance preparation and makes 10 servings.


5 pounds grass-fed skirt steak

1 cup miso

1/4 cup mirin

1/4 cup sugar

1 tablespoon diced ginger

Combine ingredients in bowl; marinate beef overnight. When ready to cook, grill the beef to medium rare.

Gingered rice:

One or two fingers fresh ginger, peeled

1 cup cooked edamame

3 cups hot cooked rice (Hinode/Calrose white rice, medium grain)

In food processor, blend ginger and edamame until a green paste forms. Fold mixture into rice.

Pickled peach:

1 cup apple cider vinegar

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

2 pieces LiHing Mui

2 or 3 fresh peaches

Combine first four ingredients in a large jar; add peaches and soak for about two weeks.

To assemble:

Divide rice into 10 portions. Top each portion with slices of skirt steak, then top each with a slice of pickled peach.

Guava barbeque pork ribs

This recipe by Executive Chef Ronnie Nasuti of Tiki’s Grill & Bar on Oahu will make 2 to 4 servings.

2 1/2 gallons water

1 finger fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

1 rack pork ribs (9 to 12 bones)

1 cup Rib Rub (recipe follows)

3 cups Guava BBQ Sauce (recipe follows)

2 tablespoons white sesame seeds (optional)

1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions (optional)

Fill a large pot with the water; add the ginger and place pork ribs into pot. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for one hour. Check ribs for tenderness: if a bone will easily slip out of the meat, remove from pot. If not, simmer and check every 15 minutes until bone slips easily. After removing ribs from pot, and while still hot, coat both sides with the Rib Rub, then coat evenly with Guava BBQ Sauce. Reserve some of the BBQ sauce. Refrigerate ribs for one hour, until completely cold through center. Slice ribs into individual pieces; reheat on a grill, basting with remaining sauce. Garnish with sesame seeds and green onions if desired.

Rib rub:

1 cup chili powder

1/3 cup paprika

1/3 cup Chinese five spice powder

3 tablespoons each: granulated garlic, ginger powder, onion powder

2 teaspoons cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Makes about 2 1/4 cups.

Guava BBQ Sauce:

1/4 cup diced red onion

1 strip bacon, diced

1 1/2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1-1/2 teaspoons hickory liquid smoke

1 teaspoon Tabasco

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 cup honey

2 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard

1 1/4 cups ketchup

3/4 cup guava jelly

In a six-quart pot, saute’ onions and bacon; deglaze with red wine vinegar. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and puree with a hand blender. Chill until ready to use.

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