Easy to eat more than you need...

Cave Skills: Your Go To Stomach Buster

Disclosure: Man Makes Fire is reader-supported. When you buy gear using retail links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission that helps pay for our work. Learn more.
Easy to eat more than you need...

Every man needs to be able to cook something solid and manly — a go-to meal or slab of meat that’s more interesting than spaghetti but still easy enough that you can find the ingredients at most any grocery store.

I can follow a recipe, and pretty much get through it, but what I’m talking about is something you can remember in your head and whip it out at the appropriate occasion. I can make enchiladas at a moment’s notice, and if you slather anything with enough melted and crispy cheese, people will eat it. But I don’t consider it a go to stomach buster.

So what’s a stomach buster? Anything that is a little different, is served up in copious quantities, and is so good that pretty much everyone wants to eat more than they need.

I had a buddy in college whose go to man meal was barbecue grilled fajitas. He would slice up some green, red, and orange peppers, onions, as well as chicken and beef in 3-to-4-inch chunks and throw it into gallon size Zip-loc plastic bags with some secret marinade. Was the marinade secret or something he bought out of a jar? I have no idea. But after grilling it over charcoal and slapping it inside a tortilla with a little sour cream and fresh guacamole, along with a cold beer pulled from a cooler full of ice . . . it didn’t matter. It was freaking awesome.

Plus, chicks really dug his barbecue grilled fajitas.

(And the excuse to drink margaritas.)

I know another guy whose specialty is slow smoking some serious meats over 24 hours. It takes a heckuva lot of effort, including waking up every two hours to do some mysterious basting or charcoal stoking or apple-wood burning adjustments. But the results? Absolutely astounding. The guy is a smoking genius, clearly at a level far above most men. He’s in high demand around the holidays, as you might guess, and along with that comes some real pressure.

Another guy I know liked to hunt pheasant and quail. He would save most of the breasts over the course of the season, breaking them out during his annual Super Bowl party. The go to meal? Stuffed Jalapeños wrapped with pounded-thin pheasant and quail breast wrapped in bacon.

Focus on the Protein

Most guys, though, can make a big leap forward by just figuring out one way to cook a slab of meat. They don’t even have to come up with the side dishes.

For me, it’s a London broil or a flank steak — a big slab of beef that will be marinated over night, ideally, then grilled on the barbecue. Served? Sliced up alongside some dipping sauce.

It’s crazy easy, and the large slab of meat is usually cost-effective, can feed quite a few people, and when you find a good flank steak, it’s something less ordinary. The dipping sauce is just the marinade brought to a hearty boil just before the slab comes off the grill.

The thing is, most everyone responds to a dipping sauce.

Here’s the basics for the flank steak marinade, which you’ll just unceremoniously dump into a gallon-size plastic zip bag:

In the marinade in the bag ready for the fridge.
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • less than a 1/3 cup of honey (I usually just grab the plastic bear-shaped honey container and give it a man squeeze)
  • a few splashes of red wine vinegar, sometimes apple cider vinegar, about 2 tablespoons — something you can eye-ball when it pools up in the olive oil
  • several cloves of garlic, chopped or minced or squished with a garlic press
  • lots of pepper (and fresh ground is always more satisfying)

And now the flank steak:

  • lightly score it (with a knife) across the grain of the meat in thin slits about a half-inch apart (both sides)
  • place the meat in the bag
  • seal the bag
  • place in the refrigerator over night, turning it and sloshing the marinade around every now and then
  • pull it out 45 minutes or so before you plan to cook it (so the meat isn’t so cold going right onto the grill with a sludgy marinade)
  • toss it on a hot grill: if you’ve got a thinner cut of flank steak, you won’t have to cook it long, but a thicker, denser London broil type of cut can benefit from searing both sides over high heat for a couple minutes before turing the grill down and cooking it more slowly

When you pull it off, let it rest on a cutting board for a few minutes then cut it into thin slices and serve.

Disclosure: Reviews and Gear Links:

In addition to Man Makes Fire buying gear for reviews and guides, gear manufacturers occasionally ship review units to Man Makes Fire. If we like it, we spend some quality time with the gear and review it, noting if it was provided to Man Makes Fire. After the review, we return it, give it away, or work on longer-term review follow-ups when applicable to reader interest.

We do not accept any gear in exchange for coverage. If we do not truly appreciate the gear, we don't write about it at all -- bad gear will fade into obscurity on its own if everyone ignores it. In addition, we focus on gear from reputable companies, reputable brands, and reputable retailers that we trust.

The gear links on Man Makes Fire are focused on what we are willing to recommend to our own family and friends. Many of our specific gear links connect to industry-standard affiliate advertising programs. When you buy something using the retail links in our guides and reviews, we may earn a small affiliate commission that helps pay for our work.

Basically, we deliver the advice and insight you need, you get the gear you want, and then everyone wins. Pretty straightforward.

Complete Site Details & Disclosures Here