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Tap Your Inner Ron Swanson with This Epic Memorial Day Meat Recipe

This Memorial Day, more than likely you’ll be doing what most Americans do – grilling the heck out of some meat and drinking beer while enjoying the sunshine. While the day is intended as a memorial for our country’s fallen soldiers, it has also become the unofficial start to summer, with most people having off and choosing to spend that time outdoors with friends and family.

What you cook, though, matters. You could do burgers and dogs, which are fine for masses of people, but what if your gathering is smaller, more intimate, and much more meat-driven?

Enter what we’re calling the Ron Swanson, which was created by chef de cuisine Dirk Tolsma of San Francisco’s EPIC Steak, one of the premiere meat-a-rific restaurants in the country. Featuring not one, not two, but three different types of meat (four if you include the bacon lardons in the potato salad), this dish is sure to bring a tear to any carnivore’s eye.

In terms of cooking the meats involved (you’ll realize there are no instructions for those), that is entirely up to you.

Us? We’re grilling everything.

EPIC Steak

Memorial Day Meat Special with Chipotle Marinade and Potato Salad 


  • 1 beef rib
  • 6 oz flat iron steak, marinated in chipotle (see below)
  • 1 4-oz lamb sausage
  • .25 c potato salad (see below)
  • 4 onion rings, smoked and breaded in buttermilk and flour


  1. Layer some potato salad on plate.
  2. Top with meats, followed by onion rings.
  3. Feast like the manliest man to ever man.
  4. Optional: serve with a glass of Scotch.

Chipotle Marinade     


  • 1 can chipotle in sauce
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • .5 tsp cinnamon
  • .5 tsp fennel seed
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • .25 c honey
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • .25 c orange juice


  1. Toast the seeds and spices and grind together into a fine powder.
  2. Puree the chipotle, garlic, honey, and juices together in a blender.
  3. Mix in the spices and pour over meat.
  4. Allow to sit for 24 hours before using.

Ash Roasted Potato Salad

This is a traditional German potato salad, but with EPIC’s personal touch in different flavor profiles using smoked chipotle vinegar and ash roasting the potatoes to get an extra hit of smoke into the salad. 


  • 3 c little farm red fin potatoes or other medium red skinned potato, scrubbed clean
  • 2 c bacon lardons
  • .25 c red wine-chipotle vinegar
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 onion, small diced
  • 1 bunch Parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Take the red skinned potatoes, scrub clean and allow to fully dry before roasting.
  2. Start a grill using mesquite or wood; once it has cooked down into smaller pieces of mesquite with some in the bottom, place the potatoes down directly into the medium coals (don’t place in the middle where the hottest points are or your potatoes will explode), and allow the potatoes to cook in the ash for about 45 minutes or until completely soft with pricked with a skewer. Pull the potatoes out of the ash and allow to cool slightly.
  3. While you wait for the potatoes to cool, start cooking your bacon lardons in a medium pan rendering out the fat, when the bacon is half cooked place the onion in the pan and allow it to cook with the bacon.
  4. When they have finished cooking, place the mustard, vinegar, and honey into the pot while stirring to ensure they are mixed together.
  5. Now take the potatoes and using a kitchen towel dust off any leftover ash. How much sticks to the potato will depend on how wet they are.
  6. If you need to peel the skin off to remove the ash, go ahead.
  7. Once cleaned, break the potatoes with your hands into quarter size pieces and pour the bacon-vinaigrette you’ve made over them with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Adjust and finish with some chopped parsley.
Sam Slaughter
Sam Slaughter was the Food and Drink Editor for The Manual. Born and raised in New Jersey, he’s called the South home for…
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