BBQ16/17: Beef Featherblade, smoked onions with thyme butter and smoked potatoes.
I have been trying to cook on my Weber Smokey Mountain a bit more but wanted to do something different to Pulled Pork, Ribs and Brisket so I had a look through my cookbooks and spotted Beef Featherblade mentioned in both the Pitt Cue and Neil Rankin cookbooks.
I haven’t cooked with Featherblade before but Neil says it’s as good as brisket but easier to cook. Pitt Cue describe the cut as coming from the shoulder of the beast and the cut which is used for flat iron steaks.
I ordered a 2kg Featherblade from Turner and George for £20 which looked glorious!
The recipe says some cuts might arrive with a thick layer of hard fat on top and to cut it off/back to 5mm in thickness. Mine arrived without this and was good to go without any trimming.
I made the beef rub from the Pitt Cue book (Sea salt, soft light brown sugar, English mustard powder, hot smoked paprika and ground black pepper). I put the rub in my shaker and applied it all over the Beef.
I chucked a couple of bags of heat beads in the smoker and lit the centre with my Looftlighter. Last time I used this I let my BBQ Guru take over and blow a breeze onto the lit coals but this time it was coming up with a U09 error. No idea what it meant but the fan wasn’t kicking in 🙁
It didn’t take too long for the smoker to get up to 225F so I put the meat in aiming to hit 87C internal around 10-12 hours later. I started off with a couple of oak chunks and added another pair after 1 hour then another hour.
I have been trying to cook more stuff when the smoker is on to make use of the spare space and the load of fuel which isn’t cheap these days! This time I went for smoked onions with thyme butter from Rich Harris’s book (smoke for around 3 hours) and I put some big potatoes in also. Last time I did these they were still a bit firm after 4 hours so this time I microwaved them for 10m first and then put them in for 3 hours with the onions and they were a lot better!
I was using the iGrill2 again to keep track of internal temps on the meat, after about 8 hours it looked like it was going to be ready sooner than the 10-12 hours predicted. The heat beads had burnt hot though and average temperature was closer to 250F than 225F which had obviously reduced the cook time.
After 9 hours the meat hit an internal temperature of 87C so I took it off the smoker and wrapped it loosely in tin foil to rest for 45m (the book says 20m but because it was ready early my onions and potatoes weren’t ready so I left it to rest longer). I wrapped the foil loosely as the rub was quite soft so I didn’t want it to stick to the foil and peel off. The meat was looking great though, cracking bark!
Once the onions and potatoes were ready I sliced the meat, aiming for slices around 5mm slices. It looked great as I sliced it, I was so happy with it! (I was eating a fair bit as I went along! The rub was very nice!)
I made the thyme butter by mixing thyme leaves with sea salt in a pestle and mortar before adding room temperature unsalted butter. I sliced the onions in half length ways and peeled the outer skin off before dabbing some of the thyme butter on.
The potatoes were a lot better this time, I sliced them open and added browned butter and sour cream leftover from the Hasselback potatoes on the previous cook.
The meat tasted so good I had to add an extra slice!
I wouldn’t change anything with this cook. The beef was really easy to prepare and cook but tasted great. It actually tasted better the next day after being left to rest. It was nice cold but 1m30 in the microwave didn’t do it any harm and it was still very soft.
The onions were brilliant, I will do those every time the smoker was on.
The potatoes worked well after getting 10m in the microwave to start.