BBQ20/17: Dry Rubbed Sirloin of Beef with Burnt Onions
This is another great recipe from Rich Harris’s book “Fire and Smoke” and is under the “Crowd-Pleasers” section which seems spot on to me!
I haven’t cooked a lot of big meat joints on the BBQ but we do have a lot of roast dinners at the weekend so I thought it’s time to start moving these weekend cooks out to the BBQ. Roast beef is one of my favourites and when I saw this recipe I couldn’t resist!
The recipe calls for 2kg boneless sirloin joint. The closest I could get was 1.5kg from Turner and George. It was £49.50 for 1.5kg or £99 for 3kg so I felt it was safer to go with the smaller joint first time round at that price! When the meat arrived I took it out the packaging and could smell it straight away, it had the smell of a really well aged piece of meat and it looked glorious too!
I made the rub: Black pepper, fine sea salt, hot smoked paprika, dark brown soft sugar, ground allspice and rosemary (recipe calls for dried but I didn’t have any so I used fresh) – this was all mixed together in a bowl then put the beef in a roasting dish and massaged the rub all over the beef:
The recipe says it will cook for 2 to 2.5 hours so I stacked a load of Oxford Charcoal Oak Charcoal one one side of the BBQ and poured a lit chimney of the same fuel onto the unlit fuel minion style to try and run a long cook without adding more fuel mid cook. I put the Weber iGrill2 probe into the middle of the beef, put it in the BBQ to cook indirectly and set the iGrill to alarm at 50c. I didn’t add any smoking wood to this cook.
The BBQ ran a lot hotter than usual and the meat hit 50c after 90 minutes which knocked my timings out for the side dishes a bit! I took the beef out and wrapped it in foil whilst I sorted the sides.
Sides for this meal were Hasselback potatoes, red cabbage and the burnt onions from the beef recipe. The potatoes were easy enough, just sliced as before and put in the BBQ (indirect) for 40m. The cabbage was sliced into wedges as before and cooked for a couple of minutes direct on each side before moving to indirect heat.
For the burnt onions I put a garlic bulb, red onions, white onions, spring onions and shallots over direct heat. The spring onions were very charred after 10 minutes but I managed to rescue about half of them! I would keep a better eye on those next time and maybe move them to indirect heat to soften half way through. The rest of the onions were great but were very hot (this should have been obvious to me!) when pulling the onion leaves apart. I chopped the spring onions and squeezed the garlic into a bowl before adding thyme, olive oil, sherry vinegar, grain mustard, sugar and juice from the beef then added the onions to the mix.
It was time to slice the beef and it was a relief to see it nice and pink but also juicy:
The beef looks a bit dry in this shot, not sure why but it’s a common problem when taking photos of beef!
I really enjoyed this meal. The beef was some of the best quality beef I have eaten and the recipe really made the most of it. The beef tasted great but was so soft and juicy, I had sliced it nice and thin with a very sharp knife (my Misen knife that hasn’t been used much so is still razor sharp!) – I will definitely cook this again, it was so good!
I think the beef tasted even better cold in sandwiches with horseradish and rocket the next day!
A few notes for next time, it cooked a lot quicker than expected. The T&G website suggests 1.5hrs is about right for 1.5kg.
The cabbage cooked better this time using the notes from previous cooks: Quick direct cook then move to indirect to avoid burning.
The spring onions and the garlic took a beat of a beating, be more careful with both next time – char the spring onions then move to indirect to soften. Cook the garlic for a shorter time.
Cold smoked butter over the hasselback potatoes was a nice touch.