BBQ31/17: Dirty Roasted Steak:
A couple of months ago I saw an episode of “Hidden Restaurants” with Michel Roux Jr where he visited @Pyromaniac_Chef at Gloucester Studio to see how she cooks a rib of beef wrapped in a damp tea towel directly on the coals. I meant to look up the recipe to see if I could recreate it but hadn’t made any progress until I read Richard Turner’s new book “Prime” which has a similar recipe for “Dirty Roasted Steak”.
The recipe calls for 1kg of eye barrel of the rib-eye, deckle removed which didn’t appear to be a regular cut I could source from the usual places so I made a few enquiries and Farmison said they could supply it for £44.93 which is a fair whack of cash but I felt it was worth it for what would hopefully be a special cook and something a bit different!
The meat arrived and it looked glorious:
I ordered a mincer from Weschenfelder the other week and added a roll of Muslin to that order. I rolled out the amount I wanted, cut it to size then ran it under the tap and wrung it out before adding 2 packs (500g) of Maldon salt which I spread out evenly. You are meant to add grated fresh horseradish to the mix but I didn’t have any so it was just salt:
I then placed the meat on at one end and started rolling the muslin trying to keep it as tight as possible. I tied each end up then added some butchers twine along the meat. I forgot my Scott Rea butchers knot method so freestyled it! I think one of them was correct, the others not so much!
I lit a chimney full of Green Olive Lumpwood and once it was glowing white I poured it in the BBQ and placed the meat on top. I put the iGrill probe into the meat and it needed a bit of force to get through the muslin. The recipe said to cook it for 9 minutes then flip it over and cook for another 9 minutes before resting for at least 10 minutes.
I had put the lid on the kettle to contain some of the smoke (which was a fair amount due to the muslin burning!) but the lid temperature was only hovering around 200c so I added more charcoal to the mix but it was still struggling to get up to a higher temperature so I took the lid off the BBQ and hid inside in case the neighbours came out due to the smoke! The internal temperature of the meat was slowly rising but it took a good 40 minutes to hit 55c at which point I took the meat off to rest.
The muslin had taken a good beating from being on the charcoal and large parts of it fell off as I picked it up. The remains of the muslin were easy enough to remove and a lot of the salt flaked off easily too. The meat had a dark, black crust in places which was were some of my favourite bits as I picked meat off to taste!
I sliced the meat open hoping to see it pink, I knew it was going to be at the very low end of medium rare leaning into rare as I had pulled it off at 55c and it was quite rare in the centre but it’s not a problem in our house so I started slicing the meat:
The Yorkshire puddings were made with a very old Delia Smith recipe and the Roast Potatoes were done again using Kenji’s recipe. The Roast Potatoes are so good that I cook double each time we cook these now!
The meat was fantastic. Very tender with a strong beefy taste and the smoky salt crust was amazing. Very addictive!
This was a new cooking method for me, I have cooked directly on the coals before but never wrapped in cloth so I didn’t really know what to expect and I did learn a lot which I would change/improve on the next cook.
Things to change for next time:
- Needs more charcoal to get more heat and speed up the cook: Possibly 2x lit chimneys and/or maybe some unlit charcoal underneath.
- Wrap the meat with another double layer of muslin to protect the meat more. This was a double layer but it’s thin so double it up again next time.
- The string burnt through and snapped pretty quickly, not sure there is much you can do to avoid this but I might tie it up more next time.
- Get some horseradish root!
- Try some of the other cuts Richard lists in the recipe.