One of the dilemas I face as an aspiring gourmound and provider of fine cooked meats to the dinner table, is how to manage a smoked steak or roast mid week. Sure, you can do a long fired cook on the weekend or if you really push it you can manage it on those long summer evenings. But this time of year, there just isn’t time. I’ve been exploring the idea of a smoked beef steak or mini roast, which is perfectly medium rare, yet has the smokey goodness we have come to know and crave. This is a reverse smoking process that seems to do the trick.
- 300g chunks of beef – these were off cuts from a generic beef roast pack.
- Chilli olive oil
- Dried oregano and basil
- The meat was cut into roughly even 300g ish mini-roast portions. I gave the meat a light rub with a salt and pepper mix, just to get the flavour started. This was then placed in the smoker.
- The BBQ was fired with a combination of apple and red gum for a nice smokey flavour. One point of difference is that I removed the water bowl that normally sits in the smoker and didn’t really monitor the temperature of the smoker. I was only interested in getting smoke and colour onto the meat.
- The chunks were lightly smoked for about an hour all up and were periodically rotated to allow the crust to form on all sides. With the direct heat from the coals this does not take long. They were prodded occasionally to make sure they weren’t getting too well cooked. I did not want to get past medium rare
- When removed from the smoker these were allowed to cool in the fridge and then vacuum packed for storage.
- A few days later, they were placed in the Sous Vide at 56°C for about 2 hours. This cooked them through to medium rare and further tenderised the meat.
- While they were cooking I diced the potatoes, carrot, beetroot and pumpkin, coated with chilli infused olive oil and dusted with oregano and basil. These were then roasted until they were looking crispy.
- To serve, the meat was removed from the sous vide and seared with a torch – this improved the outer crust. The meat was then sliced into thick cuts and served on a bed of roasted vegetables.
- I was pleased with the way the mini roasts turned out. Very tender, thanks to the sous vide, yet had that smoked flavour you would not normally get with a steak. This is one I’ll do again next time I have a larger piece of beef to cut up. They should be able to be frozen after the smoking stage for later use. Quite a few cooking steps, but well worth it.