Thursday, May 14, 2009

slow-cooked bistro steak with salty sage puree and lightly dressed mesclun salad

this was really an experiment in slow-cooking. the goal was to see how uniformly cooked and tender a lacy piece of meat could be made when essentially smoked under very indirect heat. a 0.6-lb, approximately 2.5-in consistent diameter and 8-in long hanger steak was blotted dry and rubbed with a little salt and pepper. dumped a few pounds of red hot coals into the fire box of the newly restored silver smoker, and placed the meat on the rack closest to the firebox in the main drum of the smoker. 1.5-hrs later (under indirect heat somewhere around 200-250 degrees), the half-pound steak had normalized at the target temperature, approximately 125-degrees, and was removed from the heat, sliced-up, and plated.

simmered 1.5T. of butter and a splash of sherry with 1 chopped rib of celery and 5 chopped sage leaves, then ground and pushed through a sieve, salted and whisked in a little extra virgin olive oil.

the mesclun was dressed with a little seasoned rice vinegar, olive oil, a pinch of mustard, and some salt and pepper.

[notes: not sure if it was the charcoal, the technique or the cut of meat, but this meat had a little bit of a gamy flavor that wasn't entirely unpleasant. the order of apple wood smoking chips should be coming in the next few days, that should be interesting, sorry neighbors. since the point of the experiment was to make a tender throughout piece of meat from a $5 slab of steak, this was a success, however, a little crust on the outside wouldn't have been bad. the idea was that it would be harder for the low temperatures to penetrate a seared and dry layer of crust, if high heat was applied first. maybe backing off about 15-degrees before the target temperature and dropping the meat onto a rack in the firebox for a few seconds would be worth a shot next time. also, the sauce worked very well with the meat, however, if it were emulsified into an egg in a bain-marie type setup with a little more acid to start, that could have been nice. furthermore, taking a few minutes to get a decent photo would have been nice as well. that is all.]

3 comments:

Wiz said...

Probably your best post yet, and really interesting. I love the idea, and would have liked to try the meal.

crabfisher said...

holy shit, partner. We're going to have to have a cook-off sometime. Next time you're in town.

Jennifer said...

So glad I stumbled upon your blog -- the photos are fabulous! I'll be checking back.