A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

It's recommended you do this with a friend...

My friend Alison received a cook book for Mother’s Day; it’s not written by any of the well known chef’s like Nigella or Delia and it has a lot of non-typical recipes. One of them involved cooking sirloin of beef wrapped in a dishcloth in a fire pit. WTF? How is this supposed to work? Although as soon as she showed me the recipe, the same thing popped into my head that she had been thinking… we have a fire pit, and both Alison and our husband’s are big beef eaters, so we decided to give it a try.

Saturday night I picked Ali and Dave up (with a multitude of supplies and alcohol). Ali informed me that the recipe called for a lot of salt (both table and rock) which had me concerned as I don’t normally use very much salt at all, often never, even if a recipe calls for it. I told her not to worry about it as I had a few boxes of both on hand. I had no idea that we would need nearly one whole box of table salt and 1 ½ boxes of rock salt. But I’m digressing here… We got back to my house, cracked a few beers and set to following the recipe. I captured it in photos to share with you because I think you have to see it to believe it (sorry in advance to all my vegetarian readers).

The initial prep:
(The limes weren’t part of the recipe they were just garnish for the beer. The beef was the best you could buy, trust me on this, it was not cheap but we went splits.)

We had to use a lot of table salt to boil the dishcloth in for ten minutes. I believe this was key to the dishcloth not catching fire later. We then had to wait for the dishcloth to cool before completely coating it in table salt.

I could feel my arteries hardening just watching all that salt being poured…

We then covered the salt in plenty of roughly chopped garlic and a ton of fresh picked rosemary and thyme before rubbing the beef with pepper:

This is one big hunk of meat... (I think it was over a kilo):

It was time to cover the beef completely before wrapping it and tying it with string that had also been boiled in very salty water. (We also added a few safety pins just in case the rope burned – which some of it did!)

Then we just had to place it in the embers and let it cook for 15 minutes each side (we left it in for 20 minutes each side just to be on the safe side):

The discloth was mostly charred, but the beef was safe:

The result was absolutely amazing!
It was so tender and juicy, infused with the flavours of the herbs and garlic. Not one bit salty. It was cooked perfectly, medium rare in the middle, perfect for those who liked it that way, and the outer edges were medium well.

I missed the unwrapping of it as I was busy getting the grilled vegetables sorted, however it was easy to see (and taste) that it wasn’t infused with salt, as most of it was brushed off after it was unwrapped. Again, we believe that the truckload of salt is vital to the dishtowel not burning.

I don’t eat a lot of red meat so this was definitely a treat. Not only was the meat scrumptious, we had a fantastic time preparing it, and then eating it with grilled veg and fresh bread washed down with wine;  later on, after eating by the fire, we chilled out in the hot tub.

Not bad for a Saturday night eh?
It might not be something you want do on a regular basis due to the cost, (and maybe the salt and beef overload) but we did agree that we will have to do it again before the summer is over.


Anonymous said...

Sounds and looks AMAZING. Beef for me is a treat as well. I shall give this a go. We have a (municipality approved) "fire pit/chimineya(sp)" that we get ambers in. Thanks.

dawn mclaughlin said...

I'll have to run this by Steve!!

Fern Wimpley said...

Sounds phenomenal and I'm not even a fan of beef or salt! xoxox

Morena said...

Looks amazing!

So Jody... I know you've been reading me for a while. The first time you commented I went to your profile to see who you were and saw that you had a blog too. The link on your blogger profile goes to a blog that doesn't have any posts on it so I thought you'd started one and just never bothered with it. Anyway, I just today found you through my browsing through my stats and WOW! You have a blog with posts on it. Anyway, I'll now be reading, and you should really change the link on your profile. Cheers :)

Jody said...

Crystal! Nice to see you still drop in girl - I was wondering where you've been :)

Dawn, Steve would love it and it's fun to do!

Stacy, I'm just like you so trust me on this one ;)

Morena - Welcome! and thanks, I've adjusted my dashboard so all should be good. x