This time last year the New York Times wrote an article about cooking ‘directly on charcoal.’ ‘Dirty’ cooking, as it is called, is used all the time out in the States, but is now starting to gain speed this side of the water.
Anything from thick, juicy steaks to corn – still in it’s cob – can just be thrown directly onto red hot charcoals. You’d be forgiven for envisioning a filthy mess of blackened, burnt food – all aflame – but you couldn’t be more wrong. The reality is beautifully cooked food with a great char, a wonderful taste of fire and it provides a couple of wow moments for friends.
Since we were cooking a joint of meat rather than a couple of steaks, I seared the meat on the coals ‘dirty-style’ before roasting it. The results were incredible.
The smell that wafted through the house was simply amazing! I will definitely be doing more of this over the summer.
a ‘dirty’ twist to roast beef:
- 700g beef roasting joint
For the baste:
- 1 fresh chilli
- 1 garlic clove
- handful of fresh parsley
- handful of fresh chives
- handful of fresh rosemary
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
I was planning to do an indirect cook, banking the coals to one side, but first wanted a sear – direct on the charcoal – so I decided to put the divider into the big joe. I would only need a half load of charcoal yet could still get a nice burn for the sear.
The meat was patted down with kitchen towelling.
I threw the ingredients for the baste into the nutribullet and whizzed it into a fine paste.
Once the charcoals were lit and burning nicely, I nestled my beef amongst them.
Turning so that every side was browned.
Brush off any bits of charcoal stuck to the meat.
The beef came off the Joe and was basted all over.
Back on the Joe on the opposite side to the coals. The grill was placed on top of the divide and conquer setting, with the bottom vent 1/4 open and daisy wheel half closed. Temperature settling around 185C.
Half way through the cook. Temperature read 34.7C.
When the beef read 54C it came off the Joe to be rested for at least 10 mins – we wanted it medium rare..
We sliced up some fresh white bread, grabbed a handful of salad leaves and prepared our meals.