Saturday, October 15, 2011

Smoked sirloin, yorkshire pudding, and baked brie

Tonight, my wife and i celebrated our 3 month wedding anniversary. We first went to my best friends wedding reception and enjoyed good company and great treats. My neighbor, who is a very talented 80 year old piano player, was in charge of all the piano music for the wedding. After the reception, the whole family was hungry. So i decided to cook one of my specialties.

This is by far one of my FAVORITE dinners to eat. My grandparents were born in England and every Sunday, we were flaunted with rib roast, pudding, hot apple pies served with extra sharp cheddar.

Well, without any further adue, i present to you a nice, juicy smoked top sirloin served with homemade Yorkshire pudding topped with caramelized carrot and onion gravy. For desert.... baked Brie

First things first. The cut of meat. Now, for me, i cant always afford rib roasts because i am a part time worker and a full time mechanical engineering student. SOO money is and can be scarce at times. I have found that there are 4 cuts of meat that make a great roast dinner:

  • Eye of Round
  • Sirloin Tip
  • Rump
  • Top sirloin
My favorite two are the Top sirloin and the Eye of Round.  They make a very excellent roast indeed. To prepare the said roasts, do the following:

rinse and dry the roast so that it will brown better. Using a basting brush, spread a thin coat of olive oil around the roast. Sprinkle liberally, and i mean liberally  with Kosher salt. Then season to your taste with fresh ground black pepper, garlic and onion powder or granules. Fresh or dried thyme, rosemary and a we bit of sage. Easy on the sage though, you dont want this tasting like stuffing! haha.

Once seasoned, i usually keep wrapped in tin foil for 2 days in teh fridge to marinate in the flavors. but this time, i had no time. As the meat lay resting and somewhat marinating, i prepared the fire. I roasted this roast indirectly(coals to one side of grill) using Royal Oak 100% hardwood lump made from Hickory, Maple, Oak and other hardwoods. I poured about 1 chimney full of unlit onto one side of my Weber Grill. I then lit roughly half a chimney full of lump and waited 20 minutes until it was burning nice and hot. For roasts such as this one, i hardly ever add the extra wood chunk to the unlit as the below picture displays. Lump, gives the perfect amount of smoke for beef. For pork, i add extra wood.

Once the lump is nice and hot, i pour it over the unlit and leave the lid off for about 3 minutes. This allows the unlit lump to get pre-heated and burn a lot cleaner and more efficient. After the first 3 minutes, i put the lid on and bring the grill/smoker up to temp. To me, this means i just let it heat up for 20 minutes or so. For beef roast, i do not monitor the temp of my pit. Mainly, because i am not slow cooking it. i am simply just roasting it. Now if i were to use wood chunks for more smoke, i would have to ensure that my pit does not go over 250*F. But im only allowing the natural smoke from teh lump flavor the meat. Half a lit chimney is roughly a 350*F fire. See, the beautiful thing about lump, its pure 100% wood in carbon form. This means it burns just like hardwood because it is hardwood AND it still has some, roughly 15%, of its un-carbonized life left. That 15% allows for the perfect amount of smoke for beef, IF you dont have to much lit poured onto a big pile of unlit lump. I have done that. no fun!. haha

Once the kettle cooker has heated up for 20 minutes, i went ahead and put the meat on the cooking grate opposite of the fire. Underneath is a drip pan which will catch the drippings. This is option and half the time i do not use one. However, it is fun to deglaze the drip pan with red wine or water and add cream of mushroom soup and milk to make a nice gravy. I allow the meat to cook and i turn it when i notice the meat getting a nice dark color on it. i cook until the eternal temp reaches 130*F.

I pull the meat off of the grill and wrapp in foil. I let rest for 1 HOUR. That is the most important step. This allows the juices to flow back into the meat so when you cut into it, they dont go all over and leave you with a dry roast. When the hour is up, just drain the left over juices.

Ok, next is the pudding. You will need two muffin tins. this makes roughly 16 to 20 individual puddings. So, as the roast rests, this is a prime time to make the puddings. Take the following and using a whire whisk, whisk them all together until smooth:

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup all purpose flour(dont use cake flour or bread flour)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • pre-heated oven to 400*
Grease the muffin tins and fill half way full with the mixture. bake 15 to 20 minutes until nice and golden brown.They should pop up like the pic below. Serve hot, or turn oven off and let them stay warm until ready.

Ok, now that you have this amazing roast and pudding, you gotta have two more ingredients to make it complete... GRAVY and HORSERADISH sauce. For the gravy, I caramelized one medium onion and 6 baby carrots with some butter.  I then  used two packages of McCormick gravy mix. I know, i know. i was in a time crunch and thats all i could find. BUT i made it better by adding a can of cream of chicken soup, a cup of milk and 2 cups water. Turns out, it was not salty enough so i added a tablespoon of kosher salt. You know, for using packaged gravy mix, it turned out pretty dang good!

For the horseradish sauce, just add prepared horseradish that you buy at the store, not the creamy kind the grated kind, to sour-cream and then add some dried parsley. mm mm good!

Ok, so now i have my roast and pudding all ready. Here are the money shots.

Well, now its time for the good stuff. The baked brie. Buy your self some good quality brie cheese and a package of puff pastry. I used peperdge farm brand. its good stuff. Thaw out one puff pastry and layer it with any flavor of jam. I used raspberry. i then topped the jam with chopped hazelnuts. i placed the Brie smack in the center and folded the pastry over and sealed it tightly. I topped with pecan halves  and i then brushed with butter and backed at 400 till golden brown. Let it cool for 10 or so minutes. Served on slices of bagete bread.

So, there is my finished dinner in all of its glory. It was pretty dang good. i did cook some frozen vegetables with it to offset all the meat and sugar. haha. I hope you all enjoyed. I did!

Bon` Apatite 

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