Survey at the end – please participate!
This is crazy! One minute, I’m working on some of the things I mentioned in my Book Keeping post last week, updating some of my recipes for the cookbook, re-making the Guest Post recipe, again, just to make sure it’s just right (naw – just ’cause I can’t help it!). I have some steak on the stove, cooking along, otherwise forgotten (I really like to cook my steak on low heat for a longer time) when my wife speaks up: “Baby, I smell something burning… You want to check on your kitchen?” Yes, I know – she does actually refer to it as my kitchen. After all, I cook, I clean… It’s my kitchen.
Nevertheless, I was cooking up some rib-eye, and there was NO WAY I was going to let that meat burn! I jumped up from the computer, knocking the keyboard to the floor on my way, and dashed to the kitchen to save the… beef! As it turns out, my haste was unwarranted. In fact, as I shortly discovered, I had, again unwittingly, stumbled across another in-kitchen Smoking process for meats! I now have two possible ways of doing this, though neither is a refined and proven-repeatable technique – so attempt to reproduce these at your own risk! Though, if you wait not too long, I will have a thoroughly tried and true guide to in-kitchen smoked meat – I’ve stumbled across it, and it’s going to be perfected!
What you’ll need, and how I did it:
- 1 lb Grass-Fed Rib-Eye Steak (this could be any quality grass-fed beef cut)
- Leftover Stir-Fry Carrots and Parsnips (Key: high starch)
- 1 tablespoon Coconut oil
- Spices: Italian Seasoning, black pepper
What a surprise! I’ve struck gold, accidentally, twice with this “Smoked” food! I can’t tell you how excited I am to have stumbled, yet again, on a method to smoke food safely (relatively) in the kitchen. It’s crazy, because I’ve been so absurdly busy trying to keep up with the rising demand for the Urban Paleo Chef’s time (really – for not being paid, I devote a TON of time to this site now!) that I’ve started dinner more than once, gone to “finish something up” on the computer, and had to be called back in by my wife… Most of the time it doesn’t work out so well. This time it was a home run!
What I did: I had some leftover carrots and parsnips, which are really high-starch vegetables, sitting around from my Shrimp Stir Fry post yesterday. So, being in the hurry that I was in, I threw a beautiful 1lb hunk of grass-fed Rib-Eye steak right on top of the carrots and parsnips. I dropped a 1 tablespoon portion of coconut oil on top of the beef, knowing that as the temperature in the pan heats up, the coconut oil will melt, run down the beef, and keep it moist and delicious (an old trick of mine)! Then I put the seasoning and pepper on (no salt) and turned the heat on to medium low, planning on letting it cook for a good 20 minutes before coming back in to pay attention to it.
Well, needless to say, I got lost in my blog. It’s a wonderful thing! But not ideal for managing the dinner I was in the process of making. Or is it? 45 minutes passed while I was editing recipes and corresponding with the various people who want various things from my time, when my wife called me in to the kitchen because she smelled something burning. Bless my wife’s nose – she has saved me from more than one major kitchen mishap! Well, I hurried back in, pulling the lid off the pan and waved away the smoke that was lazily settled there in the pan. Low and behold, the meat was fine – I had suspended it above the surface of the pan with the starchy vegetables, which, as they burned, released the tantalizingly delicious flavor of smoke to be absorbed by the meat. Remember that I had left some coconut oil on top of the steak to dribble down as it heated up – so the steak stayed moist and receptive to the flavor of the smoke! The combination was fantastic – intoxicating! And I can’t wait to have done this on purpose!!
I am starting to get the hang of what it takes to make this work.
- Something needs to “crisp” and give off the smoke of burning.
- Something is needed to suspend the meat above the hot cooking surface.
- There needs to be some transfer of flavor – a baste, high-liquid vapor in the pot/pan, or the meat needs to be touching whatever is burning.
- The pot/pan needs to be heated enough so that the air-temperature will still cook the beef, AND cool enough so that the surface only “crisps” the thing that’s being burned. Perhaps somewhere between 200 and 300 degrees – but I think it should not exceed 300.
- The pot/pan needs to be covered, and nominally sealed (though not actually sealed – that could be dangerous) – to keep the smoke in, and keep the smoke detectors from going off! A well-fitted pot and cover should do, or most slow-cookers or crock-pots.
- Have you ever smoked meat in your kitchen?
- Have you ever done it on purpose?
- Has it ever worked?
- What was your experience – and how did it work out?
I really want to hear from you about your experiences with home-smoked meats! I have every intention of refining this process, and for lack of a better description, formalizing it. I want to make sure that I get this right, repeat it a few times, and then share with you all exactly how to do it yourselves! It’s just simply too good to have it only occasionally, and by accident!!