Richard H. Turner's Dirty Roasted Steak
Placing a huge hunk of beef, straight down on some glowing white coals, flickering with flame, does sound counter-intuitive, doesn't it? After all, if you've gone all that way to sourcing something that is proper and ethical, and full of flavour - and costing a pretty penny too - why on earth should you try to burn the bejaysus out of it?
The clever trick however, with cooking directly on charcoal or wood, is that there is very little space for oxygen to ignite between the meat and the heat. Your BBQ will not turn into a Towering Inferno. You will need to turn the steak or joint regularly, to develop a lovely crust. But 'clinching' - as it is known in the trade - is nowhere near as dangerous as you might expect. And we all know what a decent bit of maillarding can do, don't we? 'Maillarding' is not a real word but you get the point.
If the idea still gives you the hibby jibbies though, this method by Richard H. Turner is an excellent gateway to direct cooking. Soaking and wrapping your joint in cloth, in this case a barrel fillet, will give some protection but it will also help impart those wonderful smokey vibes into the fillet. And the simple seasoning with sea salt and grated horseradish only makes the beef sing some more.
This is also a great technique to employ when you've got one of those annoying friends around. You know the type. The one who only ever offers annoying and sarcastic repartee about your cooking.
'Looks like you've burnt it again, mate!' they'll sniff, before taking a glug of beer.
But just deliver one crack with the back of your knife, to break through that muslin and then carve up up for all the world to see, with juices flowing across your chopping board.
That'll soon shut them up. We can guarantee that.