Sunday, 22 December 2013


Hickory smoked Wagyu Beef pie & fillet , Red wine & plum reduction , Orange & Purple heirloom carrots , Crumble of Panko crumb & Dorrego pepper leaf , Carrot & ginger sauce , Purple carrot & plum gel and fresh thyme sprigs.

              Wagyu meaning 'Japanese cow' is a stand out in table beef in my eyes, no other breeds can match that natural marbling which enhances its taste and tenderness. This wagyu cut came from my regular deli and was the end cut of a Kobe Wagyu rib roast. The carrots came from the green grocers section of the same shop and all in all this is a pretty easy dish with few ingredients. Light but packed with grounding flavours of smokey and earthiness paired with the sweetness of the three sauces, makes this dish a winner for taste and with a different approach from being plated the pies could be served as buttlered or stationary hors d'oeuvres.                                                                                                            
              The first thing I did was prepare the meat for this plate. With a 50/50 mix of sea salt and sugar I rubbed the piece of meat placing it into a ziplock bag with the curing mix of salt and sugar and placed the bag into the fridge to cure, turning and shaking every hour for 3-4 hours. Once the meat was partial cured I rinsed the curing mix off the meat with cold water and pat dried. Placing my smoking vessel over the barbecue burner to heat up, I then made a boat from tin foil and wet some hickory shavings, squeezing all the water out I placed the shavings in the boat and put the boat at the bottom of the smoker. Once the vessel was full of smoke and hot I placed the wagyu meat basted in oil on the rack in the smoker. Closing the lid I smoke the meat for 4-5 minutes each side with the heat . I then turned the flame off smoking the meat for a further 8 minutes turning half way. The smoked wagyu was then pan fried for a further 2 minutes each side and then allowed to rest before carving a thin slice to plate and cubing some more into 4mm cubes to go in the pie filling. Next I made a simple meat gravy by melting butter in a saucepan, to this I added plain flour to form a roux to which I gradually added veal stock. Whisking while gently simmering until the gravy becomes thick and velvety, this was then added to the chopped meat pieces and the filling was set aside. To make the savoury shortcrust pastry I started by combining flour, butter and salt in a food processor to make a fine crumb. To this I added egg yolks and chilled water and processed bringing together a dough before turning the pastry on to a floured work bench and rolling out to a 3-4 mm disc. This was then covered between two sheets of baking paper and placed in the fridge for 30 minutes. Greasing muffin tins I then cut circles using an upturned glass out of the pastry and lined the muffin inserts. I then spooned the filling into the pastry liners and cut circles for the lids, making slits in the pie lids for the pie to breath I then brushed the pies with beaten egg and placed them into a 170 deg. c oven for about 20-25 minutes, re-glazing the the pies with egg wash again half way through cooking. Once cooked I removed the pies from the muffin tray and set aside.
               The carrots were simply prepared in different shapes and sizes then blanched in salted boiling water before being placed into an ice water bath to stop the colours leaching. The crumb is a mix of Japanese panko crumb, olive oil and the Aussie bush pepper leaf from Dorrego. The three sauces were next, firstly the Red wine sauce was a reduction of Barossa valley Shiraz with thyme and plum juice, this was used to dress the pie and the wagyu fillet. The orange coloured sauce is carrot and ginger juice, sugar and a little xantham gum to thicken. And the purple gel is purple carrot juice, plum juice, sugar and xantham gum. These sauces were used to imitate carrots on the plate, giving sweetness to the dish.

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