Monday, December 7, 2009

Pressed Beef: A nod and a wink

I saw an interesting recipe for cured beef the other day and thought it would be worth a try. The recipe was from the Blacksmith Steakhouse Bar and consisted of placing a steak in a cure, pressing it for 24 hours, then serving it sliced very thin.

So with a nod of my head to Larbo who got me thinking about cured pressed beef in the first place, I thought I might as well give a version of this a try.
0.65 lbs chuck steak
18 grams salt
18 grams brown sugar
5 grams black pepper

The cure was applied and the steak placed in a Ziploc bag. I placed the bag on a cookie sheet and pressed them with 30 pounds for 24 hours. Why 30 lbs? Well obviously because 40 would have been too much. I took me a while to figure out exactly how to press them but then I realized that what would work was a large book to evenly distribute the weight of the 30 lbs. There was no question as to what the book should be: So with a wink of my eye to The Foodie..out came the best use for Bittman's Vegetarian cookbook I have found to date.

I can't say that I loved this but I can say it was very interesting. Incredibly tender, very flavorful and a great way to extend a reasonable piece of meat over several servings. I just had it straight and then with some bread but I can imagine it would make a great highlight to a salad. My only hesitation with this is the texture...tastes good, just doesn't feel right.

I like the fact that this had been pressed. The amount of liquid expelled was tremendous and the resulting firmness made this a breeze to slice.

Interesting side note...when served thinly sliced it tasted pretty dang good. When I took one and pan seared it the result was inedible.


  1. HA! I love the irony of your use of How To Cook Everything Vegetarian!

    I'm also quite intrigued by this... it sounds like a carpaccio, only better?

  2. Thanks, I thought it was kind of cute myself.

    I would not call it better than carpaccio. I would call it a good way to make a carpaccio style dish with a much cheaper cut of beef.