Thursday, 21 April 2011

Branding Iron Beef with Smoked Tomato Drizzle from Heartland

That's enough to get the taste buds watering isn't it?

Beautiful charred beef, rare in the center, chilled and dressed with smoked tomato drizzle and punctuated with briny capers and peppery arugula.

This is one of the 150 delicious dishes from Heartland, the cookbook. A celebration of the heart of the USA, the Midwest, and all the beauty and bounty it has to offer.

The book is filled with gorgeous photos and interesting anecdotes about the agriculture, heritage and farm-to-table ethic of America's heartland, as well as delicious recipes that have their roots in tradition and an up to date appeal that will delight and inspire.

Some of the recipes that have caught my attention are: Heirloom Bean Ragout in an Acorn Squash, Golden Onion Sour Rye Rolls, Savory Wild Mushroom Strudel, Red Haven Peach Chutney, Home-Rendered Lard (!!!) Grilled Duck Breast with Wild Rice-Dried Cherry Pilaf, Apple-Smoked Trout with Horseradish Crème Fraîche, Ohio Lemon Tart, and Bacon Bloody Mary! Actually, I didn't see a recipe in there that I didn't want to try, they all look so wonderful.

A most beautiful book, Heartland would make an excellent Mother's Day present.

The Cookbook

by Judith Fertig
Hardcover, 304 pages

Chapters include:

Praise and Plenty: The Heartland Pantry
Rise and Shine: Breakfast and Brunch
The Heartland Breadbasket: Breads
Nibble and a Sip: Appetizers and Drinks
Garden Gatherings: Salads and Soups
Blue Plate Specials: Main Dishes
Sweet Endings: Desserts

Branding Iron Beef with Smoked Tomato Drizzle
From Heartland, Judith Fertig

Serves 8

Kansas is, literally, “home on the range”—at least it was to Brewster Higley, the Smith County settler who wrote the song there in 1871. Today, there are still deer and even a few antelope, but mainly beef cattle in the Flint Hills and the western prairie. To make your taste buds sing, get your outdoor grill a-smokin’ so you can rustle up this easy version of beef carpaccio. The beef gets a little tasty char around the outside, is very rare inside, and has a smoky sauce to finish. You can make the sauce and grill the beef a day ahead and then assemble the thin slices a few hours before your guests arrive. Keep them chilled until you’re ready to serve.

Smoked Tomato Drizzle
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon smoked tomato puree (see page 16)
¼ cup chipotle hot sauce

1 pound boneless eye of round, top loin, or beef tenderloin
Olive oil, for brushing
Coarse kosher or sea salt and cracked black pepper
Drained capers, for garnish
Baby arugula, for garnish

1 For the drizzle, whisk together the mayonnaise, tomato puree, and hot sauce in a small bowl until smooth. Transfer to a plastic squeeze bottle and refrigerate.

2 Prepare a hot fire in your grill and place a cast-iron skillet or griddle on the grill grate to heat for 20 to 30 minutes.

3 Brush the beef with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. When the skillet is very hot, sear the beef on all sides until blackened, 1 to 2 minutes per side.

4 Let the beef rest until it is at room temperature. Cover with plasitc wrap. To serve the same day, place it in the freezer for 30 minutes to firm up. To serve the next day, store in the refrigerator, then in the freezer for 30 minutes before serving. Chill the serving plates.

5 Using a mandoline or a very sharp knife, cut the beef into paper-thin slices and arrange on the chilled plates. Drizzle the sauce on each plate in a crosshatch pattern and scatter the capers and arugula over the top. Serve immediately.