I'm currently engaged in a number of dry aging and charcuterie efforts. I told myself no more of these type of "projects" until I'm done with what's underway. Then I go to the store, and well, I just can't help myself. I saw this 7-bone chuck roast and thought about how I've never made one. Thoughts of dry aging it overcame me and well, here it is (was):
Beautiful and on sale. I placed it in a dry age bag:
and for the next 30 days, struggled to figure out just what to do with it. I also had the remaining short ribs from Costco continuing to dry age. When the chuck roast hit 30 days, the short ribs were at 42:
What to do..what to do. Well, I got short ribs and chuck roast trimmed:
chuck roast before:
Chuck roast after:
Short ribs before:
Short ribs after:
The trim loss after 42 days on the short ribs was significant. I'll stick to 30 days in the future.
I decided I would braise both meats together, after giving them a good dose of smoke first. I seasoned the chuck roast and ribs with some Dizzy Pig dust, and tossed them on the Egg with oak and cherry wood. The braising liquid started out with a couple of bottles of Shiraz, which was heated and set aflame to burn off most of the alcohol. Then a blend of dry, ground mushrooms was added in, along with some mushroom base, salt, and pepper:
A mix of onions and shallots had been placed on the smoker to roast:
After 2 hours at 225, the meat was placed in the pan with the onion/shallot mix, and the braising liquid was added:
The pan was left uncovered for 3 hours to allow for more smoke to seep it's way into the mix:
At that point, the pan was covered and allowed to braise for another 3 hours, until the meat was very tender:
As tempted as I was to reduce some of the braising liquid, and pour it all over the meat and some smoked mashed potatoes, I decided against it. I wanted to try something different. I let the meat mellow out in the fridge for two days, knowing that the flavors would only deepen during this time.
At this point, I decided to use some of the braising liquid to make a batch of red wine & shroom bacon jam. The deep flavors from the dry aged meat, mushroom blend, and Shiraz wine would add a nice level of complexity to it. I've covered how I make bacon jam before, so I won't go into too much detail here:
Thick sliced beef bacon, diced, and rendered:
Shallots, sweet onions, and crushed garlic cooking in bacon fat:
Blend of 5 different dry mushrooms (not quite sure which, I have a lot):
Adding the regular ingredients into the pot, along with the ground dried mushrooms, and 1.5 cups of the braising liquid:
Adding the rendered bacon:
Bacon jam, cooking and reducing:
I figured, since I've made bacon jam, I may as well make a sandwich to pull all the ingredients together. I rounded up some sourdough bread, smoked fontina, and white American cheeses. Some of the chuck roast and short ribs meat was steamed and shredded:
The chuck roast & short rib melt (with a few dollops of bacon jam wedged in the middle) toasting up nicely:
There were so many different flavors revolving around that sandwich. The deep, rich earthiness from the dry aged meat and ground mushrooms. The bit of heat and sweet from the bacon jam. The robust overtones of the Shiraz, which had fully permeated the meat. The creamy and mellow zestiness from the American cheese. Then the smokey finish from the meat and the smoked fontina. This is a sandwich, that while incredibly and delectably unctuous, can only be eaten once a year (for those that desire to maintain a healthy heart).
The next day, I made a grilled pizza. The braising liquid was reduced to a thick sauce, and then mixed with some San Marzano tomato sauce. This was followed by a layer of smoked fontina cheese. The meat was shredded and topped with another layer of rendered beef bacon, which was finished with a layer of mozzarella.
Fresh off the Egg:
Oh man--that grilled pizza was one for the ages. It was like the sandwich made the day before, with a super crunchy crust.