What? Smoked Steak? You don’t smoke steak! You SEAR steak! Before you assemble the angry mob, hear me out. Because this could be the best steak you have ever had. Before discovering this recipe, my only exposure to barbecue smoked meat had been 5-20 hour smoked cuts that are the signature of southern USA (see my visit to Bareknuckle BBQ). The monk-like dedication of these pit masters is staggering, the fire and meat temperatures need to be checked every two hours for an overnight cook. But the quality of the final product can be so good, so desirable that the process is worth it. The legendary Franklin BBQ in Austin, Texas has garnered a following large enough to have a daily line around the block, a live twitter feed of the wait time, and businesses that offer chair renting and line waiting services.
Lacking a trailer sized smoker and the dedication to stay up all night tending a fire, I had to scale back my ambitions a bit. A smoked steak seemed like a good option. It doesn’t require hours of low and slow cooking to break down tough muscle fibers and connective tissue like brisket does, and why deny such fantastic meat the additional depth of flavour that smoking can offer? Two hours of smoke, a quick sear, rest, carve and serve. The buttery medium rare interior and smoky charred bark made my colleagues act more like piranhas than engineers when this platter went round the office.
I served the steaks with a fresh BBQ sauce that combines the flavours of my two favourite sauces, Argentina’s Chimichurri and Kansas City BBQ sauce. It’s perfect with the meat, especially when you smoke the tomatoes and onions with the steaks as I’ve called for in the recipe. I used a gas DCS grill with smoker box attachment, but there is plenty of info out there on using a dedicated smoker or charcoal grill. Just try to keep that hood closed, “if you’re looking you’re not cooking!”