January, like every winter month is all about comfort foods, about real earthy cooking and about savouring those deep, dark winter flavours..this is what we are so good at doing in Ireland and this is what the Menu is about at this time of year in The Strawberry Tree.
Turf roasting, fits this season so well. The turf works ini the sam way as a salt crust does, protecting the food and keeping the moisture in. We first came up with this concept in The Strawberry Tree back in 1995. In the interim, we have developed so may varations, however all centre round this simple recipe and method.
WHAT GOES IN:
1 kg Organic Beef Fillet
80g Brooklodge Organic Steak Rub
2 kg Flaked Turf, further ground with a rolling pin
50 ml Organic Rapeseed Oil
HOW IT GOES:
Portion the beef fillet into two 500g pieces, rub in the BrookLodge Steak Rub and put to one side. Heat a large frying pan with the rapeseed oil and seal the beef on all sides to a nice brown colour.
In a large roasting tray place enough of the moistened turf (about 2 cms) to line the bottom of the dish. Place both beefs on lengthways and cover with the rest of the turf, patting and pressing to form the shape of the meat. Preheat oven to 220C and roast for 20 min to 25 min.
HOW TO FINISH:
When cooked, take out of the turf and rub off with some paper towel to take off most of the excess turf, carve and serve.
WHAT YOU GET:
Is a wonderful, earthy and slightly smokey taste that really suits the beef. What you also get is a pink, juicy roast that allows you to brag about bringing true ‘Irish terroir’ to the kitchen.
The Strawberry Tree Restaurant, 2013. Photo, courtesy Steve Ryan