SLOW COOKED BEEF – cooked to perfection

After a fair bit of research I have come up with a couple of ways to get great steak and the perfect Surf and Turf.

A good lump of beef is sometimes just what you need at the end of a tough day. The secret to a beautifully cooked piece of meat is firstly in the quality of the meat and secondly in the method of cooking it. It is almost impossible to get a large number of pieces of steak cooked to perfection at the same time. This is where the slow cooked piece of rump or fillet (using a digital meat thermometer) that is flash fried at the end of cooking can almost guarantee perfection.

We have tried slow roasting meat before but never this slow and never for this long. I researched this before starting and found that many people had tried slow roasting at higher tempertures and had ended up with tough shrunken pieces of beef. Also there were concerns that with the temperature so low a perfect breeding ground for bacteria would be created. The oven is so low that you can handle the trays without gloves.

Things that I found:

– can’t prove or disprove or even declare the source because it is now a blend of information that I acquired over several hours “googling”:
  •  Hog’s Breath prime rib fillet is supposed to be cooked for 18 hours. I found someone who stated that people who work there sign a confidentiality agreement – anyway it must work because I could find very little on what they did – dead end!
  •  This slow method of cooking was tested fairly rigorously by the health department and found to be safe
  •  The meat is sliced and seared quickly on a very hot grill before serving – turning at right angles if you want those sexy lines on it.
  •  The dark brown can be achieved by coating with parisian essence or coffee grounds
  •  The method has something to do with Heston Blumenthal and his cooking in a water bath for a long period of time at a low temperature
  •  You cannot over cook the meat because the internal temperature of rare roast beef is about 58° C and the oven doesn’t reach that so the meat can’t
  •  The length of time allows ??? connective tissues ??? to break down but isn’t high enough to cause the blood cells to burst so it doesn’t bleed
  •  You must have a digital thermometer (if you have an oven like mine that isn’t very accurate at such low temperatures, or any temperature for that matter) as it is hard to determine exactly what the actual internal temperature is. It took a lot of adjusting the dial up and down to stabilise the temperature to 58°C.

This is the recipe that started me off on my search and is what I did except for the grilling slices on the bbq at the end:

SLOW COOKED BEEF RUMP – 18 hour roast

Chef: Steve Manfredi, Source: The Sydney Morning Herald, Tuesday July 15, 2008

As long as the core temperature of the meat doesn’t exceed 55°C, it will stay moist and juicy.

  • 1 beef rump (3-4kg), trimmed of outer fat
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 55°C. Use an oven thermometer to make sure the temperature doesn’t exceed it. Rub olive oil onto surface of rump and season with salt and pepper. Using a blowtorch or the hot plate on the BBQ, brown meat all over – this is important because it won’t caramelise in the low temperature of the oven. Alternatively, sear meat gently in a pan with some oil.

Place in a roasting tray and roast for 20 hours. This will take a little foresight in planning when to eat but the rump will hold well for an hour or two as long as the temperature is reduced to 50°C or a little lower.

Serves 8-12

Tender Beef

This is my solution to a beautifully cooked piece of meat that doesn’t take 18 hours – who really needs to worry about the oven temperature at 2 am? This is slow cooked but for only about 5 or 6 hours – whatever time you have to spare.

Piece of prime meat, brought to room temperature (a few minutes in the microwave helps here), rub with salt and pepper and some mustard,  brown well on all sides in a hot frying pan.

Sit it on a grill tray over a baking dish with garlic cloves, some herbs (bay leaves, rosemary, thyme) and 1 cup of water in the base, insert a meat thermometer set for 60°C and cover tightly with foil.

Set the oven temperature to 90°C and go away for a few hours. When the internal temperature reaches 60°C reduce the oven temperature to 60 °C and leave the meat in the oven until about 30 minutes before it is needed. Remove the meat from the oven and leave to rest.

This can be sliced thinly and served as a roast or sliced thickly and flash fried on each side and served as steaks. Cut thickly it is a great start to a “surf and turf”.

Surf and Turf

Surf and Turf always sounds better than it tastes, genuine Pub food but the prawns are always dried out and the steak tough.

I have resolved the discrepancy by having beautifully cooked beef fillets or slices of fillet that has been slow roasted and flash grilled. I recently served it with peeled, cooked prawns warmed in a Bearnaisse sauce, creamy mash potatoes, strawberry and blue cheese salad and sweet potato chips.

Apart from perfectly cooked steak the prawns are peeled and added to the prepared bearnaisse sauce and warmed through. These are assembled on the steak.



Tags: , , , , , , , ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply