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Beef Roasted in a Herb-Infused Salt Crust Recipe

Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.

Beef Baked in an Herb-Infused Salt Crust

Beef Baked in an Herb-Infused Salt Crust

This superbly delicious recipe features high-quality beef (such as beef tenderloin), which is first seared to lock in its flavor and is then wrapped in a crust infused richly with salt and a mix of herbs. The result is a very tender and flavorful piece of meat, one which has a brilliant and rich taste, which accentuates rather than overwhelms the original cut of meat.

It works excellently as a prestige piece for the center of a good meal, although to be fair, with an appropriately good cut of meat, it takes real work to make it anything less than stellar. I haven't yet made this with a poorer cut of meat, but I encourage you to experiment and see if equivalent results can be attained!

In the case of the recipe, various elements are conditioned around the fact that I had only had access to three individual pieces of meat, rather than a single unitary one. If you are using a singular piece, I advise making appropriate changes and interpreting what I propose to deal with that appropriately.

A Lower-Sodium Salt Crust

While this recipe is inspired by Simply French by Patricia Wells, I personally changed around quite a significant number of components in the original recipe to improve it. I consider the original to have been too salty.

While there is a good and important objective with using the salt of the salt crust to enrich the flavor of the meat, I personally don't like the same degree of salt in the food. It might, however, have stemmed from the nature of the meat I had, which was split up into three pieces instead of one, and which hence increased the surface area.

Regardless, however, I was still of the opinion that the degree of salt could be reduced, and that the various other herbs could be increased in quantity to produce a richer and more balanced flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 5 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2/3 cups water
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless beef, (in my case, it was split into 3 sections and my recipe is designed around that configuration)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. This step should be prepared well in advance, as allowing it to rest makes rolling out the dough much easier. Combine together the kosher salt, 4 teaspoons dried thyme (or 4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves if available), and 3 sprigs rosemary, and blend until mix. Add egg whites and the 2/3 cup water, and mix until blended. Then add the flour in 1/2 cup components, keeping on doing so until a firm and not excessively moist and sticky crust is formed. Then cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours.
  2. Pat the beef to dry it, then heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet and bring to a high temperature over moderately high heat. Then add the beef and sear it on all sides, for 2 to 3 minutes. Allow to rest for 5 minutes, on its angled side so that it cooks throughout, evenly.
  3. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to form a 10x15 inch rectangle, or at least large enough to easily enclose the beef.
  4. Sprinkle the beef with the remaining thyme, then wrap in the dough, pressing the seams together. Transfer the wrapped beef to a baking sheet, and coat with a glaze composed of 1/2 teaspoon of water and 1 egg yolk, and sprinkle with sea salt.
  5. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake at 375˚F for 30 minutes, to produce a light, golden-brown crust, and a medium-rare interior. Let it rest at room temperature for 2 hours before serving: the beef will remain warm with the crust protecting it.
  6. Slice off the crust at one end, remove the beef from it, discard the crust, season the beef with pepper, and slice it. Serve immediately on a serving platter.

© 2018 Ryan Thomas

Comments

Margie's Southern Kitchen from the USA on March 12, 2018:

Ryan this sound so good! Thanks for sharing your recipe!

Ryan Thomas (author) from Eureka, California on March 12, 2018:

I hope you enjoy it if you do make it yourself.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on March 12, 2018:

This sounds lovely, definitely one for me to try, thankyou. =)