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Encrusting beef in salt - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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Encrusting beef in salt

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  • Encrusting beef in salt

    Last year I had beef cooked in a wood fired oven in Soria, Spain. I found pieces of rock salt on my plate along with the beef. It was very, very good

    I had a problem with the language and left with the impression that the meats was encrusted in rock salt and then the crust was removed before serving.

    Has anyone heard of such a process?

    Any comments?


  • #2
    Re: Encrusting beef in salt

    It is a fairly standard and dramatic technique that was popular several decades ago. Mostly applied to fish but applicable to almost anything that is roasted. Google "Salt Crust", "Salt Dome Cooking", etc. and you'll find lots of info. Some criticism will be found too: wasteful, not particularly flavor-enhancing, etc. But if nothing else, it is dramatic!


    • #3
      Re: Encrusting beef in salt

      I have done it with red snapper a few times. It does make keep the fish very moist. I am not sure how it would work with beef since it pretty much steams the fish...steamed beef does not sound that great, but maybe it browns through the salt?
      My Oven Thread:


      • #4
        Re: Encrusting beef in salt

        Brian, I have to disagree. If done properly, salt domes add a lot of flavor to the party. It's a hybridized method of cooking that combines hot roasting with steaming. Also, the salt will remove extraneous liquid and therefore concentrate flavor.

        It IS wasteful if done wrong, but salt's not exactly an uncommon mineral. The easiest way to do it is to mix kosher salt or rock salt with enough water so that the salt takes on the consistency of wet snow. If you're doing beef, sear it first. You can't get a sear/brown under hot salt. Next, lay the roast on a bed of the salt and pack the salt around and over the roast to cover. Roast in a hot oven to the desired doneness; it'll cook faster than conventional roasting. Remove, break the crust, and brush off the extra salt. It won't be overly salty after brushing it off.

        To reuse the salt, give it a quick rinse under running water and dry it off. As long as you don't roast something very fatty or add herbs to the salt, you'll get several uses out of a box.



        • #5
          Re: Encrusting beef in salt

          Some of you might have heard of a TV chef over here called Jamie Oliver.

          In a recent tv programme he cooked, on a beach in Spain, a whole, and large, fish in salt as is being described above.

          He used an awful lot of salt, I must say. It looked like big crystals, and yes, the consistency of wet snow.