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Smoky Charcoal-grilled Beef Rump with Cooked Grape Must and Thyme
Smoky Charcoal-grilled Beef Rump with Cooked Grape Must and Thyme
Italian
Main
Over 2 hours
Beef
Easy
Serves
4

A must-try dish from Norma's Culinary Director Ben Tish, this grilled beef rump centrepiece is sure to impress whatever the weather. Ben's words:

"Grape must is freshly pressed grape juice, including the pips and skins, and is the first stage in the process of wine making before the fermenting happens. The juice then gets cooked down to make syrup that resembles a thick, aged balsamic but with much fresher notes. It’s sold usually as saba or mosto cotto.

Because of its high sugar content and consistency it’s brilliant for adding to a braise, sauces or even desserts, rather like a pomegranate molasses, and it also works brilliantly as a marinade and glaze. I recommended a barbecue for this dish as the real smokiness you get from a real charcoal and wood fire contrasts incredibly with the sweet, sticky, caramel-like must."

Recipe courtesy of
Moorish by Ben Tish (Bloomsbury Absolute, £26) is out now. Photography by Kris Kirkham.
Ingredients
  • a well-aged boneless beef rump joint, about 1kg, with a good layer of fat (a thick piece is better for cooking on the barbecue)
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped
  • small handful of picked thyme leaves (stalks reserved)
  • 500ml saba (see above), plus extra for final glazing
  • olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper
Method
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Method
  1. Place the beef rump in a bowl. Season well and rub with the garlic and half the thyme leaves. Pour over the saba and massage well into the meat. Pour in enough water to submerge the beef. Cover, place in the fridge and leave to marinate for 8 hours, turning once or twice.
  2. Remove the beef but reserve the marinade. Leave the meat at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.
  3. Prepare a charcoal fire in the barbecue or set a large ridged grill pan on medium heat. If you are using a barbecue, you can throw the thyme stalks on to the hot coals (or wood) as you cook the beef, for an extra flavour boost.
  4. Season the beef again and drizzle over a little oil, then place on the medium hot barbecue or grill pan. Cook for 4 minutes on one side to caramelise. Turn over and continue cooking to brown the other side. Take a pastry brush and lightly apply some of the marinade to the meat every time it is turned.
  5. When all sides of the beef are caramelised (a thick piece of meat will need to be browned on 4 sides), move it to a cooler spot on the barbecue, or reduce the heat under the grill pan. Continue cooking but without too much further colouring, basting when you turn the meat, until the beef registers an internal temperature of 63°C on a probe thermometer(medium rare). This will take about 25 minutes in total. Cook for 5 minutes longer for medium or 10 minutes more for medium to well done. Leave the beef to rest in a warm spot for 30 minutes.
  6. Brush liberally with extra saba and sprinkle over the remaining thyme. Serve sliced thickly with the resting juices poured over. My Salmoriglio sauce (see page 288 of Moorish) and Broad Bean, Tomato and Anchovy Salad (page 92) go well with this delicious beef

The Pass was created to help the many people now struggling to feed themselves and their families as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you like or use this recipe, please consider making a small donation to Hospitality Action to help those whose livelihoods have all but disappeared.

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