The afternoon before my rushed butt/rib cook
I decided to smoke/braise a small, 2.5-lb hunk of chuck.
While the meat sat on the board coming up toward room temp, I heated a cast iron pot on the stove and made a spice blend known as quatre-épices
, a blend of white pepper, ginger, allspice and mace (often nutmeg is used in place of mace; sometimes clove or cinnamon is used in place of allspice). It's great on beef. I added a hefty dose of Aleppo to it. I set up the cooker for an accelerated Minion start (more lit than usual); empty, foiled pan.
I heated some oil in the now-hot pot then seared the chuck to caramelize the exterior, about 3 min/side. Next, I salted it, sprinkled the rub on, assembled the cooker, adding a couple small apple chunks and set the meat to smoking. I let the temp climb to 335 and smoked 2 hours.
While the meat smoked I made a reduction of cheap white wine (1 c), dry sherry (1/4 c), and white balsamic (1/4 c), letting it reduce to 1/3 c. I sliced a few onions and minced a couple garlic cloves. I made creamy goat cheese dressing for the salad (2oz soft goat cheese blended with 2 T mayo, 3 T plain yogurt, a splash of sherry vin, white pepper and salt).
When the chuck had smoked 2 hours I put it back in the pot, added the sliced onions, minced garlic and wine mix reduction, covered it, and set it back in the cooker, cracking open the door enough to get the temps to ~355. In another 1.75 hours the meat was done. I made the salad meanwhile.
I had made fresh whole wheat pappardelle a night or two earlier. It doesn't keep well, so I used that, cooking it while the meat rested.
Salad of butter lettuce with ripe peach and avocado chunks and slivered Vidalia onion tossed with creamy goat cheese dressing; topped with house made maple-cured sassafras-smoked bacon:
Smoked-braised chuck with natural juices on whole wheat pappardelle; parsley: